Quarterly.co is a subscription service for wonderful things. People can subscribe to a curator (such as me, Joel Johnson, Veronica Belmont, Tim Ferriss, Joshua Foer, Gretchen Rubin, and others) to receive a box of items selected by the curator.
In my most recent mailing (MLF03), I sent my subscribers a fungal infection. From my letter:
Before you call a hazardous waste team to dispose of it, though, read what what Chandler Burr, author of the fascinating book, The Emperor of Scent, has to say about the odor of oudh:
It's a drop-dead smell, very complex, honey, fresh tobacco, spices, amber, cream. ... Incredibly strong, first of all. It knocks you over, clubs you like a falling stone. But its vast dimension is what astonishes: a huge smell, spatially immense, and incredibly complex, a buttery layer as deep as a quarry…
Oudh grows inside a particular species of evergreen tree in south Asia. When the fungus attacks the tree, its wood becomes dark and resinous. Oudh is arguably the most-highly prized ingredient for perfume makers and a pound can cost as much as $25,000 (making it over six time more costly than high-grade medical cannabis).
Below, more photos from my mailing.