Posts Tagged ‘perfume’

EPISODE 394: I thought you were going to strip-search me for eggs

February 4, 2021

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In Answer Me This Episode 394, listeners are struggling with questions about:

catnip for lions
the humerus/funny bone/ulnar nerve/little Jew
Fabergé eggs
all the cool stuff that used to be on Woodhouse Moor
Gallifreyian garden features
treadmills in shoe shops
X-rays in shoe shops
your own children’s mediocrity
genies’ feet.

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App – available for Apple and Android – Olly struggles with home schooling.

Hear our other work:

• Helen makes The Allusionist, an entertainment show about language, and Veronica Mars Investigations, recapping every episode of Veronica Mars from the beginning – now powering to the end of season 3!
• Olly hosts many podcasts, and you can find them all at, including his monthly magazine show The Modern Mann and weekly under-the-radar-news show, The Week Unwrapped.
• Martin makes music – including a new EP – which you can hear, on the Pale Bird podcast, and on Spotify etc. You can also join him in contemplating the work of every song by Tom Waits Tom Waits in Song By Song, and he produced and composed the kids’ science podcast Maddie’s Sound Explorers, hosted by Maddie Moate.

Hang out with us online at and

This episode is sponsored by:
The Great Courses Plus, the streaming library of courses on topics from piano-playing to yoga to ancient history to dog training. AMT listeners get a free fortnight at
Squarespace. Visit and get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain with the discount code ‘answer‘.

Buy AMT episodes 1-200, our six special albums including the Valentines-appropriate AMT Love, and our Best Of compilations from 2007-2015 at

Send us your QUESTIONS, in writing or as voice recordings, to for us to answer in future episodes.

We’ll be back with AMT395 on 4 March, and there’ll be a Retro AMT episode in your feeds on 18 February.

Helen & Olly

••• AMT394 Child-Friendly Rating: 82%. Pretty savoury, although some references to things that are problematic. •••


smells like old lady spirit

February 3, 2015



Here’s a question of pongs from Tom from Yerevan, Armenia:

I have recently given up smoking and as a result my sense of smell and taste have begun to return, which is bloody wonderful.

I am also dating a lovely Iranian woman who I like very much. However, there is one tiny problem. She wears perfume every day. In fact she wears a lot of perfume every day. Back when I was smoking I didn’t really notice and in fact I quite liked how she smelled, but now I have started to notice with my heightened senses that the scent can be a little overpowering at times.

Furthermore, the perfume she wears is a very popular brand where we live in Yerevan (Armenia) and many older women also wear it.

I don’t want her to stop wearing perfume altogether, but I think I would be happier if she wore less, or maybe switched to something that is a little different to what she wears now.

So please answer me this: How can I tell my wonderful Iranian girlfriend that she smells like an old Armenian woman without causing upset or some sort of difficult diplomatic situation??

First tip: avoid using the phrase ‘smells like an old Armenian woman’.

If my creaking old memory serves, we’ve addressed this problem before – I think one of you had an overly scented grandmother? – and solutions included 1) buying her a watered-down version of the same fragrance, eg the eau de toilette versus the full-power perfume; 2) pretending to be allergic to it by sneezing/painting on a rash. Readers, what would you do? [RWWYD?]


EPISODE 286 – code with a condom

March 27, 2014

Hello listeners!

Very exciting news: we’ve made a Radio 4 documentary to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the word ‘podcast’. It’s in two installments, out at 11am on Friday 4th and 11th April. It features many podcasting luminaries – including Marc Maron, Roman Mars, Keith and the Girl, Theresa Thorn, Betty in the Sky, the Buglers, the Night Valers, and also our old adversary Richard Herring. If you can’t wait for eight whole days to hear us talk to him, listen to the recent RHLSTP in which we air all that dirty laundry.

