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Smells: A Cultural History of Odours in Early Modern Times 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 73 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Smells: A Cultural History of Odours in Early Modern Times
  • +
  • Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells
  • +
  • Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mr. Muchembled’s fine-grained and evocative research shows how eloquent smell can be in helping us understand the past.” 
The Wall Street Journal

“Muchembled reminds us that the variables of time and place may defy a truly shared language. What we smell depends on what’s in vogue and what’s valued—on what cultural forces happen to be swirling in the air.”
The New Yorker

“In this fascinating study, with unexpected twists and turns, Robert Muchembled explores the opaque topic of smell as if he were discovering a new continent that is as rich as it is mysterious.”
Historia

“A rigorous, rich and lively book.”
Les Cahiers de Science & Vie

"Smells is part scholarly treatise, part fascinating popular history, dashed through with a soupçon of wit."
Foreword Reviews

"This lively book combines scholarship with readability and ranges from plague to perfume, from the stink of cities to jokes about smelly people. Its interesting examples should appeal to an equally wide range of readers." 
Peter Burke, University of Cambridge

"Robert Muchembled’s new history is full of disgusting, delicious details… If you’ve ever wondered how living without modern technologies of sanitation might have shaped the surrounding culture, this book is for you."
Slate

"Lively"
London Review of Books

"delightful carnival of olfaction" 
The Spectator

"Smells’s mélange of the scholarly with the scatalogical makes for a dazzling, lusty romp through European history."
Foreword Reviews

"An illuminating piece of social history."
Fortean Times

'Book of the Week' in The Daily Mail

"Captivating… Elegantly wicked and meticulous in its execution" 
The Australian

"engrossing"
Frieze

About the Author

Robert Muchembled is a writer and Honorary Professor at the University of Paris.

A gift for whatever they need

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Polity; 1st edition (July 20, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 260 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1509536787
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1509536788
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 73 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
73 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 24, 2021
4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 4, 2020
2 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 30, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book with beautiful illustrations
By Zoe on January 30, 2021
I recently attended a great webinar about perfumery and now I’m into perfumes. and this is a great book especially because it’s new so it’s very relevant for current times. and it’s very beautiful with nice pictures inside, I haven’t started reading it yet but I already feel that this book is going to be a great read!
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 1, 2020

Top reviews from other countries

J. Mincham
4.0 out of 5 stars Your nose is more important than you think!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 15, 2020
One person found this helpful
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c.burke
5.0 out of 5 stars Smell it!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on December 31, 2020
Pasquier Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Aussi une histoire de France
Reviewed in France 🇫🇷 on August 28, 2020