Faire l’histoire des sens
The historian who is keen on events, dates and concrete facts has always approached the world of the senses with care since this is obviously over influenced by subjectivity. And yet the colours and textures of objects, the smell of places, the flavour of food and the taste of wine must first and foremost be defined as facts of society for they allow an understanding of a civilisation. First we propose to carry out a historiographical survey and we have highlighted the progress made by the history of art in this field and the pioneering role of some historians such as Michel Pastoureau and Alain Corbin. A second part offers an inventory of available sources: treatises, regulations, memoirs, private jottings, legal sources … Finally, we present our aims: a history of the senses which must be developed within a time frame, distinguish various evolutions and seek out a global history. In fact, up till now, the history of the five senses has been scattered into different parts, concerned with taste, smell and sight and they have never been connected.