The reference is, as your researches suggested, to the poet Anna Akhmatova Gorenko.
She had a nose which called attention to itself. While not unique in terms of human nasal ornaments, it was a nose which many women might find difficult to live with. In an article about the poet the Pushkin House cultural centre's website says of an iconic photograph by Moisei Nappelbaum:
The photo is taken in profile, which emphasises Akhmatova’s aquiline nose. On the other hand, it reminds one of a monarch’s head on a coin, and automatically connotes power and authority. In both Altman’s and Nappelbaum’s cases, we can see how Akhmatova’s myth worked. It was her mystical, monarchist aura that first appealed to her admirers, who in turn went on to perpetuate her myth.
This evokes images of coins such as those depicting Octavius and Mark Anthony.
My reading is that the chemist may have found her nose to be unfeminine, fitting for ancient Caesars and commanders rather than modern women, and perhaps felt self conscious about and burdened by it rather than wearing it proudly as Anna Akhmatova apparently did and embracing it as a part of her personal iconography.
It should also be noted that admirer's of the Aquiline Nose don't always value it purely for its aesthetics, the Wikipedia article on Roman Noses makes reference to the nose-type's significance in racialist discourse.
In racialist discourse, especially that of post-Enlightenment Western scientists and writers, a Roman nose has frequently been characterized as a marker of beauty and nobility, as in Plutarch's description of Mark Antony. The supposed science of physiognomy, popular during the Victorian era, made the "prominent" nose a marker of Aryanness: "the shape of the nose and the cheeks indicated, like the forehead's angle, the subject's social status and level of intelligence. A Roman nose was superior to a snub nose in its suggestion of firmness and power, and heavy jaws revealed a latent sensuality and coarseness". In the twentieth century, proponents of scientific racism, such as Madison Grant and William Z. Ripley, claimed the aquiline nose as characteristic of the peoples they variously identify as Nordic, Teutonic, Celtic, Norman, Frankish, and Anglo-Saxon.
That's quite a lot to balance on the end of one nose, so it is perhaps understandable if the chemist preferred to bury hers in a handkerchief sometimes.