The Smell Culture Reader

Jim Drobnick, editor

Oxford & New York: Berg, 2006, 442 pp.
ISBN 1845202139, 978-1-845202-13-2

http://www.bloomsbury.com

Smell is fundamental to experience but mired in paradox. Stigmatized as animalistic, it nonetheless feeds a vast fragrance industry. Considered ephemeral, scents have survived throughout the ages in a number of religious practices. From hygiene to aromatherapy, the foul to the fragrant, smell is shown here to be much more than an adornment or nuisance. The Smell Culture Reader demonstrates how essential scents are to sexuality, social status, personal identity and cultural tradition.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

JIM DROBNICK
Olfactocentrism   

PART I: ODORPHOBIA

Preface – J.D.

RODOLPHE EL-KHOURY
Polish and Deodorize: Paving the City in Late Eighteenth-Century France

GALE LARGEY AND ROD WATSON
The Sociology of Odors

MARTIN F. MANALANSAN IV
Immigrant Lives and the Politics of Olfaction in the Global City

ALAN HYDE
Offensive Bodies

DONALD TUZIN
Base Notes: Odor, Breath and Moral Contagion in Ilahita

DEVON E. HINTON, VUTH PICH, DARA CHHEAN AND MARK H. POLLACK
Olfactory-Triggered Panic Among Traumatized Cambodian Refugees

PART II: TOPOSMIA

Preface – J.D.

J. DOUGLAS PORTEOUS
Smellscape

ELEANOR MARGOLIES
Vagueness Gridlocked: A Map of the Smells of New York

ERIK COHEN
The Broken Cycle: Smell in a Bangkok Lane

LUCIENNE A. ROUBIN
Odor Signals and Living Spaces in Eurasia

HANS J. RINDISBACHER
The Stench of Power

PETER DAMIAN AND KATE DAMIAN
Environmental Fragrancing

PART III: FLAIREURS

Preface – J.D.

ALAIN CORBIN
The New Calculus of Olfactory Pleasure

HELEN KELLER
Sense and Sensibility

OLIVER SACKS
The Dog Beneath the Skin

ALAN R. HIRSCH
Nostalgia, the Odors of Childhood and Society

RACHEL S. HERZ
I Know What I Like: Understanding Odor Preferences

PART IV: PERFUME

Preface – J.D.

MARCEL PROUST
Another Memory

MANDY AFTEL
Perfumed Obsession

LUCA TURIN
Accords and Discords: Perfume Reviews

JOHN J. STEELE
Perfumeros and the Sacred Use of Fragrance in Amazonian Shamanism

RICHARD T. GRAY
The Dialectic of “Enscentment”: Patrick Süskind’s Perfume as Critical History of Enlightenment Culture

PART V: SCENTSUALITY

Preface – J.D.

RICHARD STAMELMAN
The Eros – and Thanatos – of Scents

CAROL MAVOR
Odor di Femina: Though You May Not See Her, You Can Certainly Smell Her

CHRISTOPHER LOOBY
“The Roots of the Orchis, the Iuli of Chesnuts”: The Odor of Male Solitude

MARK GRAHAM
Queer Smells: Fragrances of Late Capitalism or Scents of Subversion?

JENNIFER FISHER AND JIM DROBNICK
In Noritoshi Hirakawa’s Garden of Nirvana
        

PART VI: VOLATILE ART

Preface – J.D.

AILEEN GATTEN
A Wisp of Smoke: Scent and Character in The Tale of Genji

JIM DROBNICK
Eating Nothing: Cooking Aromas in Art and Culture

CLARA URSITTI
Self-Portrait in Scent: Sketch #1

MARK W.D. PATERSON
Digital Scratch and Virtual Sniff: Simulating Scents

PART VII: SUBLIME ESSENCES

Preface – J.D.

CONSTANCE CLASSEN
The Breath of God: Sacred Histories of Scent

FRANÇOISE AUBAILE-SALLENAVE
Bodies, Odors and Perfumes in Arab-Muslim Societies

ALFRED GELL
Magic, Perfume, Dream . . .

DAVID SHULMAN
The Scent of Memory in Hindu South India

WILLIAM GUGGENHEIM AND JUDITH GUGGENHEIM
Olfactory After-Death Communications

Cover image: Anya Gallaccio, Red on Green (1992), 10,000 fragrant English tea roses, heads laid on a bed of thorns, size variable, detail of installation at the ICA, London. Photo: Edward Woodman, courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.