In the nineteenth century there was nothing to hinder bacteria
busy at decomposition, and so there was no human activity,
either constructive or destructive, no manifestation of germinating or decaying
life that was not accompanied by stench. People stank of
sweat and unwashed clothes; from their mouths came the stench
of rotting teeth, from their bellies that of onions, and
from their bodies, if they were no longer very young,
came the stench of rancid cheese and sour milk and
tumorous tissue. The stench of sulfur rose from the chimneys
and the stench of caustic lyes from the ubiquitous tanneries.
Paraphrases from the novel Perfume by Patrick Süskind.