Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Smell History and Heritage: an online reference tool that allows you to explore the significance of past smells and their continuing value in the present.
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This website is part of Odeuropa, an academic project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and Innovation programme
The Encyclopedia allows you to explore the smells of the past through scents, noses, places and objects.
Through Storylines you can follow your nose through the past.
Explore a growing list of entries by subject: from Rosemary and Franckincense to Brewers and Botanists, all bundled in collections of smells, noses, places and/or objects.
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With help of open source tool twine, we bring past smells alive via interactive storytelling: dive nose-deep into historical themes from War and Animals to Crime and Religion.
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Latest entries:
Created at 4th March 2024
by Inger Leemans
Figure 1. Newspaper advertisement for Arthur Rothwell, Perfumer, showing his shop sign ‘At the Civet-Cat and Rose in New Bond St., London’ (1740). British Library, London, Cup.21.g.41/12.
Created at 15th February 2024
by Jose Ramon Bertomeu Sànchez
Colored chemical tests for arsenic in a nineteen-century chemistry textbook. From Jean-Louis Lassaigne. 1844. Tratado completo de química … Madrid.
Created at 15th January 2024
by Xuelei Huang and Gemma McLean-Carr
Figure 1. ‘Oil painting of a man smoking an opium pipe’ (Science Museum, London). This painting of a man smoking an opium pipe used to hang in the opium den run by Ah Sing (d. 1890), in New Court, Victoria Street, London. Ah Sing’s opium den was the model for the one described in Charles Dickens’ unfinished final story 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'. It was probably the most famous of the dens in Victorian London and Dickens was just one of a number of well known individuals who visited it – presumably for research purposes. Maker: Unknown maker Place made: Europe.
Odeuropa Smell Explorer
The encyclopedia is enriched with textual and visual references to smells in historical sources via the Odeuropa Smell Explorer. With the help of state of the art AI, the explorer allows you to discover digitised texts in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Slovenian, and Latin, alongside still-lives, landscapes, and portraits from archives and museums across Europe from the 1600s to the 1920s.