Who am I?

My name is Jessica Murphy. I’m an art historian and museum professional with a passion for perfume, always looking for new ways to connect art, fragrance, history, and popular culture. 

In my scented life, I’ve been a contributor at the leading perfume blog Now Smell This since late 2006, writing reviews of fragrances and scented body products.

I’ve named this site “Perfume Professor” partly as a wink to my graduate school years, since my research skills and my curiosity about cultural context have enriched my lifelong enjoyment of perfume. 

I’m an independent writer: I’m not employed by any fragrance-related business, I have no financial interest or involvement in any brand or retail operation, and I’m not compensated financially for anything I write on this site. 

Since late 2015 I’ve offered presentations about the history and culture of fragrance at venues like the Brooklyn Brainery, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Public Library, and Think Olio. If you’re interested in hosting a private event for your company or organization, please get in touch through my Contact page.

Unfortunately, I can’t offer complimentary one-on-one fragrance recommendations via email, due to time limitations. If you’d like to discuss a fee for this kind of individual consultation, please contact me through my Contact page.


What’s my favorite fragrance?

It’s impossible for me to pick just one, but a few of my long-time loves are Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau, L’Artisan Parfumeur Drôle de Rose, Guerlain Après L’Ondée, Caron Nuit de Noël, Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin, and Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose. The fragrance industry being what it is…half of them have been discontinued.


My Fragrance Writing on Other Sites

Odorbet: “The Scent Seller.” December 13, 2020

Atlas Obscura: “Ann Haviland, Forgotten Mastermind of the Celebrity Scent.” December 19, 2017.

Biography.com: “Celebrity Perfumes: Fame in a Bottle.” July 22, 2014.

Podcasts, Etc.

Sylvia & Me, “Perfume Professor.” February 16, 2021.

Perfume on the Radio, Episode 3: “Questions of Class.” January 2021

Press Mentions

The New York Times: “Things to Do at Home.” January 9, 2021.

VOGUE.com: “A Night Out in a Bottle: Looking Back at the Fragrance That Defined Studio 54.” Interview about my “Making Scents of Studio 54” event for the Brooklyn Museum. October 16, 2020.

The William Vale Journal: “Frida Kahlo Fragrance Event.” Summary and photos of event at The William Vale Hotel. July 25, 2019.

Artnet: “Editors’ Picks: 19 Things Not To Miss in the Art World This Week.” July 22, 2019.

All Arts: “Beyond the Canvas: Five Fragrances Worn by Frida Kahlo.” Gillian Edevane and Britt Stigler. Detailed review of event at the Brooklyn Museum. April 22, 2019.

Inverse: “Why Men Are Realizing That Smelling Like a Desert Rose Isn’t Half Bad.” Interviewed by Greta Moran. June 18, 2018.

Project Calm: “The Science of Scent.” Interviewed by Sarah Gane. April 2018.

Inside Jersey (The Star Ledger): “Making Scents.” Interviewed by Vicki Hyman. December 1, 2012.