Enter the unexpected and intriguing realm of scent, where fragrances have the power to calm as well as to stimulate. These tales from the ancient quest for pleasing aromas offer a microcosm of history's larger movements, from the scented sails of Cleopatra's barges to modern-day fashion trends. This book is more than a historical overview of one of the world's oldest industries, although it's comprehensive, well-researched, and scrupulously accurate in its details. Neither is it just a book of pretty pictures, even though it's abundantly illustrated with lovely drawings and photographs that include every variety of perfume bottle, ads, paintings, as well as famous (and infamous) figures. Fragrance pursues its subject's very essence, with a rich panoply of insights that ranges from the botanical origins of fragrant oils and the role of aromatics in economic and religious life to the ways in which scents influence behavior and chemists extract, preserve, and reproduce fragrances. A fascinating stirring of the senses.