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  1. #1

    Default looking for quotes about perfume

    Hi everyone -

    I have a low post-count but visit as often as my schedule allows. I am working on a classification project for my library science class, and the fragrance family classification system and Edward's Fragrance Wheel seems to be a perfect example.

    I was wondering if anyone knows of any perfume quotes referring to the elusiveness of scent and the effort to classify, obtain and command it, something a la Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. I haven't read the book yet, but it is being delivered to me - I just wanted to exhaust all resources, not just that book alone.

    Thank you for any help you all can provide!

  2. #2

    Default Re: looking for quotes about perfume

    I think Luca Turin and Chandler Burr's books are the best sources

  3. #3

    Default Re: looking for quotes about perfume

    If you're looking for writing about the classification of fragrance in particular this may not be very helpful, but one wonderful little book of literary quotations about fragrance is called, A Nosegay. It's by Lara Feigel. Virginia Woolf's novel from a dog's perspective, Flush, is the closest thing I know of to Suskind's Perfume. Again the fun here is in smelling rather than seeing an otherwise familiar world. Oh, and Calvino's loopy little kickass short story, "The Name, The Nose" in his posthumous Under the Jaguar Sun. One suspects that he might have revised it before he'd have published it himself but it's a thrilling read. Aaaand thought of another one: The (anti-?) hero of Huysmans' A rebours actually takes up the same task you've set for yourself in the 10th chapter of that book.

    The section on smell in Diane Ackerman's book, A Natural History of the Senses, would certainly be worth a read. Corbin's The Foul and the Fragrant is great if you're interested in connections between fragrance and traditional Western medicine. It's a book on stink and disease in, mostly, 18th C France. And Mandy Aftel's Essence and Alchemy is a good source of clear, basic info about perfumery and alchemy. Aftel's bibliography is a little treasure in itself. I imagine some time spent with Chinese medical manuals would yield some principles of classification.

    Sounds like a cool project. Report back when you're done?

    PS Afraafra's suggestion of reading Turin and Burr on Turin is a really good one. Often when Turin describes scent he makes analogies between the tones of smells and the tones of various musical instruments. Which makes sense because his model of olfaction is that smell is, like sound, is created by vibration at a particular frequency. Burr lays it out really nicely in The Emperor of Scent. So one obvious ordering principle is right there fer ya.
    Last edited by Strollyourlobster; 2nd October 2008 at 11:28 PM.

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