About Genevive Bjorn

I am a freelance journalist turned digital media geek. My work has appeared in The New York Times, Science, Nature, Nature Medicine, and Hana Hou!, the inflight magazine of Hawaiian Airlines. I am also a fellow of the Knight Digital Media Center, where I learned the ins and outs of digital media. Visit my website for more information.

Vibration theory of smell makes a comeback

luca-turin-vibration-theory-of-smell

Fifteen years ago Luca Turin, now in biophysics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, first hypothesized that primary smell perception occurs via electron tunneling in the olfactory nerves. His theory challenged the existing idea that humans detect odors according to the shape of … [Read more...]

How to ask for a fragrance policy

how-to-ask-for-fragrance-policy

Want to approach an agency, business, faith community, or healthcare facility and ask them consider starting a fragrance policy? Follow these simple steps to ensure that the process is friendly and informative. … [Read more...]

Rise of fragrance free policies across the US

map-fragrance-policy-by-city-US

Fragrance free policies have proliferated in the past 10 years in the US, starting in 2001 with the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston through last month when the city council Portland passed a voluntary ban effecting public workers. … [Read more...]

Axe may get the ax at high school

how-girls-react-to-boys-wearing-axe

Read "Axe Cologne" and what comes to mind? Possibly an image of high school guys doused in the stuff hoping to attract girls. This week The Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School in Bourne, MA, has taken up the issue of indoor air quality and is considering banning perfume and cologne, including … [Read more...]

Portland now first US city to voluntarily ban fragrance

fragrance is a common ingredient in most consumer products

The city council of Portland, OR,on February 24  passed a fragrance-free policy that discourages public workers from wearing scented products to work. The ban effectively makes Portland the first city in the U.S. to voluntarily create with fragrance-free public spaces. The action is voluntary, … [Read more...]

Should you wear scented products to work?

poll should you wear scented products at work

Employers have begun asking workers to refrain from wearing and using scented personal and cleaning products at work. Now there are at least a dozen major institutions across the US covering over 100,000 people. What do you think? … [Read more...]

First US fragrance policy at work turns 10

Brigham-and-Women's-Hospital-Boston-MA

Peggy Wolf is a nurse and member of the organization Healthcare without Harm. She advocated for the first fragrance-free policy in the US, modeled on the QEII Hospital in Halifax. … [Read more...]

Halifax celebrates 20 years fragrance free

A generation of young business people in Halifax are fragrance-free at work

In 2011 Halifax marks its 20th anniversary as the first city in North America to go fragrance free at work. The idea started in a local hospital and spread to other businesses. Now an entire generation of young people has grown up without wearing scented beauty and body products in public spaces. … [Read more...]

Stories that start with a sniff

Dogs-sniffing-at-the-beach

Is it true that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans? In a word, yes. Their noses contain about 10 times more olfactory neurons that ours do. But that doesn't mean that they are better at every type of smelling. Because of their anatomical prowess, dogs excel at long-distance detection. But … [Read more...]

Scentinelle, where are you?

Dear Scentintelle, I'm back from vacation, but you're not. Where are you? Are you coming back? Without you, life is dull. There is so much that I miss. All of those smells! So much complexity and surprise - truly a gift. I am changed because of you. I no longer judge smells as harshly, and … [Read more...]