That remains to be seen, or rather to be sniffed in the heady pages devoted to it by Casanova, Zola, Proust, Huysmans, Albert Cohen, Doris Lessing or Donna Tartt. It in this excellent company that the present book explores the sense of smell, guided by the keen noses of a fragrance historian, a landscape artist, a perfumer, a wine specialist, a philosopher, an artist, a writer/traveler... What do we actually smell? Can an olfactory experience be put into words? And can smells yield a work of art?
Throughout these olfactory strolls, evocative words and strange, poetic images embody a sense that is volatile and elusive yet essential to our lives. With its highly original graphic design, the book, like a cabinet of curiosities, surprises at every page, revealing peculiar scientific experiments here, an anthology of picturesque phrases there, and elsewhere fragrant stories of appetites, desires, memories, childhood... Perfumes, aromas and smells yield intense emotions. What would we do without a nose ?
This book is the English translation of L'Odorat dans tous ses états, Archibooks, 2015