Past scents historical perspectives on smell elevating the history of an ephemeral and evocative lower sense in this comprehensive and engaging volume medical historian jonathan reinarz offers a historiography of smell from ancient to modern times. Past scents neatly summarizes many current historical perspectives on smell more importantly it points to a number of other contemporary perspectives we might take as historians and past sensory perspectives of women and the lower classes to take two examples that we might better excavate from the archive. Smell is a cultural phenomenon members of past societies relied on smell to understand and engage with both their immediate environment and a wider world of meanings. Smell gender and smell class and smell and smell in the city respectively the first chapter addresses religion and smell primarily through the lens of susan harveys work on scent in early christianity. Just imagine what the past must have smelled like reinarz does a great job of describing how the world of scent has changed over time how it has been perceived and how it has differentiated cultures classes the sexes
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