Smell is our forgotten scense. Long neglected by science in favour of more prestigious areas of research, it's also barely understood in general life. At the core of our sense of smell lies an enigma: why do things smell the way they do? How is smell written into the molecules? This book is the story of the quest to solve the puzzle.
Luca Turin has been described by The Economist as 'a man with a powerful nose and a bizarre obsession with perfume.' Starting with a tour of the great perfumes and their gifted makers, he shows how few people have an idea of what perfume is or how it is made, let alone how smell works and what part it plays in other pleasures like food. But not everyone has ignored this sense. A small band of mavericks has been trying to crack the code of smell for 70 years. Building on their work, Turin thinks he has succeeded. And, like all good mysteries, the solution was all the while hidden in plain sight - in this case, right under our noses.