The Perfumed Garden is another book that together with the Kama Sutra and the Ananga Ranga may translate the thoughts and ideas of the people
from Arabia and North Africa on the human sexuality and relationships, which
had (partly thanks to such books) a major impact on our today's society values.
Much more than a simple work of pornography plenty of lists sex positions
as many people still believe, these books may offer interesting views on the
way that sex was treated on the old times.
Written around the 16th century in Arabia by Sheikh Nefzaoui, the Perfumed Garden was a sexual manual, which in such male dominated society as it was at
the time of its written, was prohibited for women, especially for containing
details of sex positions. The book was also translated by Richard Burton (same
translator of the Kama Sutra), although this time, he used a previous translation
from French as a reference. Considered more humorous and erotic than the other
books about the subject (specially Kama Sutra), the Perfumed Garden included
more than only descriptions of sex positions, but also descriptions of characteristics
of desirable men and women, and extensive lists of names for penis and vagina
(Lingam and Yoni, in Sanskrit) according to their sizes and shapes, and also
different ways and sex positions to arouse women before intercourse. Some specialists
claim that most descriptions for the different sex positions were borrowed from
Also differently from the Kama Sutra, the Perfumed Garden included a chapter
on homosexuality, with clear references to lesbianism, and a chapter on pederasty.
Both were left out from the book when it was translated. Frequently, the Perfumed Garden is referred as a sex position guide, the same way it happens with the
Kama Sutra. It's also common to see both the Kama Sutra and Perfumed Garden combined as a single book, although their differences in content and age.