Cleopatra to Jane Austen: Perfumes of Powerful Women

Why did Cleopatra soak the sails of her ship in jasmine? How did Queen Elizabeth smell? And why was perfume an essential tool of power for women across history? 

Whilst it’s hard to research the history of something that leaves no physical trace, we actually know a great deal about how some of the most iconic women in history would have smelt. 

Joining Kate to evoke these scents and what they stood for is award-winning fragrance journalist Suzy Nightingale.

Here are the perfumes listed in the episode:

Cleopatra: The Merchant of Venice Queen of the Night

Joan of Arc: Histoire de Parfums Encens Roi

Elizabeth I: Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Jane Austen: Commodity Book (Personal strength) 

Cora Pearl: Robert Piguet Fracas 

This episode is edited by Tom Delargy and produced by Stuart Beckwith. The senior producer was Charlotte Long. 

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