Fragrance News This Week in Fragrance: Scented Weapons, Ginger Blossoms & Traditions of Oud

This Week in Fragrance: Scented Weapons, Ginger Blossoms & Traditions of Oud

06/22/16 07:58:23 (5 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Fragrantica member Joilecat shared a news story reporting that an Ohio grandmother fended off a kidnapper not with mace, not with a gun, but with perfume! Larry Davis of explains:

Joyce Kenney was leaving her Middletown apartment Tuesday afternoon, June 14, when she was confronted by an unwanted guest. Kenney said she struggled with the man before he shoved her into the driver's seat and told her to drive. Kenney said she drove 75 to 80 miles an hour, weaving along the way, hoping police would pull her over. Kenney drove more than a mile up Breiel Boulevard and turned on to Central Avenue. It was there she decided to make her move. Kenny remembered she had perfume in the side of her door. She knew it was her only protection.

Wow! I've used perfume to kill roaches and spiders before (yes, really) but this is a whole other level of creativity. Anyone know what the fragrance was? Looks like a Bath & Body Works body mist, maybe Japanese Cherry Blossom?

Speaking of fragrant weapons, Flowerbomb is getting a new ad campaign for the first time since its 2005 launch, reports Jennifer Weil at

Whereas the original Flowerbomb ad shows a woman’s face veiled with pink netting that extends over her head, in the new image, photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, colorful flowers spring from the gravity-defying tresses of model Andreea Diaconu. “The surreal bouquet of flowers on her head is a metaphor for positive thinking,” Horsting and Snoeren continued.

What do you think? I never understood why in the original ad the model was veiled...

Alexandra Scranton at discusses the possibility of disclosing what "fragrance" or "parfum" on a label of ingredients actually means:

Currently, most consumer product ingredient lists only reveal the presence of fragrance by listing the ingredient “fragrance” or “parfum”. But these terms may represent a combination of up to 100 different chemicals, which until recently have rarely been disclosed. While manufacturers make assurances that their fragrances are safe, consumers have been sceptical [sic] of the secrecy around fragrance ingredients and are asking for more details to support those claims. But how to disclose that information is a matter of much debate.

Would you want to know? Would it make any difference or mean anything to you beyond a list of aromachemical names?

Norman Benzoa at offered an incredible overview of ginger this past week:

The torch ginger [pictured below], red ginger, Tahitian red ginger are just a few that you will find at local nurseries. The butterfly-lily, or white ginger, with its heads of white butterfly-like flowers is commonly found. The extremely fragrant flowers last but a day and are constantly replenished by a new supply. The flowering period will last for several months. Although common in the wild, this is still one of the best for garden fragrance and lei flowers. The yellow ginger, Hedychium flavescens, from India is another fragrant species common in wet forests and along East Hawaii roadsides.

Have you ever smelled a ginger blossom? What did you think?

Ismaeel Naar at offers a fascinating look at the ever-increasing prevalence of oud in Western fragrances and its Eastern significance:

For many Emiratis, says Emirati oud buyer Mohammed Ismail, the scent is not just about tradition, but also “part of the DNA that makes up the people of the Gulf.” “When Khaleejis [Gulf citizens] greet each other, most do the handshake as well as the nose-to-nose or cheek-to-cheek kiss. “It’s part of our culture, so when you greet another man you want to make a really good first impression, and the oud you choose gives you status.”

Are you an oud fan? What's your favorite oud-themed perfume?

Have interesting fragrance news for us to share?
Leave a comment in the new Fragrance News thread HERE.



Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen also works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting



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Flowerbomb is not really even that flowery...
As if the misleading name wasn't enough they wanted an even more misleading campaign (I thought the old ad was much cooler, and the color scheme matched the fragrance better)


A friend of mine would always keep Impulse body spray with her in case of emergency. She could not afford pepper spray so Impulse became the weapon of choice when a guy tried to mug her.


Thanks Joliecat, youmade me lol!


I once took down a moth with a few spritzes of Jean Nate...

That torch ginger is one of the prettiest flowers I've ever seen! Wow! What colors!


Now that is a smart grandma!! When I was in high school my sister and I used to fight each other with aqua net hairspray and that is brutal too! I think I will now keep a super strong perfume in my door pocket from now on!


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