Musk of burning whale; eau de toothpaste

Last week the Guardian reported that an Italian perfume designer has tried to approximate scents, such as Proust’s madeleine, described in famous literary works. Now Joshua Glenn suggests “a few more belletristic bouquets” from literature that he’d like to see bottled. These include:

“[A burning whale] has an unspeakable, wild, Hindoo odor about it. . .. It smells like the left wing of the day of judgment.” — Herman Melville, “Moby-Dick”

“The air of the bathroom was thick with the smell of a heathen toothpaste.” — Sinclair Lewis, “Babbitt”


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