Past scents historical perspectives on smell elevating the history of an ephemeral and evocative lower sense in this comprehensive and engaging volume medical historian jonathan reinarz offers a historiography of smell from ancient to modern times. Past scents neatly summarizes many current historical perspectives on smell more importantly it points to a number of other contemporary perspectives we might take as historians and past sensory perspectives of women and the lower classes to take two examples that we might better excavate from the archive. Just imagine what the past must have smelled like reinarz does a great job of describing how the world of scent has changed over time how it has been perceived and how it has differentiated cultures classes the sexes. Smell is a cultural phenomenon members of past societies relied on smell to understand and engage with both their immediate environment and a wider world of meanings. Around the world reinarz shows people used scents to signify individual and group identity in a morally constructed universe where the good smelled pleasant and their opposites reekedwith chapters including heavenly scents fragrant lucre and odorous others reinarzs timely survey is a useful and entertaining look at the history of
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