Making Scents of Fungi

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - Making Scents of Fungi, from Stench to Perfume

Christian Schwarz with Amanita

Making Scents of Fungi, from Stench to Perfume by Christian Schwarz

If you've ever gone on a walk with an old-time mushroom picker, you've probably noticed that they often lift mushrooms to their noses as soon as they pick them... Why is that? Besides being intriguing, alluring, and surprising, aromas can be extremely important clues for identification. Come take an olfactory tiptoe through the world of fungi!


Christian Schwarz is a naturalist based in California, the land of milk (caps) and honey (mushrooms). He teaches Natural History of Fungi at UC Santa Cruz, and co-authored "Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast”. He now spends his time photographing, teaching about, collecting, and researching macrofungi. Fungi satisfy his curiosity with their seemingly endless forms; from the grotesque to the bizarre to the sublime. Besides dabbling in mushroom taxonomy, he loves fish, plants, nudibranchs, moths, and dragonflies. He is passionate about community science, especially iNaturalist. He is a Research Associate at the Norris Center for Natural History at UCSC as well as the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden.