Coming to Our Senses: The World of Perfume

Wednesday, November 16, 2:00–3:30 P.M. | Forum of Civics Building, 2503 Westheimer at Kirby Drive. Limited enrollment

Smell is thought to be our oldest sense.  While it’s not as dominant today as sight and touch, it is still our most evocative sense: olfactory sensors connect to the part of our brain that governs emotions and emotional memory.  When we encounter a particular fragrance, it not only stimulates our sense of smell but also engages our memory of certain experiences and the emotions attached to them.  Humans recall scents considerably longer and with greater accuracy than they do visual images, and the smell of a particular perfume can instantly and vividly remind us of someone from our past.

In an interactive presentation, Alyssa Harad, author of the memoir Coming To My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride, will introduce participants to the history of perfume, the perfume industry, the range of scents used, and how perfume is made. She will also explore scent's link to memory, why an individual might select a particular perfume, feminism vs. femininity, the pleasure to be found in perfume, and helpful tips to know before you embark on buying perfume.

Alyssa Harad is a writer based in Austin, Texas. In addition to being a perfume expert and collector, she has worked as a cook, journalist, and creative arts facilitator at a private psychiatric hospital and has collaborated with therapists and others to work with girls and women, particularly survivors of sexual abuse and trauma.



Finishing up Spring 2018! 

Mexico City: Past, Present, Future
April 3-9
And our travelers are there in the present!


Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Monday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | The Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln, 77027
Co-sponsored with World Affairs Council of Houston


Behind the Pages: A Conversation with William Middleton 
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 P.M.


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