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Scent : a natural history of fragrance  Cover Image Book Book

Scent : a natural history of fragrance / Elise Vernon Pearlstine ; illustrations by Lara Call Gastinger.

Pearlstine, Elise Vernon, (author.). Gastinger, Lara. (Added Author).


"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"--Publisher's description.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780300246964
  • ISBN: 030024696X
  • Physical Description: xvi, 256 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 22 cm
  • Publisher: New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, [2022]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Incense, Wood, and Resin. The torchwoods : frankincense, myrrh, and copal ; Fragrant woods : agarwood and sandalwood -- Spices. Spices of the Western Ghats ; The Spice Islands ; Saffron, vanilla, and chocolate -- Scented Gardens and Aromatic Herbs. Gardens ; Fragrant flowers and aromatic herbs ; Roses -- Perfumery from Mandarin to Musk. Humble beginnings : mint and turpentine ; Perfume notes -- Fragrance and Fashion. Impossible flowers and buildings a perfume ; Scented worlds : industry and fashion.
Subject: Odors.
Plants > Nutrition.
Flowers > Odor.
Aromatic plants.
Perfumes > History.
Perfumes industry.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Crawford County.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Crawford County Library-Steelville 635.96 PEA (Text) 33431000744001 New Non-Fiction Available -

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