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Scent: A Natural History of Fragrance

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A fascinating exploration of the natural history of scent and human perceptions of fragrance from the viewpoint of plant and pollinator Plants have long harnessed the chemical characteristics of aromatic compounds to shape the world around them. Frankincense resin from the genus Boswellia seals injured tissues and protects trees from invading pathogens. Jasmine produces a m A fascinating exploration of the natural history of scent and human perceptions of fragrance from the viewpoint of plant and pollinator Plants have long harnessed the chemical characteristics of aromatic compounds to shape the world around them. Frankincense resin from the genus Boswellia seals injured tissues and protects trees from invading pathogens. Jasmine produces a molecule called linalool that attracts pollinating moths with its flowery scent. Tobacco uses a similarly sweet-smelling compound called benzyl acetone to attract pollinators. Only recently in the evolutionary history of plants, however, have humans learned to co-opt their fragrances to seduce, heal, protect, and alter moods themselves. In this wide-ranging and accessible new book, biologist-turned-perfumer Elise Vernon Pearlstine turns our human-centered perception of fragrance on its head and investigates plants' evolutionary reasons for creating aromatic molecules. Delving into themes of spirituality, wealth, power, addiction, royalty, fantasy, and more, Pearlstine uncovers the natural history of aromatic substances and their intersection with human culture and civilization.


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A fascinating exploration of the natural history of scent and human perceptions of fragrance from the viewpoint of plant and pollinator Plants have long harnessed the chemical characteristics of aromatic compounds to shape the world around them. Frankincense resin from the genus Boswellia seals injured tissues and protects trees from invading pathogens. Jasmine produces a m A fascinating exploration of the natural history of scent and human perceptions of fragrance from the viewpoint of plant and pollinator Plants have long harnessed the chemical characteristics of aromatic compounds to shape the world around them. Frankincense resin from the genus Boswellia seals injured tissues and protects trees from invading pathogens. Jasmine produces a molecule called linalool that attracts pollinating moths with its flowery scent. Tobacco uses a similarly sweet-smelling compound called benzyl acetone to attract pollinators. Only recently in the evolutionary history of plants, however, have humans learned to co-opt their fragrances to seduce, heal, protect, and alter moods themselves. In this wide-ranging and accessible new book, biologist-turned-perfumer Elise Vernon Pearlstine turns our human-centered perception of fragrance on its head and investigates plants' evolutionary reasons for creating aromatic molecules. Delving into themes of spirituality, wealth, power, addiction, royalty, fantasy, and more, Pearlstine uncovers the natural history of aromatic substances and their intersection with human culture and civilization.

34 review for Scent: A Natural History of Fragrance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Petra may have a boyfriend - or two, lol

    Instead of a blurb, this has the media praise but the average rating is only a 3 (only 2 people rated it). I thought it sounded quite fascinating so we'll have to see if it's a dnf, 3 star or the best thing since Chanel no. 5 blended with Old Spice. Instead of a blurb, this has the media praise but the average rating is only a 3 (only 2 people rated it). I thought it sounded quite fascinating so we'll have to see if it's a dnf, 3 star or the best thing since Chanel no. 5 blended with Old Spice.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kay's Pallet

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael Audio Book Master

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sim

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dеnnis

  6. 4 out of 5

    An

  7. 4 out of 5

    Krynn Hanold

  8. 4 out of 5

    James Harrison

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Beauchamp

  10. 5 out of 5

    elin

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Linn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emely

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nefertari

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bronwyn

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nevona Friedman

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  19. 5 out of 5

    Isabella

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mars Taylor

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mahrukh Ahmed

  23. 5 out of 5

    flightofbirds

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

  25. 5 out of 5

    cara

  26. 5 out of 5

    Noah

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sherria Anthony

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alex Thanks4yourFriendship

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tate

  31. 5 out of 5

    Elspeth G. Perkin

  32. 5 out of 5

    Iván

  33. 4 out of 5

    Timur Hakan Barak

  34. 5 out of 5

    Cara

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