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Sandalwood and CarrionSmell in Indian Religion and Culture$
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James McHugh

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199916306

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199916306.001.0001

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Moon Juice and Uproar

Moon Juice and Uproar

Perfumery Texts

(p.105) 5 Moon Juice and Uproar
Sandalwood and Carrion

James McHugh

Oxford University Press

Given the diverse natures of smells, and their powerful affective potencies it is only natural that people sought to exploit them to please gods, placate kings, and arouse lovers. This chapter introduces texts on the art of perfumery, presenting a brief survey of these materials with particular emphasis on sources that treat perfume at some length. Perfume names in medieval South Asia are a rich source of information on the aspirations expressed through aromatic-culture: “Moon Juice”, “Who Goes There?” “Uproar.” The chapter focuses on one text called the Essence of Perfume (Gandhasāra) that presents some perfume formulae in a strikingly playful and literary manner.

Keywords:   perfumery, Sastra, Varahamihira, Gandhasaras

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