YEAR END CATCH UP: Updates from people & projects from 2020

2020 . 12 . 25 | written by Karen Marin

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As we bid farewell to 2020 let’s take a moment to reconnect with some of the people and projects that graced our site over the past few months. Let’s catch up on their latest news and get a hint about what they are working on now for the new year ahead.

Catherine Haley Epstein reaffirms that the Odorbet continues to gain interest, subscribers and views. She is consistently uploading three-word installments to the site, the most recent of which related to our noses and COVID. For example, the word parosmia, indicates a health condition that may distort your sense of smell and hinder the ability to detect a full range of smells.
Catherine’s book, "Nose Dive", has been officially purchased in 20 countries and she has also released an audio version for people who are visually impaired.

Caro Verbeek will be part of an international and interdisciplinary team funded by the EU to research, document, reconstruct and present the olfactory heritage of Europe of the past and the present. The project, entitled Odeuropa, is probably the largest smell culture project ever conducted with the collaboration of historians, conservators, museologists, semantic web experts and AI-experts.
Caro also mentioned that a very cool exhibit on 17th century smells and painting, Bygone – Scents and Colors, will open in February 2021 at the Mauritshuis in the Hague.

Eduardo Garcia de Alba of MyScentJourney has made great strides with his platform and has gotten the go-ahead to activate the import tool which will make it easy for reviewers to import existing information onto his site. He is still reaching out to brands to collect their product information and grow the database of fragrances listed. He is working on a video for the Digital Room for Esxence which will be available soon on Esxence’s YouTube channel.

Mark Kohoot, founder of Aeroscena, the group advancing the use of evidence-based aromatherapy in healthcare, notes that although some clinical studies have been put on hold due to the pandemic, they are approved and are waiting to get underway, notably, the study on knee replacement pain and morning sickness. Going into 2021 he noted “Dialysis is a key focus and we kick off a pilot soon, measuring some biomarkers to improve that dreadful patient experience. “
With the realization that people are more aware of their social sphere and the toxins around them, which can be in fragrance, his group has secured and .org, because, Mark explained “as I’m sure you know, all naturals are not safe, and all synthetics are not killers."

Ruth Sutcliffe, creator of the Essential Awakenings® Smell And Memory Activity & Kits, told me that her kits, developed in 2017 for seniors living with dementia, have been repurposed for people suffering from anosmia due to COVID-19. Her product MindScent® has intrigued Occupational Therapists from as far away as Australia. These successes affirm a long held dream that it is possible to help people through the sense of smell.
Ruth stated “I truly believe in scent for wellbeing, and we are in a time where the world is living through a health crisis and so many people crave various ways for reducing anxiety and stress. I continue to explore other innovations and ways to help people via the sense of smell...and they are out there! I have a few things in the works that I cannot speak of yet.”

When I checked in with Isabelle and Théo of Nose on the Road they were happy to tell me that they had such a wealth of material from the 6 months of their pre-pandemic trip, that they are still able to post regularly to their site and to their social media channels. For 2021, Théo would like to continue the olfactive journey as soon as travel opens up and Isabelle has decided to look for a position in the fragrance industry.

Camille LeFeuvre of pH Fragrances is now a multi-award winner! Since appearing on our site she has won 5 awards including being named the Best French Fragrance brand from for Indie and Beauty brands by Cosmetiquemag. Camille is grateful to be stocked in avant-garde perfumeries who recognize forward-thinking, environmentally conscious brands like hers. She has opened an additional 4 locations in France since the second wave of COVID and she is excited to be entering the Middle East and the UK very soon.

Turning to our canine friends, we understand that dogs that are being trained to detect COVID-19 by their sense of smell have perfect accuracy in certain cases. The findings have not been peer reviewed or published yet, and it’s not clear if the use of canines could be ramped up enough to make an impact, but ongoing tests in Finland and Lebanon show great promise.

Wikiparfum, the olfactory search engine based on fragrance preference, now proudly references at least 14,000 fragrances on its site.

JUST THE NUMBERS: The numbers are in and here is how the marketing created events turned out on a global basis:
Amazon Prime Day(s): $10,4 billion
Black Friday: $62,2 billion
Single’s Day(s): $75 billion (per AliBaba)
Cyber Week: $270 Billion
Remember though that Black Friday sales were postponed in some countries due to lockdown constraints, and all of them became multi-day selling events as opposed to one-day as in the past.

On behalf of the editorial team at Essencional, we wish everyone continued success and prosperity in the new year.

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Camille Lefeuvre of pH Fragrances
Caro Verbeek sniffing pomander
Catherine Haley Epstein
Eduardo Garcia de Alba of MyScentJourney
Isabelle and Theo of Nose on the Road
Ruth Sutcliffe leading a session at Atria Stamford