|About the Book|
All my genius resides in my nostrils, claimed Friedrich Nietzsche. Now comes a splendid new voice to bear him out - Annick Le Guérer. In this enchanting, erudite, and highly readable exploration of all things olfactory, she investigates the uses and properties of scent through the ages in relation to magic, myth, religion, sex, discrimination, philosophy, and medicine. From the perfumed rituals of ancient religions to the saintly odor of sanctity- from the aromatic cures of the Middle Ages to the black market for spiceladen mummies- from Prousts tea-dipped madeleine to our contemporary odorphobia, Le Guérer explains and documents the mysterious and essential powers of smell: to attract or repel- call up deep memory- induce lust, love, hunger, even trance. Recalling by turns Patrick Suskinds Perfume and Diane Ackermans A Natural History of the Senses, Scent is an enchanting melange of storytelling and scholarship, a sensual journey across boundaries of time and culture that touches on universal myths and intimate desires.