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Perfumes and spices, including an account of soaps and cosmetics;: The story of the history, source, preparation, and use of the spices, perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics which are in everyday use Unknown Binding – 1945
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In 'Perfumes and Spices,' he explains simply what to most is too arcane a mystery of where smelly things actually come from. He tells us what the smells are, and he takes us for a quick peek behind the secret curtain in Grasse, France. Grasse is where the "good stuff" comes together as a packaged and final product. Did you know Coco Chanel picked the name, Chanel No. 5, just because five was her lucky number? It had nothing to do with how it enhanced attraction. But that is the way of fashion. The true history of perfumes is strange indeed.
For those now addicted to the food network and novel ethnic cuisine, Verrill's information regarding spices is hard to find elsewhere, though Monisha Bharadwaj, with her 'The Indian Spice Kitchen,' is a pretty good source. The use of spices from either religious or secular platforms predates history. When did early man first stop for a moment to delight in the scent of that first flower and take it back to his ladylove?
A Hyatt Verrill is your man should you wonder exactly what a musk deer or a civet-cat looks like. Or, who but Verrill can take the mystery out of that most costly of substances, Ambergris? Indians used to collect it along the beaches here in Florida.
'Perfumes and Spices' is a wonderful book that no matter how many times you read it, you will pick it up again just for the pleasure of rereading it. Hopefully, some spirited soul will decide to reprint it and then you too can enjoy Verrill's charming ways of putting facts together.