Jun 13, 2023
‘Elixir’ Review: Perfume and Science in Paris
Listen (3 min) In the mid-1830s two ambitious Parisian chemists, Édouard Laugier
In the mid-1830s two ambitious Parisian chemists, Édouard Laugier and Auguste Laurent, set out to answer a question that had perplexed scientists for centuries. By day they worked at a perfume house, Laugier Père et Fils, distilling cakes of bitter almonds, crushed bergamot peel and bitter oranges for tonics and fragrances. But by night, the men conducted radical experiments hoping to discover the chemical difference between organic and inorganic material—and in so doing, find the secret of life itself.
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