February 29, 2024 | Rome, Italy

The Emperor of Scent: A True Story of Perfume and Obsession

By |2018-03-21T18:28:45+01:00December 1st, 2004|Recent Reviews|

By Chandler Burr

Arrow Books, 2003. 352 pages.


f you’ve ever been caught by a whiff of perfume that reminded you of an old flame or your grandmother, if you’ve wondered at the scandal of infected blood banks and famous researchers squabbling over the discovery of AIDS cures or the refusal of pharmaceutical companies to believe that an easily cured bacteria and not ulcers are ruining your life, you’ll probably enjoy the story of Luca Turin’s meanderings through biology, chemistry and physics to arrive at what he and others believe is the proof that Malcolm Dyson’s 1938 theory of smell was right.

A childhood love for perfumes evolved into Turin’s becoming a recognized expert on smell in the great perfume houses of France, but put him into direct opposition with the experts who cling to the commonly held theory of smell based on molecular shape.

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