Can a drop of perfume tell the story of the twentieth century? Can a smell bear the traces of history? What can we learn about the history of the twentieth century by examining the fate of perfumes? In this remarkable book, Karl Schlögel unravels the interconnected histories of two of the world’s most celebrated perfumes. In tsarist Russia, two French perfumers – Michel Beaux and Auguste Michel – developed related fragrances honouring Catherine the Great for the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.