There is an interview with Richard Stamelman author of Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin, on the Vermont Public Radio on "All Things Considered".
You can click here to access the talk.
Two quick comments - 1) I don't think that he can generalize and say that before the 1880s there were only single-note floral fragrances....
In fact I am not sure what he means by that because early perfumery manuals reveal the existence of floral perfumes that were composed like bouquets. Eaux de colognes were not soliflores. There was a vogue for soliflores - that lasted into the 20th century by the way- but that does not mean that the pre-1880s were characterized by single-note perfumes.
2) In case you are interested in experiencing an edible perfume, you can turn to Jessica Simpson's Dessert line. Yes, getting to "chew on a perfume" is not just a dream anymore.