Meaningful Scents around the World
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Roman Kaiser

Meaningful Scents around the World

Olfactory, Chemical, Biological, and Cultural Considerations





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ISBN 10: 3-906390-37-3
ISBN 13: 978-3-906390-37-6
July 2006


In recent years, our knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of olfaction has grown enormously, accompanied by a growing appreciation of scent. This is reflected in the fact that the 2004 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for discoveries of ‘Odorant Receptors and the Organization of the Olfactory System’. This book naturally supports such developments, and takes the reader on a fascinating fragrant journey around the world to some of the exciting places the author has visited during his 30 years of olfactory research. Following an introductory section to the world of natural scents, including their biological meaning and history, the fragrance and flavor chemist, Roman Kaiser, who is renowned for his ‘headspace’ analytical technique, revisits some memorable scents. In doing so, he leads us to such exotic places as Lower Amazonia, Papua New Guinea, India, and many rain-forest biotopes in his quest for new molecules and new scent concepts, showing us along the way how a scent like tatami can be linked to culture. The third and final section describes the latest equipment used in analyzing the chemical and biological composition of scents.


Introduction to the World of Natural Scents

Biological Meaning of Natural Scents

Historical Facts Concerning Natural Scents

Investigation of Natural Scents

Strolling in the World of Scents

Confucius’ Hymn to Scented Orchids

The Scented Flower Clock

Sweet Osmanthus – an Olfactory Revelation of the East

A Day full of Scents in Lower Amazonia – Camp Parakou, October 7, 1996

‘Watermelon Snow’ and ‘Alpine Forget-me-not’ – Two Unique Scents from the Top of Europe

Nieuwoudtville – the Bulb Capital of the World

Along the Avenue of Giants

Agarwood – the Wood of the Gods

Tatami – the Scent of a Refined Culture

Unda Namdanga, Kapafe Passe, and Waso-no – Memorable Scents of Papua New Guinea

Scent Discoveries in Equatorial West Africa

Other Days Full of Scents in Lower Amazonia – Camp Voltaire, November 28 to December 11, 1996

Victoria amazonica – the Royal Amazone

The Blue and the True Lotus

Euglossine Orchids – Wonderful Floral Biology and Scent Chemistry, Illustrated with Examples from the Genus Coryanthes

Along the Shore of Masoala

Environmental Scents on the Ligurian Coast

The Earth’s Perfume

China Roses, the Completion of European Rose Culture

In a Fragrant Indian Garden

How Flowers and Fungi Use Scents to Mimic Each Other

A Meeting Place for Natural Scents – Wine Bouquets

Shangri-la, a Plant and Scent Paradise – the Land of Sacredness and Peace


General Remarks

Equipment Used

Compositions of the Presented Scents