Introducing The Scentaur Blogroll
The Scentaur has a blogroll now.
But this isn’t just any blogroll. It’s a comprehensive directory of all the blogs in the fragrance space. Or all the ones I can find, anyway.
What’s a blogroll, you ask? It’s a list of other blogs or bloggers that one links to, usually one’s friends or other bloggers within their niche. Many fragrance bloggers keep blogrolls. It’s a bit of an old-fashioned relic from the era of personal blogs as the primary form of social media for the average person, kind of like a public friends list.
The fragrance community has been blogging for a long time, and thus tends to cling to social blogging traditions like the blogroll. The problem is that the perfume blog space has been around for so long that many (and in some cases, most) of the blogs people link to are no longer there.
So I undertook an effort to compile the most comprehensive fragrance community blogroll. Consider it a directory of sorts listing all of the active, inactive, and offline blogs in the fragrance space. I include individual blogs, but also multi-author magazine-style blogs, news feeds maintained by platforms like Basenotes and Fragrantica, and company blogs.
In total, The Scentaur Blogroll lists over two hundred different blogs in the fragrance, perfume, and cologne space. The vast majority of them are either inactive or offline, but a good number are still alive and kicking, and I find it really helpful to have a list of them all in one place.
This was a really fulfilling community history project to complete. It’s always so wonderful reading other people’s blogs, even if they haven’t been updated in years. And there’s really a sense of the magnitude and longevity of the community in observing the sheer number of fragrance blogs that have existed as long as the Internet has been around.
One of the more solemn parts of the process involved collecting the names of blogs that have since gone offline. In most cases, their domains didn’t get renewed. In some cases, those domains were promptly scooped up by shady businesses looking to redirect fans of the blogs to their scam, online casino, or other unsavory sort of website. For this reason, I don’t include links to any of the offline blogs, and encourage you not to go looking for them. It’s sad that they’re gone, but oftentimes revisiting the old URL will only bring you to something you didn’t want to see.
You can find more notes on my process and see how things are organized for yourself by clicking over to the blogroll. You can also find it listed under the “explore” tab at the top of the site.
The second part of this project that I had high hopes for was building a search engine on top of the blogroll. I was hoping it would be a cool way to cut through all the nonsense that’s in typical search engines when I’m looking for reviews of a fragrance and have to wade through pages and pages of product offerings from big brands and tangentially related Fragrantica entries.
So I hopped over to Google’s Programmable Search Engine toolkit and set up a search engine on top of the list of blogs (subtracting Basenotes, Fragrantica, and Profumo, because those sites are so large and authoritative that their results clogged up several pages of the search engine for every possible query, even when they weren’t remotely related).
The results are… okay. I’m not going to integrate it as a major feature of my blog at this time. The trouble is that using Google’s tools limits me with the same limitations of Google Search itself — namely, indexing on some of the smaller blogs is extremely limited, and the most popular websites tend to fill up the first pages of the search results even if the pages they’re serving up aren’t at all related.
If I could get full indexing of all of the included websites and have some more control over the search ranking algorithm, I would be much happier with the result. As it were, it is what it is. Here’s a link in case you’d like to play with the fragrance blog search engine anyway. If it’s a project people are really interested in, I can look into other ways to go about it and achieve the results I’m hoping for.
That’s all I’ve got! I hope you enjoy the resource and find it helpful. Find a new active fragrance blog to read or take a walk down memory lane reading through blogs that haven’t been updated in a while.
P.S.: Speaking of site updates, we have a dark mode now! It should load automatically if your browser is set to prefer dark mode. I’m still tweaking it, so if you’re a dark mode user, let me know what you think!