Amid all this talk of other things to listen to, don’t forget to apply yourself to Answer Me This! Episode 286:

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In which we discuss:

chilled red wine
velvet ropes
decorative sticks
babysitting vs kitten-sitting
Mardi Gras vs Pancake Day
Navajo rugs vs dreamcatchers
Glastonbury scheduling
EcuadorPanama hats
London’s cat cafe
mythical bestiality
the first ever porn film.

Plus: Olly was all business, no pleasure at his school leavers’ ball; Helen prefers the pong of garlic breath to perfume; and Martin the Sound Man worries about worldly souvenirs making him into a bellend. Don’t worry Martin, you were already a bellend! JK. (Or is it?)

Today’s Bit of Crap on the App contains more perfume-chat, in which Olly sabotages any future he had as a department store perfume salesperson. Pinch your nose and spray the app into your ears from your iDevices, Android or Windows gadgets.

Here’s something that doesn’t stink: today’s episode-funders offering you a 10% discount off their services for a whole year if you use the code answer3. What a breath of fresh air!

And finally, we ask that you take a deep breath and send us your QUESTIONS: call the Question Line (call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis) or email

Back in a fortnight!

Helen & Olly

AMT286 Child-Friendly Rating: 42%. First three quarters are clean, apart from a couple of questioneer-led swears. The episode ends on a question about porn films, but by then your children will probably have fallen asleep during the earlier question about road signs.



October 10, 2013



Here’s some retro feedback from Courtney from Columbus, Ohio: retro not only because she’s contemplating a three-year-old episode of AMT, but also because it reminds us of that misty faraway time when people actually quite liked Jeremy Piven. The end-point of this era was somewhere between Grosse Pointe Blank and the start of Entourage – but not for Courtney! The embers of Piv-love still glow and crackle in her heart, which must be a very generous organ indeed if she decided to embark upon listening to AMT chronologically.

She writes:

I found out about your podcast recently and have since been cruising through the episodes – starting with episode ONE!!! The past few episodes, you’ve really been plugging your new book, and with Christmas right around the corner, I may just have to indulge…

Moments ago I listened to AMT158 where you discussed the placement of the perfume counters at the entrances of department stores. I cannot possibly know if someone has written in SINCE episode 158 and I therefore apologize in advance if this has become redundant.

Like many people, I’ve taken a liking to the actor Jeremy Piven, both for his notorious role on Entourage as well as his general demeanor. Last year he had a run on PBS with a show entitled Mr. Selfridge (which again I am not current with and may or may not still be running) as one of the founding fathers of department stores.

On an introductory special, the directors or producers or some equally important behind the scenes people said that when department stores first came about, the human race was still widely using horses and buggies. Needless to say, people were stepping in the road apples, and when they’d enter a shop, the carpets would become disgustingly foul. It was said that Mr. Selfridge or one of his contemporaries decided that if the perfumes were at the front, the stench would be covered, or at least toned down.

Just thought I’d share – love what I’m hearing so far. Although I’m far behind, I hope you’re still “in business”.

We ARE still in business Courtney, thanks! And even better now we know the term ‘road apples’.

Can anybody supply confirmation (or refutation) of the historical information asserted in Mr Selfridge? It seems plausible enough, until you remember that perfume departments are more insidiously stinky than a street full of Edwardian effluent.


EPISODE 245 – space chutney

February 7, 2013

Hello listeners,

What are the smells that trigger certain feelings or memories for you? Does the scent of a rose transport you back to eating Turkish Delight with your gran? Do exhaust fumes remind you of that trip to Rome where you lost your wallet but gained some minor STDs? Does cider bring back all too vividly that time you puked into your dad’s slippers?

Whatever the flavour of your nasal nostalgia, take a big sniff and listen to Answer Me This! Episode 245:

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Today we speak of:

Annie Lennox
bouquet tossing
the grapevine
the cheesy moon
the Earl of Grantham’s house before he moved into Downton Abbey
Arrested Development vs. Arrested Development
sexy dill
wedding suits
Marvin Gaye: phone engineer
DVD/Blu-ray ordering
the lies of David Sneddon.

