A Year of Online Events: Thank You!

Anne Hughes giving a radio broadcast from Grand Central Palace, New York City, in 1923 (via Bettmann Archive)

I had some exciting plans for scent events in 2020…most of which I had to put on hold when we realized last March that the world was going to be a very different place for a while.

But when I noticed that the Brooklyn Brainery had immediately pivoted to online events, I decided it was time for me to overcome my habitual distaste for being on camera. So long as I stayed well and healthy (which I have, thank goodness), I still had the need to keep reading, writing, and talking about perfume, so I was hoping that other people were feeling the same way.

It’s been just over one year since I gave my first online Brainery talk, and it has turned out to be my busiest year yet for fragrance-related programs—different than I expected, but still inspiring and fulfilling. To mark this anniversary, I’d like to thank the Brainery (as always!) for hosting me in this new format, the Institute for Art & Olfaction (kindred spirits!) for inviting me to join their team of online instructors, and the various public libraries in New York and New Jersey who booked me for virtual events…not to mention my “real job,” the Brooklyn Museum, for allowing me to convert my proposed “Making Scents of Studio 54” tour into an interactive online presentation. Much gratitude also goes to Lauren Valenti of VOGUE for interviewing me about the Studio 54 event, Catherine Haley Epstein for accepting my contribution to the Odorbet site, and Perfume on the Radio and Life Après (hosted by Sylvia Beckerman) for inviting me to speak on their podcasts.

But the deepest gratitude goes to every single person who attended one of these talks (or several talks! you know who you are!) or listened to these podcasts or just kept reading my often sporadic posts here on the blog or connected with me on Instagram. I initially started posting on perfume message boards at a time when I was feeling overwhelmed and disconnected in the early 2000s, and all these little corners of the “fragrance community” continue to enrich my nose, mind, and heart during a time that’s been difficult for all of us. Thank you for being there too.

And if you have any suggestions/requests for a talk (or even just a blog post) on a new topic, let me know what you’re thinking! I might not be able to deliver on it, but then again, I might!


  1. As a perfume fan from Australia, can I please say thank you to you and all others like you sent have embraced the virtual world to connect? I’ve had so many opportunities to hear from passionate people like yourself that I would never have had access to previously. COVID-19 has been completely awful but the switch to digital events has been awesome and I hope it continues even as the world starts to return to “normal”. Your events, Jessica, have been fantastic, interesting and so well researched. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara, thank *you* — this comment means *a lot* to me! I’m glad, too, that so many of us have been able to connect through these shared passions for culture and beauty and knowledge, especially at a time when there’s been so much loss and pain around us. As much as I’m looking forward to giving in-person events in NYC again, I do want to stay in touch with these wider circles through virtual programs! 🙂


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