The Smell Culture Reader

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Bloomsbury Academic, Aug 7, 2006 - Social Science - 442 pages
2 Reviews
Smell is fundamental to experience but mired in paradox. Stigmatized as animalistic, it nonetheless feeds a vast fragrance and marketing industry. Considered ephemeral, scents have survived throughout the ages in a number of religious practices. The Smell Culture Reader provides a much-needed overview of what is arguably the most elusive sense. From hygiene to aromatherapy, the fetid to the fragrant, smells are shown to be much more than just an adornment or a nuisance. Addressing this engaging sense in redolent detail, The Smell Culture Reader demonstrates how essential smell is to sexuality, social status, personal identity, and cultural tradition.

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Sample essays: "Olfactory-Triggered Panic Attacks Among Khmer Refugees," "Vagueness Gridlocked: A Map of the Smells of New York," "Eating Nothing: Cooking Aromas in Art and Culture," and "Parfumeros and the Sacred Use of Fragrance in Amazonian Shamanism." Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Jim Drobnick is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Manchester. He is the editor of Aural Cultures (2004), co-author of Museopathy (2002) and CounterPoses (2002), and is working on a book on smell in contemporary art.

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