Also: Olly’s not a bad driver, it’s just his cursed jumper; Helen is abusing her magnificent brain, by filling it with shitcoms then hitting it with beer bottles; and Martin the Sound Man’s impression of Gregg Wallace is uncannilly shitty.

This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices and Android) is a question from Ellen in North Carolina about the Tim Tam Explosion. If you’re not sure what that is, imagine the Australian version of the Soggy Biscuit Game.

On the subject of sweet things, see the proof of Thorntons icing HERE. But this innocentish fun has a dark side, and we don’t just mean 70% cocoa solids dark. As you’ll find out in the episode, Thorntons are striking back! Ulp…

Assuming Thorntons haven’t shut us down by next week, send us your QUESTIONS: email them to or leave voicemails on the Question Line by calling 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis.


Helen & Olly


EPISODE 158 – two tennis balls and a banana

November 25, 2010

Dear listeners,

In this special commemorative plate of podcasts, Answer Me This! Episode 158, we join in with the national celebrations of the romance of our age. For finally, after years of waiting, years of frustration, years of public speculation…Pudsey Bear is finally getting his end away.

This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p at the Answer Me This! Store, through a secure server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)

We also mention:
Wills’n’Kate (o jubilate deo!)
Marilyn Monroe
the US Weather Bureau
Audrey Horne
augmented reality vs. unaugmented reality
Jean Paul Gaultier vs. dog saliva
Dexter’s bloody cologne
pox patches
the true meaning of eau de toilette
the Queen’s blingy carriage
the unsung beauty that is Robert De Niro.

Plus: Olly surmises that the West Country is boozed up to the eyeballs 24/7; Helen gives tips for turning your unsightly syphilitic blemishes into a join-the-dots game on your face; and Martin the Sound Man manages to compare the Gospels to Rashomon and the other religious texts of the world to something far worse. This week’s Bit of Crap on the App is a question from Curtis from Guildford about what we’d call a games console if we were to invent one. Luckily that day is far, far off.

We also have a bit of a disagreement about which of the Queen’s speeches is actually the Queen’s Speech; help us settle it once and for all:

You can send us QUESTIONS for future shows by leaving a voicemail on the Question Line 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or emailing And if you’re a student, unemployed, or have an unusually generous lunch hour, please pop down to Rough Trade East at noon on Friday 26th, which is where and when we’ll be doing a reading from our book and signing copies. We are also available for signing wedding certificates, will forms, decrees nisi, blank cheques…

See you next week!

Helen and Olly

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EPISODE 109 – women are mammals

September 17, 2009

Good morning, congregation,

It’s Thursday yet again, which means there’s a fresh episode of Answer Me This!. We say fresh. It’s Episode 109, so freshness is but a distant memory to these podcasters. Eh well, better an oak tree than an ingenue, as my mother has never said to my knowledge…

This classic episode is available to BUY NOW for just 79p, through iTunes or a secure PayPal server, without DRM restriction. CLICK HERE to find out more and support our podcast. (This helps keep our most recent episodes free)

So what’s in store for you today?

The secret of eggshells
Space Raiders
Elizabeth Taylor
Michael Alig
Richard Marx
tinned peach aristocracy
lapdancers vs. raw pizza
Hilary Duff vs. Hilary Swank.
party dogs
party dwarves
Andy Crane
the correlation between Noel’s House Party and Rude Facials.

Furthermore, Olly compares Isadora Duncan to an iBook; Helen proves to be no great shakes at adage-making; and Martin the Sound Man sniffs out Joan Rivers. Not in any sort of improper way, we hasten to add.

Next week, Episode 110 will blossom forth, so get your QUESTIONS in: email, or croon them into the ear of Skype ID answermethis or the question line 0208 123 5877. Also, place your bids for names for a potential Answer Me This! perfume range in the COMMENTS below! (Don’t worry, it will never happen. Unless we hear that Keith and the Girl or Ira Glass will be the first podcaster to bring out a fragrance and our competitive streaks overpower us and sign a three-stink deal with Coty.)

See you next week!

Helen and Olly

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