… he came near, and kissed Isaac: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven…
This iconic narrative from the Judeo-Christian tradition is full of olfactory references that are topical today: There is the significance of body-odor. Isaac regards the body-odor as a reliable fingerprint that distinguishes his son Jacob from Esau. On the other side Rebecca is smart enough to cover Jacob’s hands and the smooth part of his neck with the smelly goatskins. She basically fakes the body odor. In our days we have all heard of some artificial smells in shopping malls or products scents that try to make us believe in some authentic qualities. And the message of story is clear: The scent masquerade can perfectly worked!
Image source: The Phillip Medhurst Picture Torah 143. Isaac blessing Jacob. Genesis cap 27 v 27. Eckhout.jpg (https://commons.wikimedia.org)