Scents and sensibilities

October 25, 2018

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Eau de Beloved.

Katya Ulitina/Alamy Stock Photo

Kurt Andersen talks with Sandi Tan, who shot a film as an 18-year-old in Singapore in 1992, but the footage disappeared. She finally got her hands on the footage a few years ago, and the mystery of its disappearance is the subject of her new documentary, “Shirkers.” Tanwi Nandini Islam is a novelist and a perfumer — and she demonstrates how she applies both of those talents to create a fragrance based on the Toni Morrison novel, “Beloved.”  And getting to the bottom of the hidden meanings and long life of Don McLean’s “American Pie.”

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