A glittering yellow crystal that burns with a blue flame, sulfur blazes eternally in the lake of fire and brimstone in the Underworld, escaping upwards via the fumes of volcanic vents and steaming springs. It impregnates the living world through organosulfur compounds that stink of rotting vegetables and boiled eggs and which power the familiar aromas of the Alliums (i.e.garlic), a family with an extensive pedigree of folk magic uses, and also many tales that link these plants with the Devil. Less familiar are the sulfurous scent components of various incense resins (asafoetida, galbanum), tropical fruits, citrus, and fine wines. Cat ketones which smell of tomcat piss provide vivid fruity notes to blackcurrant. Blackberry (aka “Devil’s grapes”) contains similar volatile thiophenones. As we explore the chemistry of sulfur in animal scent communication as well as medical uses and its role in poisons and insecticides, the magical potencies of sulfurous plants are revealed: protection, aggression, seduction and spirit summoning.
About the Presenter:
James is a psychiatrist with a fascination for the strange borderlands of fragrance. His interests include ethnobotany, alchemy, classical astrology, archaic and traditional medicine. He is a lecturer at the Institute for Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles.
**Attendees will have access to this recording until the end of 2021 - class recording links will be emailed to attendees within 7 business days of purchase. To protect the IP of our presenters, class recordings will not be downloadable.**