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Listen to “Led by the Nose”

In a growing number of artisanal shops dotted around the globe, indie perfume artists are bottling a world of scents left untapped by commercial fragrance houses.

Led by the Nose

If you’re tired of smelling like everyone else, you can say ‘no’ to the big perfume houses, and their overpriced, generic scents. In a growing number of kitchen labs and small shops around the globe, small-scale perfume artists are bottling a world of intoxicating new scents. Some seem to give new meaning to the concept of time travel.

By BARBARA TANNENBAUM

Listen to “The Reed Artist”

In his quest to meet Turkey’s elusive master of the ney, our contributor spent months searching the cafes and alleys of Istanbul,  illuminating not only the reasons the ney all but disappeared from the country, but how (and why) it has come back.

The Reed Artist

A writer searches Istanbul’s cafés and alleys for the king of the ney, an enigmatic — and at times, endangered — flute that has long been a mainstay of Muslim musical traditions.

By ROLLO ROMIG

A Home-Grown Social Entrepreneur

Since 2010, Kelly Carlisle has been breaking new ground—literally— for youngsters in East Oakland and beyond, using an urban farm to inspire them to engage with the world as curious citizens. “Part of my work,” she says, “is to make sure we expand their worldview.”

By WILL CALLAN

Listen to “Japan’s Gorgeous, Precarious Fishing Poles”

Japanese master craftsmen can command up to $100,000 for turning bamboo into a fishing pole. Yet, this time-honored craft is at the brink of extinction — and it’s not the only one. How could this happen in a country that, for centuries, has served as a model of handmade perfection?

Aya Rokeach: Notes from a Young Oboist

Aya Rokeach is tall and sunny, with long French braids and a gap-tooth smile. She first encountered the oboe at five, while attending a symphony performance with her family. “My dad’s a musician, so I focus on instruments in concerts a lot. I fell in love with the oboe’s sound. I was no more than…

A Traditional Balinese Craft Rediscovers Its Roots — in Leaves

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Bali, Indonesia, you might have fond memories of white-sand beaches, ornate temples, and gracious hospitality. But for many Western visitors, the island’s most striking feature is its rich cultural heritage, including its many craft traditions. From the daily religious offerings made of rice, flowers, and banana leaves,…

Listen to “Straw Bale: The Ultra-Ecological House”

As our environmental challenges mount — from devastating wildfires to hurricanes and floods — one solution, largely ignored thus far, may lie in using an unlikely-sounding material for home-building: straw. Has the lowly straw bale home’s time finally come?

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