Scents and Sensibility : Perfumes and What They Remind Us Of
A new exhibition traces the history of perfume, from the frankincense and myrrh of ancient times to the celebrity fragrances of today. It's nothing less than the story of our civilization, argues, Michael Bywater.
History would have it that perfume, whose very name comes from the Latin pro fumum, "through smoke", was originally reserved for the gods. It doesn't hold water. What the gods wanted was the rank blood smoke of sacrificial victims, and if a more fragrant offering were burnt before them, it was to disguise the smell from us, not to please them.
Let's discuss our favorite scents and what they remind us of.
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