This Christmas, world renowned performing arts venue, cultural attraction and education centre Shakespeare’s Globe will show Christmas at the (Snow) Globe. As part of their dedication to making performance accessible, the production will have an audio described performance with a set touch tour for visually impaired visitors. To enhance this aspect of the production, Shakespeare’s Globe commissioned Olfiction to create fragrances which evoke all of the sensations and scents of Christmas.
The team at Olfiction created accords of Snow, Christmas Tree, and Pomanders as well as a finished fragrance which combines all of these elements.
Talking about the experience, Olfiction Perfumer, Pia Long, said:
“A Finnish person being asked to make the smell of a Nordic Christmas? Absolutely!
The challenge of doing things that are very well known by people is harder than it seems, because if you don’t get it right, it is as though you have ruined something that is personally important to them. It’s a fun challenge to make something that if you give the scent to someone, they will smell it and say ‘that’s Christmas!’.
I particularly enjoyed making snow because it is so abstract, more like a sensation than a smell – and it’s not until you think about it that you realise there is a smell. I’ve always felt that some aldehydes smelled like snow. That was the most fun to do as a perfumer – it’s something that you know and you don’t, because it isn’t as though there is a snow essential oil!”
A sensation of cold crisp air and frozen earth.
“As though you are walking into a snowy landscape and take a big lungful of snowy air, it’s got the snow but also the frozen ground under the snow. I wanted you to sense that there are trees in the background. It’s very much a Nordic landscape on a crisp winter morning when it’s well below zero.”
Notes: Aldehydes, Juniper, Cyclamen, Black Pepper, Cold Effects
A picture-perfect Christmas tree.
“I wanted to do a spruce as it’s growing, ready to be your Christmas tree – so here are the fresh young shoots as well as the smell of the Christmas tree when you bring it into your house for Christmas. So, it’s Nordic spruce, not a typical pine – the smell is more delicate and leafy, there’s almost a fruitiness to it and it’s absolutely the smell of Christmas for me. It’s not Christmas until you have the real live tree in the house. The tradition was that you would go and physically fetch your tree on Christmas Eve, and you’d go to cut it down from the forest as a family.”
Notes: Fir Balsam abs, Cypress, Elemi, Labdanum, Amber, Oakmoss, Pine
A traditional orange pomander dotted in spices.
“For this accord, I wanted to capture an orange pomander with cloves, but I’ve also thought of the Christmas stockings stuffed with clementines and gingerbread – the whole idea is combining citrus and spices. There’s a bit of floralcy in this as well – I added carnations and orange blossom – to make it a bit more sophisticated.”
Notes: Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Orange, Orange Flower, Clementine, Mandarin, Carnation, Patchouli, Amber
This fragrance captures all of the sensations of the individual accords, in a wearable perfume that can be used by the actors and ushers as well as to scent the decorations and space.
“I wanted to take slices of each of the accords. Up top you’ve got the aldehydes from Snow Globe, and the spice and citrus from Pomander. From the Yule Tree, I’ve taken the resins and balsams and the ambery side, with some of the woodiness, so the complete fragrance is this warming and cosy Christmas hug. I’ve added a slight gingerbread note in there as well, to evoke the feeling of baking Christmas treats and festive cosiness.”
Notes: Aldehydes, Orange, Clementine, Mandarin, Jasmine Absolute, Cedarwood Atlas, Carnation, Cinnamon, Orange Flower Absolute, Clove, Nutmeg, Benzoin, Incense, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Fir Balsam, Labdanum, Oakmoss
About the Show
The Globe Theatre stands empty, the stage bare, the Christmas tree undecorated and we need your help.
Someone has stolen the magic of Christmas from Snowdrop, the fairy who stands watch over our wooden ‘O’ during the winter months. Comedian Sandi Toksvig and her merry gang need your help to find it and bring it back to the Globe.
Sing along to classic Christmas songs with the tremendous Fourth Choir, prepare to make paper chains to decorate the theatre and get ready to harness your belief in the spirit of the season to help restore some festive cheer.
This is a show for the entire family so tell everyone you know to put on their favourite Christmas jumpers and join us for the most heart-warming of gatherings.
Help us spread the cheer further. In the spirit of storytelling and gift giving, we’re inviting audiences to bring along a brand-new children’s book as a present to put under the Christmas at the (Snow) Globe tree, which we’ll donate to local charities that support children and young people.
Created and directed by Sandi Toksvig and Jenifer Toksvig, Christmas at the (Snow) Globe will have integrated BSL for every performance. There will be captioned performances on Sunday 22 December at 2.00PM and 6.00PM, and the audio described performance will be on Saturday 21 December at 2.00PM, with a touch and scent tour on the stage at 12 noon.