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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

odors. Such cases of idiosyncrasy in which a person--frequently 

of somewhat neurotic temperament--becomes acutely sensitive to 

some odor or odors have been recorded in medical literature for 

many centuries. In these cases the obnoxious odor produces 

congestion of the respiratory passages, sneezing, headache, 

fainting, etc., but occasionally, it has been recorded, even 

death. (Dr. J.N. Mackenzie, in his interesting and learned paper 

on "The Production of the so-called 'Rose Cold,' etc.," _American 

Journal of Medical Sciences_, January, 1886, quotes many cases, 

and gives a number of references to ancient medical authors; see 

also Layet, art. "Odeur," _Dictionnaire Encyclopedique des 

Sciences Medicales_.) 

 

An interesting phenomenon of the group--though it is almost too 

common to be described as an idiosyncrasy--is the tendency of the 

odor of certain flowers to affect the voice and sometimes even to 

produce complete loss of voice. The mechanism of the process is 

not fully understood, but it would appear that congestion and 

paresis of the larynx is produced and spasm of the bronchial 

tube. Botallus in 1565 recorded cases in which the scent of 

flowers brought on difficulty of breathing, and the danger of 

flowers from this point of view is well recognized by 

professional singers. Joal has studied this question in an 

elaborate paper (summarized in the _British Medical Journal_, 

March 3, 1895), and Dr. Cabanes has brought together (_Figaro_, 

January 20, 1894) the experiences of a number of well-known 

singers, teachers of singing, and laryngologists. Thus, Madame 

Renee Richard, of the Paris Opera, has frequently found that when 

her pupils have arrived with a bunch of violets fastened to the 

bodice or even with a violet and iris sachet beneath the corset, 

the voice has been marked by weakness and, on using the 

laryngoscope, she has found the vocal cords congested. Madame 

Calve confirmed this opinion, and stated that she was specially 

sensitive to tuberose and mimosa, and that on one occasion a 

bouquet of white lilac has caused her, for a time, complete loss 

of voice. The flowers mentioned are equally dangerous to a number 

of other singers; the most injurious flower of all is found to be 

the violet. The rose is seldom mentioned, and artificial perfumes 

are comparatively harmless, though some singers consider it 

desirable to be cautious in using them. 

 

 

FOOTNOTES: 

 

[79] Fere, _Travail et Plaisir_, Chapter XIII. 

 

[80] _Travail et Plaisir_, p. 175. It is doubtless true of the effects of 

odors on the sexual sphere. Fere records the case of a neurasthenic lady 

whose sexual coldness toward her husband only disappeared after the 

abandonment of a perfume (in which heliotrope was apparently the chief 

constituent) she had been accustomed to use in excessive amounts. 


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