Rebecca's Reviews > The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination

The Foul and the Fragrant by Alain Corbin
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's review
Mar 08, 12

it was ok
bookshelves: art-history-ba-1st-year, translated, history, perfume-scent-and-cosmetics, non-fiction, reviewed
Read from February 23 to March 08, 2012

A history of ideas about smell, cleanliness, health and illness in France, starting in the early modern period up to the turn of the 20th century... I didn't read all of this in detail because it was research for an essay, but what I did read wasn't particularly easy to follow, dates weren't often mentioned so it was hard to trace exactly what was happening, and it was hard to follow exactly what Corbain was getting at in several chapters. Maybe this was because he was writing about difficult, commonly changing ideas, but first it was odour carries illness, then it doesn't, then it does again... I would recommend Concepts of Cleanliness: Changing Attitudes in France Since the Middle Ages instead of this, an earlier book that explains things much more clearly.
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Reading Progress

02/24/2012 page 79
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Wealhtheow (new)

Wealhtheow What an interesting subject! I hope you summerize it a little when you're done!

Rebecca Will do! Or at least try, it gets pretty complex...

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