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Smell: The Secret Seducer by Piet Vroon

Smell: The Secret Seducer

by Piet Vroon, Anton van Amerongen, Hans de Vries

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Dr. Vroon, a Dutch psychologist, wrote this book described on the endpapers as, 'odd and surprising'. That is a very generous blurb. Dr. Vroon, in his very quirky, personal way, takes the reader through everything possible to do with smell, whether it is a chemical notation at the molecular level, or its evolutionary connection with ovulation to why we shouldn't buy cheap perfumes - they smell nasty after a minute or two. (Don't they just?)

The only really interesting fact I learned from this book is that 'a Nose', the perfumer's expert who actually puts together those high-priced little bottles of scent that are the essence of the unnecessary, the luxurious, actually can't smell fine distinctions outside of his speciality. That is, he isn't actually more gifted at identifying the fine gradations of odours, but is trained to do so with certain fragrances. Send him to a whisky distillery and he would not able to distinguish all the complex flavours and aromas any better than anyone else who had a sensitive nose but no training.

What is slightly odd about all this, is that women have a much more sensitive sense of smell than me, but all the perfumers' Noses are men. Still. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Final verdict: totally boring, but not unreadable. Two stars. ( )
  Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vroon, Pietprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amerongen, Anton vanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Vries, Hans demain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374257043, Hardcover)

An author explores how some cultures have valued the sense of smell, while others have decried it as evidence of decadence or barbarism and others, such as our own, try to cleanse the air of any pungent smells at all."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:30 -0400)

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