The Scent of Empires
- date of publication: 17.02.2020
- 224 Pages
- Hanser Verlag
- ISBN 978-3-446-26582-0
- Deutschland: 23,00 €
- Österreich: 23,70 €
- E-Book ISBN 978-3-446-26744-2
- E-Book Deutschland: 16,99 €
Can a fragrance conserve history? With his new book, Karl Schlögel has written a historical pièce de résistance: two perfumes, the French Chanel Nº 5 and the Soviet Red Moscow, provide him with the material to explore the dramatic events of 20th-century European history from an unusual perspective.
The turmoil of the Russian Revolution brought the formula for a fragrance, which had been created for the 300th anniversary of the Romanovs, to France. It provided the basis for Coco Chanel’s Nº5 and its Soviet counterpart, which is still produced today under the name “Red Moscow”. Polina Zhemchuzhina, wife of Foreign Minister Molotov, was director of the state-run perfume industry. She later fell victim to a cleansing campaign while Coco Chanel collaborated with the German occupiers. An apparently insignificant coincidence leads Karl Schlögel to a series of astonishing discoveries about an epoch we thought we knew well.
France (Circé), GB/USA (Polity), Italy (Rizzoli), Slovenia (Beletrina), Russia (Text)