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Past Scents – Historical Perspectives on Smell - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Past Scents: Historical Perspectives on Smell

Jonathan Reinarz


This book offers a historiography of smell from ancient to modern times. Synthesizing existing scholarship in the field, it shows how people have relied on their olfactory sense to understand and engage with both their immediate environments and wider corporal and spiritual worlds. This broad survey demonstrates how each community or commodity possesses, or has been thought to possess, its own peculiar scent. Through the meanings associated with smells, osmologies develop—what cultural anthropologists have termed the systems that utilize smells to classify people and objects in ways that defin ... More

Keywords: smell, olfactory sense, scent, European Christians, nose

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780252034947
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252034947.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jonathan Reinarz, author
University of Birmingham