Perfumery: The psychology and biology of fragrance by D. M. Stoddart (auth.), Steve Van Toller, George H. Dodd

By D. M. Stoddart (auth.), Steve Van Toller, George H. Dodd (eds.)

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As an example, consider the 'neck bite' in the mating behaviour of carnivores (Ewer, 1968). It is an element of mating behaviour commonly seen in cats and dogs, but it also occurs in a host of other mammals and even reptiles. Shortly before intromission, the male opens his jaws and takes the female's neck into his mouth. If this behaviour were not under the strictest of controls, the female could sustain serious and even fatal INCENSE AND PERFUME 15 InJury, for in the context of killing prey precisely the same behaviour is exhibited, only without inhibition.

In addition, the cost of the product is a key point. Today's consumer has little opportunity to sample a fine perfume - sister of a fine vintage wine constructed exclusively from the finest, fresh, natural flower oils. 24 THE MOLECULAR DIMENSION IN PERFUMERY For the reasons discussed below, I disavow the special role ascribed by Tisserand and other aromatherapists to natural essential oils when they are used for the creation of perfumes. However, I do share some of their nostalgia, together with a little alarm at what has happened to perfumery.

If the function of perfumes is to mask oestrus advertising odours, it is hard to accept that important ingredients might be substances which serve to advertise oesttus and sexual status in wild mammals. Students of animal behaviour have long recognized the incorporation into a certain piece of behaviour an element which, in a different context, serves an entirely different function. As an example, consider the 'neck bite' in the mating behaviour of carnivores (Ewer, 1968). It is an element of mating behaviour commonly seen in cats and dogs, but it also occurs in a host of other mammals and even reptiles.

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