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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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The Incense Trees of the Land of Emeralds

The Incense Trees of the Land of Emeralds

Exotic Aromatics in Medieval South Asia

(p.159) 7 The Incense Trees of the Land of Emeralds
Sandalwood and Carrion

James McHugh

Oxford University Press

The most valued components of perfumes were precious and exotic materials: sandalwood, aloeswood, musk, camphor, saffron, and incenses. This chapter discusses the imaginary worlds where these materials were said to originate: forests filled with worm-eaten woods, and remote places where deer roamed with perfume-filled navels. The materials produced in such places were all the more valuable for these strange origins, and, despite these origins, texts prescribe these materials above all others as offerings to gods and enlightened beings.

Keywords:   exotics, aromatics, spices, trade, sandalwood, agarwood, musk, camphor, saffron

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