A Nosegay

Old Street Publishing, 2006

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The fragrant and the fetid, the light and the literary are given equal weight in this fascinating collection of writings old and new on the subject of smell, penned by authors from Catullus to Coco Chanel; Rumi to Roald Dahl; Robert Louis Stevenson to Nigel Slater. A Nosegay is the first anthology to cover this important – if under-explored – area of human experience, and will become an essential item on the shelves of any self-respecting bibliophile.

The collection is arranged in thematic chapters – People, History, The Smell Industry, National Aromas – and is compelling throughout, either read sequentially or dipped into as an occasional source of amusement, inspiration or reflection. Here you will find the spice-drenched Cleopatra and the smoke-wreathed Brecht, the Roman forum and the trenches of Flanders, professional “noses” and anosmics cut off in their olfactory prime…