Lonestar Memories: Colombina on Perfumesmellingthings. (...)Lonestar Memories makes me want to escape the mundane confines of my everyday world(...)

Lonestar Memories: Katie on Scentzilla. (...) Lonestar Memories smells of the examined life. Inside there is joy, and there is tiny heartbreak, e xisting only in reverie. The scent unravels into the consideration of past experiences, and pinings for future joys and heartbreaks(...)

Lonestar Memories: Marlen Harrison's review on PerfumeCritic.com (...) If you're a lover of leather or richer wood fragrances, this is gonna be a holy grail scent and in that case, better get two bottles.(...)

Lonestar Memories: Cait Shortell's review on Legerdenez. (...) Do you appreciate scent because you identify with the scent and its image? Does a scent have the ability to create a memory outside one’s own experience?(...)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Scents and camel market

Le miasme et le Jonquille. L’odorat et l’imaginaire sociale social XVIII-XIX siècle.

(By Alain Corbin, Edition Aubier Montaigne, Paris 1982, ISBN 3 803135176)

I reserved his highly educative 300 plus pages book for my vacation in Tunesia. And right so: It is worth spending some time on this book about the changes in perception of scents and the deodorisation in Paris from early 18th century until the end of 19th century. While visiting the camel market in Sousse, I tried to imagine what life in Paris in 1750 must have been like. Not that the camel market would be a dirty place in itself, just the assembly of hundreds of people on a few square meters, the mix of oriental spices, fruits and vegetables, the fish and meat market around the corner, might share a faint resemblance with Paris in its dirty days. By the way: There are no camels to be bought on the market anymore, except for the toy camels for tourists.

What is interesting about the book is the following: It brings forward the idea that the new perception of scents at the turn of the 18th century is linked with a changed perception of diseases (which are thought to be transmitted by so called miasma which in turn can be smelled) and public hygiene and from there on to the change in the way the individual human being is perceived. Of course, the perception of scents and with it the societal urge to deodorise is like a mirror, reflecting the changes in society and science. First, the deodorisation was very much focused on the public places, the city itself, in the end the individual bourgeois home was the target of privatisation. Finally, with the advent of less tolerance towards strong (bad) scents there arises a new perspective for ones own scents, a new sensibility arises which in turn leads to development of a new class of perfumery and a changed individuality. This, in a nutshell, is my conclusion of the book. But there is much more in it, worth studying.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Herziges Föteli.
Du kannst sehr gut englisch!

1:50 AM  

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