For as long as anyone can remember, a man named Luca Turin has had an uncanny relationship with smells. He has been compared to the hero of Patrick Süskind’s novel Perfume, but his story is in fact stranger, because it is true. It concerns how he made use of his powerful gifts to solve one of the last great mysteries of the human body: how our noses work.
Luca Turin can distinguish the components of just about any smell, from the world’s most refined perfumes to the air in a subway car on the Paris metro. A distinguished scientist, he once worked in an unrelated field, though he made a hobby of collecting fragrances. But when, as a lark, he published a collection of his reviews of the world’s perfumes, the book hit the small, insular business of perfume makers like a thunderclap. Who is this man Luca Turin, they demanded, and how does he know so much? The closed community of scent creation opened up to Luca Turin, and he discovered a fact that astonished him: no one in this world knew how smell worked. Billions and billions of dollars were spent creating scents in a manner amounting to glorified trial and error.
The solution to the mystery of every other human sense has led to the Nobel Prize, if not vast riches. Why, Luca Turin thought, should smell be any different? So he gave his life to this great puzzle. And in the end, incredibly, it would seem that he solved it. But when enormously powerful interests are threatened and great reputations are at stake, Luca Turin learned, nothing is quite what it seems.
Acclaimed writer Chandler Burr has spent four years chronicling Luca Turin’s quest to unravel the mystery of how our sense of smell works. What has emerged is an enthralling, magical book that changes the way we think about that area between our mouth and our eyes, and its profound, secret hold on our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
Share your thoughts on the The Emperor of Scent Biography eBook with others!
|Title of eBook: The Emperor of Scent|
|Release Date: 01-21-2003|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Emperor of Scent|
|Devices||Samsung Tablet, Apple Ipad & Iphone, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo eReader, Aluratek Libre, Iliad, Nokia, Blackberry, Hanlin|
|Note||ePub, short for electronic publication is one of our favorites and should be yours for a couple of reasons. ePub offers reflowable text giving you flexibility to manipulate how the content is presented. Moreover, lots of cool features are now being developed for the reader like advanced video and audio. ePub is now an industry standard, so all of the "non-propreitary" hardware manufacturers are now supporting it.|
The Emperor of Scent
Start with the deepest mystery of smell. No one knows how we do it.
Despite everything, despite the billions the secretive giant
corporations of smell have riding on it and the powerful computers they
throw at it, despite the most powerful sorcery of their legions of
chemists and the years of toiling in the labs and all the famous
neurowizardry aimed at mastering it, the exact way we smell
things–anything, crushed raspberry and mint, the subway at West
Fourteenth and Eighth, a newborn infant–remains a mystery. Luca Turin
began with that mystery.
Or perhaps he began further back, with the perfumes. “The reason I got
into this,” Turin will say, “is that I started collecting perfume. I’ve
loved perfume from when I was a kid in Paris and Italy.”
Or maybe (he’ll tell you another day, considering it from a different
angle), maybe it was “because I’m French, at least by upbringing.
Frenchmen will do things Anglo men won’t, and France is a country of
smells. There’s something called pourriture noble. Noble rot. It’s a
fungus. It grows on grapes, draws the water out, concentrates the juice
wonderfully, adds its own fungal flavor, and then you make wines like
the sweet Sauternes. Paradise. From rotten grapes. The idea that things
should be slightly dirty, overripe, slightly fecal is everywhere in
France. They like rotten cheese and dirty sheets and unwashed women. Guy
Robert is about seventy, a third-generation perfumer, lives in the south
of France, used to work for International Flavors & Fragrances, created