Katie Puckrik Smells BBC Radio 4's 'Word of Mouth'

Word of Mouth is BBC Radio 4's program exploring the world of words and the way we use them. I appeared on the "Fashion" episode recently, talking with host Chris Ledgard about verbalizing smells, or as I like to say (repurposing the Sound of Music lyric), how to "catch a cloud and pin it down".

Not the original cast.

To hear the segment, click on the player at top. Perfumes discussed (though some names were edited out) include:

Chanel No. 19

Comme des Garçons Avignon

Calvin Klein Obsession

Chanel No. 5

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien

Comme des Garçons Eau de Parfum

Byredo M/Mink

This episode of Word of Mouth was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 13 Aug 2013.


  1. I can't play the BBC video. When I click on it, it just says "This video is private".

    1. Jennifer, I changed the player, and it should work now.

  2. Jennifer, I went to the Word of Mouth link and was able to listen to it. Katie, again: well done you! So great to hear you.

  3. This is so simply wonderful. Professor Puckrik is my favorite teacher! This radio show is something for me to share with newbies to perfume... the smoke of the Gods.

  4. I heard it on the day, as did the husbands of several non-fumie friends who were listening in their cars and rang to tip me the wink. That's the sort of friends you want!

    1. The Olfactory Underground Railroad is running smoothly, it seems.

  5. "hint of nappy"

    Cute! I'm going to use that one. It was charming to hear the host's observations-- I suspect you've set him on a trajectory to explore fragrance-- the scales have fallen from his eyes (er, his nose). Good for him!

    I think there's something psychologically healthy about acknowledging that some forbidden unpleasant accords can really bump out the breadth of a fragrance and in very moderate amounts are not unpleasant. I don't want to smell like pee, stale or otherwise, but these are human things and it's nice to see and hear frank discussion that doesn't make a value statement one way or another about something that is merely a part of being the organisms we are. I don't want a perfume that screeches, but the occasional suggestion of high-toned skank can be edifying.

    Well done on another offering of your wit and observations, Katie!

  6. Thanks, plegmfatale! Smells are interesting and stimulating, and if you only submit to "yummy" aromas, you're missing out on the color and texture of the world around us. Glad you got a kick out of the segment.