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Table of contents
PREFACE
TOUCH-1
TOUCH-2
TOUCH-3 (begin)
TOUCH-3 (end)
TOUCH-4 (begin)
TOUCH-4 (end)
SMELL-1
SMELL-2
SMELL-3.1
SMELL-3.2
SMELL-3.3
SMELL-3.4
SMELL-3.5
SMELL-4 (begin)
SMELL-4 (end)
SMELL-5
HEARING-1
HEARING-2
HEARING-3
VISION-1.1
VISION-1.2
VISION-1.3
VISION-2.1
VISION-2.2
VISION-2.3
VISION-2.4
VISION-3
VISION-4
VISION-5
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2.3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

accentuated sometimes, even with a slight scent of prussic acid 

about it, a faint whiff of overripe peaches." These 

"spice-boxes," however, Huysmans continues, are more seductive 

when their perfume is filtered through the garments. "The appeal 

of the balsam of their arms is then less insolent, less cynical, 

than at the ball where they are more naked, but it more easily 

uncages the animal in man. Various as the color of the hair, the 

odor of the armpit is infinitely divisible; its gamut covers the 

whole keyboard of odors, reaching the obstinate scents of syringa 

and elder, and sometimes recalling the sweet perfume of the 

rubbed fingers that have held a cigarette. Audacious and 

sometimes fatiguing in the brunette and the black woman, sharp 

and fierce in the red woman, the armpit is heady as some sugared 

wines in the blondes." It will be noted that this very exact 

description corresponds at various points with the remarks of 

more scientific observers. 

 

Sometimes the odor of the armpit may even become a kind of fetich 

which is craved for its own sake and in itself suffices to give 

pleasure. Fere has recorded such a case, in a friend of his own, 

a man of 60, with whom at one time he used to hunt, of robust 

health and belonging to a healthy family. On these hunting 

expeditions he used to tease the girls and women he met 

(sometimes even rather old women) in a surprising manner, when he 

came upon them walking in the fields with their short-sleeved 

chemises exposed. When he had succeeded in introducing his hand 

into the woman's armpit he went away satisfied, and frequently 

held the hand to his nose with evident pleasure. After long 

hesitation Fere asked for an explanation, which was frankly 

given. As a child he had liked the odor, without knowing why. As 

a young man women with strong odors had stimulated him to 

extraordinary sexual exploits, and now they were the only women 

who had any influence on him. He professed to be able to 

recognize continence by the odor, as well as the most favorable 

moment for approaching a woman. Throughout life a cold in the 

head had always been accompanied by persistent general 

excitement. (Fere, _L'Instinct Sexuel_, 1902, p. 134.) 

 

We not only have to recognize that in the course of evolution the specific 

odors of the sexual region have sunk into the background as a source of 

sexual allurements, we have further to recognize the significant fact that 

even those personal odors which are chiefly liable under normal 

circumstances to come occasionally within the conscious sexual sphere, and 

indeed purely personal odors of all kinds, fail to exert any attraction, 

but rather tend to cause antipathy, unless some degree of tumescence has 

already been attained. That is to say, our olfactory experiences of the 

human body approximate rather to our tactile experiences of it than to our 


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