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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. GŁnther 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.
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 Gods2 Anointing Oils The Oilmakers2 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 Hellenes2 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 Japan Part 4. The Fragrances of the Orient Spices 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