Professor Karl Schlögel
Historian and publicist
The aroma of empires
Two fragrances provide Karl Schlögel with the material to narrate the precipices of twentieth-century Europe in a new light. In the turbulence of the Revolution, the formula for a perfume created to celebrate the House of Romanov’s three-hundred-year jubilee found its way to France. It formed the basis of Coco Chanel’s N° 5 as well as its Soviet counterpart, ‘Red Moscow’. An innocuous coincidence led the author to astonishing discoveries in a period that we thought we already knew everything about.
Karl Schlögel, born in 1948, studied philosophy, sociology, eastern European history and Slavic studies, and until 2013 was a professor of eastern European history at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). 2016 Prize of the Historisches Kolleg for ‘Moscow, 1937’ (2008). His latest work was published by Reaktion Books: ‘Ukraine: A Nation on the Borderland’ (2015).