Synopses & Reviews
A tantalizing tour through the scientific, literary, and cultural history of that most adaptable and resourceful of human appendages: the nose. Gabrielle Glaser's lively history of the nose and the evocative power of scent will appeal to everyone who loved Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses
, as well as the witty and provocative medical writing to be found in Natalie Angier's Woman: An Intimate Geography
Glaser follows the nose from ancient civilizations and primitive operating rooms to the halls of modern neuroscience and department store perfume and aromatherapy counters. As Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac well knew, no two noses are alike. The human nose comes in countless shapes and sizes, with more nicknames than any other organ. In her new book, Gabrielle Glaser reveals why the nose a crucial gateway to life (see Genesis) is big business: Americans spend over $1.5 billion on nose jobs every year, more than $10 billion on sinus treatments, and lose 73 million workdays to sinusitis. With lively wit, Glaser examines its role in art and literature, sickness and health, sex and beauty. She touches on the great debates this noble feature has sparked in famous personages from Aristotle to da Vinci, Jimmy Durante to the "Great Profile" himself, John Barrymore. Glaser includes an illuminating section on the sinus surgery that nearly killed her and left her without a sense of smell for two years.
Filtered through the lens of history, medicine, anthropology, and popular culture, The Nose probes the sense and sensibility of this essential, endlessly fascinating organ.
"At times, she wanders from the topic (a section on inhaled cocaine turns into a history of drugs in America), and some information gets recycled. Those points aside, Glaser draws a thousand scents into a highly readable narrative that's a breath of fresh air." Christian Science Monitor
Each year Americans spend billions of dollars on their noses. From over-the-counter sinus remedies to cosmetic surgery, aromatherapy to Chanel no. 5, we are a nation immersed in all things nasal. But how did this one vital organ become an object of beauty, a status symbol, the basis for judging character? What led to the invention of cotton tissues? Why do we follow our noses when seeking a mate -- or choosing a president? andlt;BRandgt; andlt;Iandgt;The Noseandlt;/Iandgt; is a fascinating tour of its subject through history and biology, art and culture, sex and sensibility, sickness and health. Gabrielle Glaser breathes life into her research by offering engaging anecdotes and personal interviews with physicians and their patients; members of the FDA and the Fragrance Foundation; a rabbi who contemplates the nose in sacred Jewish texts; and a plastic surgeon who finally puts his own proboscis under the knife. Sure to awaken the senses of anyone who has pondered, probed, concealed, or cosmetically altered their noses, this book proves that thereand#185;s more to the nose than meets the eye.
About the Author
Gabrielle Glaserandlt;Bandgt; andlt;/Bandgt;is the author of andlt;iandgt;Strangers to the Tribe andlt;/iandgt;and andlt;iandgt;The Nose, andlt;/iandgt;and a journalist whose work has appeared in andlt;iandgt;The New York Times, Mademoiselle, The Economistandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Glamour, The Washington Post, andlt;/iandgt;and andlt;iandgt;Health, andlt;/iandgt;among other publications.
Table of Contents
1 Memoir of a Nose
PART ONE: HISTORY OF THE NOSE:
THE FIRST TWO MILLENNIA
2 Centuries of Stench
3 The History of Science (As Told Through the Nose)
4 Nagasaki Up the Nose
PART TWO: THE NOSE AND MODERN SCIENCE
5 What Smells?
6 The Recreational Nose: A Glimpse
7 Past Scents: Odor and Memory
8 The Sinus Business
PART THREE: THE COMMERCIAL NOSE
9 Smells Like Money
10 The War on Stink: Banishing Body Odor
11 From the Bronx to America: Odyssey of a Nose