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women of a land in which the refinements of life have been carried so far
as Japan, and they received it from the Chinese.
Moreover, musk is still the most popular of European perfumes. It is the
perfumes containing musk, Piesse states in his well-known book on the _Art
of Perfumery_, which sell best. It is certainly true that in its simple
form the odor of musk is not nowadays highly considered in Europe. This
fact is connected with the ever-growing refinement in accordance with
which the specific odors of the sexual regions in human beings tend to
lose their primitive attractiveness and bodily odors generally become
mingled with artificial perfumes and so disguised. But, although musk in
its simple form, and under its ancient name, has lost its hold in Europe,
it is an interesting and significant fact that it is still the perfumes
which contain musk that are the most widely popular.
Peau d'Espagne may be mentioned as a highly complex and luxurious perfume,
often the favorite scent of sensuous persons, which really owes a large
part of its potency to the presence of the crude animal sexual odors of
musk and civet. It consists of wash-leather steeped in ottos of neroli,
rose, santal, lavender, verbena, bergamot, cloves, and cinnamon,
subsequently smeared with civet and musk. It is said by some, probably
with a certain degree of truth, that Peau d'Espagne is of all perfumes
that which most nearly approaches the odor of a woman's skin; whether it
also suggests the odor of leather is not so clear.
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