Scenting Orphan Black’s Clone Club
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04th August, 2017

If you haven’t seen Orphan Black, you’re missing out on one of the best performances by any actor on any television programme that has ever been aired, ever. Tatiana Maslany, who finally won an Emmy last year for her portrayal of Sarah (and everyone else), plays several genetic identicals or illegal clones that have found one another and fight for their survival.


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The show raises questions about ethics, nature vs nurture, the future of humanity and tech. The show has recently returned for its fifth and final season, and I’ve set out to pick the right fragrances for each of the Leda ‘sestras’.

About the author: Nick Gilbert

Nick has been working in the world of fragrance for over 15 years. He is co-founder of Olfiction, a creative scent agency offering fragrance development, training, copy and content production. He is frequently quoted in the press and has provided perfumery training globally, from London to Seoul.



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      • Juxtapozbliss | 4th August 2017 16:41

        HAHAHA! This article is awesome.

        I love fantasy and sci fi shows, so I'll have to seek this one out. Question about these clones...were they all borne at the same time? What happened to the original? Because one thing that bothers me about typical cloning stories is that clones don't just burst out as adults, the same age as the original. Clones (like animal clones, which actually have been created) start as babies. So when people make jokes like "Would you have sex with your clone?" I'm like...your clone would start out as a baby, dumbass. They don't hyper-age to adulthood. Pshhh.

        At any rate, a clone is no different from any living thing of the same species. It's fully a sheep or cat or a human, just happens to have the same genetic structure as some other individual. Like an identical twin, basically. And as seen from animal clones, they actually often LOOK quite different (different fur colors, for example) from the original. Apparently there are many factors that affect appearance unrelated to pure genetics, such as possibly the chemicals present in the womb, the nutrients provided to feed the fetus, etc. So basically, clones should have the same right as any human, it's absurd to do anything less. It's like asking if one identical twin should have rights but not the other.

      • epapsiou | 4th August 2017 17:10

        The article should have come with a SPOILER ALERT tag.

        Oh well.

      • Juxtapozbliss | 4th August 2017 17:12

        Fair point. He should add that to the intro paragraph.

      • Gblue (article author) | 4th August 2017 19:14

        4 seasons have already aired by over a year ago. There are no spoilers for season 5 as this was written before the start of the season. But noted - I'll ask Grant to add a spoiler warning :)

      • Gblue (article author) | 4th August 2017 19:20

        The original clones were all born within a few months of one another.

      • epapsiou | 4th August 2017 19:22

        I think the main story with Orphan Black is why did it take 4 years for Tatiana Maslany to get an Emmy. Hard to do scenes where all 4 characters in a scene are just you in different makeup and clothes :)

      • Juxtapozbliss | 4th August 2017 19:49

        Do you ever meet the original? Is she much older than the clones (clone age + however old she was when they were borne)?

      • Grant | 4th August 2017 20:17

        Re Spoilers — I should have added a spoiler note — though done now.


      • Gblue (article author) | 5th August 2017 09:18

        Yes. Much older :)

      • gillifoster | 7th August 2017 06:17

        Terrific! I love the concept - really loved your choices and commentary.

      • ClaireV | 7th August 2017 10:19

        What a wonderful read - thanks, Nick! I admit that I only watched the first episode, but if I were to scent it, hmmm, maybe I'd pick Chaos by Donna Karan....

      • scentsitivity | 8th August 2017 13:24

        First of all, it's a great show and i recommend anyone who hasn't seen it and likes this kind of thing to watch it.

        As to Helena, I picture her in something that is a mix of a peat bog and birch tar: leathery, earthy.

      • Diamondflame | 9th August 2017 23:55

        Thanks for that enjoyable read, Nick.

        Btw if the original was cloned when she was a baby then the clones would all be around the same age as her, wouldn't they?