For years Kate Grenville knew that synthetic fragrances gave her headaches, but thought she must be the only one with the problem. She was startled to find that one person in three gets headaches, breathing problems or nausea from fragrance. And no wonder – even the fragrance industry admits that some of its products are irritants, allergens, carcinogens or hormone disrupters. The acclaimed author of The Secret River has delved into the science behind fragrance to write an accessible and personal book that will make you think about the artificial scents that surround us every day. In conversation with Caroline Baum.

Please note: We ask all attendees to please refrain from wearing perfume, cologne, and other fragrances for the comfort of others at this event.

Kate Grenville (Australian)

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Kate Grenville is one of Australia's most celebrated writers. Her most recent book, The Case Against Fragrance, is an accessible and personal investigation into the science of scent and the power of the fragrance industry. Her earlier books include The Secret River, One Life: My Mother's Story, The Idea of Perfection which won the Orange Prize, Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant and Lillian's Story.

Caroline Baum (Australian)

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Caroline Baum is a writer, journalist and broadcaster. The founding editor of Good Reading magazine and former features editor of Vogue Australia, Caroline was the editorial director of Booktopia and has also been a presenter for the ABC TV and a producer (RN). In 2015 Caroline was awarded the Hazel Rowley Fellowship. Her first book, Only: A singular memoir, is an exploration of the often fraught terrain of being the only child of parents with a troubled European past.