perfume and literature: 1 post

Perfumes and Books : a scented story

Are scents really that difficult to translate into words? I don’t think so. We only lack practice. Moreover, if you explore literature and poetry, from Colette to Hafez, from Virginia Woolf to Gustav Flaubert, you can find many examples of writing in which aromas play an essential role. They can help us imagine the development of a plot, the emotions of characters or even the state of the divine.  My latest FT Magazine column Perfumes and Books is about such scented stories.

hafez1

“Fragrances are intangible and evanescent – hence the assumption that they are beyond the linguistic capacity of humans. Such difficulties need not be the norm. Open Virgil, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Proust, Zola or Persian poets like Hafez and Nizami, and discover how aromas can be given form and language. Invisible though scents are, they become more powerful when captured in words. To continue, please click here.”

Any other favorite examples of sensory descriptions in poetry or literature?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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