Earthly Scents - Heavenly Pleasures: A Cultural History of Scents by Günther Ohloff: New Book {Fragrance News} {Fragrant Reading}

Casket-Musk-Paste-Renaissance.jpgPicture courtesy of the MET. Wedding casket (1500-1530) from Ferrara or Venice decorated with pastiglia made of "musk paste", a mixture of white lead paste, binding egg white and scented musk. "The scent was thought to have aphrodisiacal properties, which added to the casket's value as a marriage gift." ( Note: this picture is not from the book.)

A new cultural history of perfume will appear in October 2009 in English entitled Earthly Scents - Heavenly Pleasures: A Cultural History of Scents by Dr. Günther Ohloff. The author has also previously published a book in German consecrated to perfume called Düfte: Signale der Gefühlswelt (Perfumes: Signs of the World of Sensations).

The new book covers the periods ranging from the antiquity to the end of the pre-modern period offering a glimpse into the emergence of the modern era through a study on the Eau de Cologne...
"Scented materials are an essential part of human culture. In Assyrian Nineveh, frankincense would be sacrificed to the sun god Baal, in Egypt, spikenard oil was placed in the tomb of Tutankhamun, and in biblical Israel, balsam was used for anointing. The beautiful Cleopatra's talents for perfumery have passed into legend. The Arabs first distilled the famous rose oil and used both musk and ambergris as medicines, while ambergris also found a different role - as did 'virtuous medicinal butter' - as an aphrodisiac in ancient India. In China, the use of incense for interior perfuming is praised in the works of Confucius - all the great cultures of the world have their scent traditions, some of them millennia old. Günther Ohloff, renowned expert on fragrances, guides us through these and collects together the ingredients and recipes used in our world's high cultures for the preparation of bewitching perfumes, ritual incenses, or soothing oils and ointments. Our journey takes us from the ancient traditions of Mesopotamia to the perfumes of the present, from Europe to East Asia. In 'Earthly Scents - Heavenly Pleasures. A Cultural History of Scents', Dr. Ohloff presents a fascinating chapter in cultural history. "...

Here is a look at the table of contents:

Prologue. About the Chemical Senses

Part 1. The Magical World of Fragrances in Antiquity
In the Beginning was the Smoke
Mesopotamia -
The Cradle of Humanity
Divine Fragrance in Ancient Egypt
The Gods' Anointing Oils
The Oilmakers' Fragrances
Biblical Fragrances
Aromatic Plants in Biblical Times
Biblical Resins in Modern Perfumery

Part 2. The Scent Trail to the West
Crete and Mycenae
The Herbal Scents of Minos
Ancient Herbal Scents in Modern Perfumery
The Human Nature of the Greek Gods
The Hellenes' Divine Oils
Rome -
Perfumed Raptures
A Rose is a Rose is a Rose
The Violet
Safran macht den Kuchen geel

Part 3. Ex Oriente Lux
Arabia Felix
The World of Animal Scents
Animal Scents in Modern Perfumery
Along the Silk Road
Bharat Mata
Middle Kingdom

Part 4. The Fragrances of the Orient
Spice Notes in Perfumery
Wood Scents
Wood Notes in Perfumery
Floral Scents
Floral Notes in Perfumery
Citrus Fruits
Citrus Notes in Perfumery

Part 5. From Eau de Chypre to Eau de Cologne
Appreciation of Scents in Western Europe
Emergence of the Modern

The book published by John Wiley & Sons Inc and is priced at £45 and €54.

ISBN: 978-3-90639-034-5
300 pages
October 2009

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