The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell

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Harper Collins, Nov 7, 2006 - Health & Fitness - 207 pages
3 Reviews

The Secret of Scent is a book about science by way of art, in which the author's passion for perfume leads him to the scientific mystery of what makes one molecule smell of garlic while another smells of rose.

Readers who know Luca Turin as the lively central figure in Chandler Burr's The Emperor of Scent will remember the ongoing debate between two competing theories of smell—one based on molecular shape, the other on molecular vibrations. Now Turin himself describes in detail the science, evidence, and long history of this debate, from the beginnings of organic chemistry to the present day, and pays homage to those before him who got it right. This fascinating and accessible account will appeal to anyone who has ever wondered about smell, still the most mysterious of the senses.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

I read a book about Turin (The Emperor of Scent) that I really enjoyed, so I was excited to find this on my library shelf. Turin puts me in mind of Feynman in both erudition and wry hilarity. This ... Read full review

THE SECRET OF SCENT: Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A behind-the-scenes look at perfume research and development; a demanding course in the chemistry of fragrance; and the story behind the development of a scientific theory about how humans detect ... Read full review


Feynmans answer
A problem of nomenclature
A bit of biology
The smell alphabet
The smell in the mirror
His Big Idea
Searching for the way it works
Giaevers leap
the polarograph
Revelation in Portugal
The future of fragrance

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About the author (2006)

Luca Turin holds a Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of London. Since 1996 he has worked on primary olfactory reception and the prediction of odor character. In 2001 he became chief technical officer of Flexitral, where he uses his theory of olfaction to design new fragrances and flavor molecules.

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