The odoriferous 18th century

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Podcast produced by Jo Barratt

Susan Sontag said smelling ‘gives one a sensation of knowledge rinsed clean of thought’. The effect of smell is powerful, but rarely articulated and therefore rarely recorded.

So how does an historian of smell go about his work? There are millions upon millions of smells, but how can he recreate them and how does he understand what they meant to people?

In this podcast, first broadcast on Life in Scents, William Tullett – an historian at Kings College London specialising in 18th Century England and in particular Sensory history, Smell, History of Perfumes, History of the Senses, and Gesture, – talks about how he rebuilds sensescapes from the things left behind.

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