Patrick Suskind's novel Perfume made real - the true history of a scientific genius with eerie powers of smell who uses his gifts to solve one of the body's last secrets: how the nose works.
In the tradition of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief and James Gleick's Genius, The Emperor of Scent tells the story of Luca Turin, an utterly unusual, stubborn scientist, his otherworldly gift for perfume, his brilliant, quixotic theory of how we smell, and his struggle to set before the world the secret of the most enigmatic of our senses.
“The Emperor of Scent is a gem of a book- I was mesmerised and enlightened by the many perfect asides woven into the main body of this incredible true tale.”
“With the contagious enthusiasm of a nerd given the run of a chemistry lab, he has transformed a chance meeting with a curious biophysicist named Luca Turin into an amusing and poetic adventure in science and art.”
“Ebullient- a book that celebrates the randomness and arbitrariness of discovery while also translating complex science into the colloquial- as its title indicates, The Emperor of Scent presents a larger-than-life autocrat and his interesting, engaging eccentricities-an inspired, exhilarating view of idiosyncratic science”
New York Times
“Fascinating and lucid- the details of Turin's work unfold like a revelation. For his part, Burr does a fine job of turning both the science and the academic jockeying around a possible publication in Nature into a pulse-racing affair.”
“A brilliant, feisty scientist at the center of a nasty, back-stabbing, utterly absorbing, cliff-hanging scramble for the Nobel Prize. The Emperor of Scent is a quirky, wonderful book.”