Craig Pittman Raymond Arsenault Gary R. Mormino
- Title: The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid
- Author: Craig Pittman Raymond Arsenault Gary R. Mormino
- ISBN: 9780813039749
- Page: 436
- Format: Hardcover
Some people will do anything for beauty or fame FANTASTIC If I did not know most of the main players I would have thought the author had a vivid and twisted imagination Paul Martin Brown, author of Wild Orchids of Florida A fascinating true story of obsession, greed, and lust for the unobtainable Reminds me a great deal of The Maltese Falcon This rare flower is definSome people will do anything for beauty or fame FANTASTIC If I did not know most of the main players I would have thought the author had a vivid and twisted imagination Paul Martin Brown, author of Wild Orchids of Florida A fascinating true story of obsession, greed, and lust for the unobtainable Reminds me a great deal of The Maltese Falcon This rare flower is definitely the stuff that dreams are made of Ace Atkins, author of Devil s Garden and Infamous Pittman has captured the extreme competition, unique characters, and general insanity that often typify the orchid world The Scent of Scandal exemplifies how passion and profit can overrule common sense and the law Scott Steward, former associate editor, North American Native Orchid JournalEvery year than 100,000 people visit Sarasota s Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, in large part to see its vast orchid collection, one of the most magnificent in the world But the most famous orchid in Selby s history the one hailed as the most significant find in a century isn t on display It s the one that led to search warrants, a grand jury investigation, and headlines around the country Discovered in Peru in 2002, the Phragmipedium kovachii quickly became the most sought after orchid in the world Prices soared to 10,000 on the black market and otherwise rational people bent rules and broke laws in their obsessive quest to possess it Award winning journalist Craig Pittman covered this fascinating story, as it happened, for the St Petersburg Times, Florida s largest newspaper In this enthralling account, he unravels the tangled web of smugglers, scientists, and federal investigators to reveal who the real criminals were in this sordid affair He also shines a spotlight on flaws in the international treaties governing trade in endangered wildlife treaties that often protect individual plants and animals in shipping but do little to halt the destruction of whole colonies in the wild With candid interviews from nearly everyone involved in the case, The Scent of Scandal unspools like a riveting mystery novel, stranger than anything in Susan Orlean s The Orchid Thief or the film Adaptation Pittman shows how some people can become so obsessed with beauty, with profit, with fame, with the desire to own a rare flower that even the possibility of going to prison will not deter their risking everything.Craig Pittman writes about environmental issues for the St Petersburg Times He is the coauthor of Paving Paradise Florida s Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss and author of Manatee Insanity Inside the War over Florida s Most Famous Endangered Species.
Recent Comments "The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid"
What is it about orchids that provokes such obsession? This book details the egos, eccentricities and excesses that dominate the world of rare orchids. Verging on some of the same territory as The Orchid Thief, this book takes a less romanticized view of the people involved in orchid research. Pittman details the situation with a reporter's precision, juggling a large cast of eccentric characters. The story told is one that played out in the newspapers and media but what remains is a sense of sa [...]
Pittman's best book yet and my favorite Florida book in some time. Fuses investigative reporting and true-crime writing to create the pace and tension of a great detective novel.
I like orchids, so I read it. Learned a lot about flowers, the book is not that great however
As a long-time south Florida naturalist, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to impress upon others the importance of taxonomy. Avoiding the confusion often associated with common names is an obvious advantage, but scientific nomenclature can often also provide a helpful mnemonic for identification, can help identify close ties among species, and—most interestingly—often provides a gateway to truly great stories. Craig Pittman does a masterful job of proving the latter point in the pages of hi [...]
You really can't make this stuff up. And if you did, nobody would believe you anyway. Can orchids really make people nuts? The answer, as Craig explains, is a very definite yes! Craig leads you down a path of international intrigue and deception, only to occasionally yank you back into the reality that all of it is over flowers -- not drugs or jewels or espionage.Byzantine regulations, corrupt officials, arrogant collectors and (over)zealous prosecutors all play a role in creating the bizarre un [...]
I review The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid Pittman portrays Kovach, the Adventurer, Selby's staff and others as backstabbers who out of greed, jealousy, fear or egotism take sides and turn against each other. Two of the principals even planned to do reality TV shows about orchids. There's also courtroom drama and a mysterious death that may have been suicide, accident or murder. What more could you ask for?Go to my blog:Have Words Will Write ‘Emand th [...]
The first half of this book is fascinating, explaining the crazy world of orchid collecting, and telling about all of the main players in this orchid scandal. However, half way through is where I was feeling "okay, let's wrap it up already and give me some bullet points of how things played out", but there was still half a book left!! I did some serious skimming at that point. It was probably so incredibly detailed because it was part of a series about Florida history published by a university p [...]
Just finished "Scent" - holy smokes, what a cast of characters!! Only in real life--and especially in my home state of Florida-- can it get that crazy KUDOS!! A larger-than-life look into the world of orchid lovers, collectors, and smugglers.Craig Pittman guides you through a maze of international intrigue, jealousy, greed, and the magnificent obsession of acquiring elusive and rare orchids. This story begs for the big screen!
Botany can be exciting! I loved Craig's tale of skulduggery in the orchid world. Truth can be stranger than fiction.
Written by a newspaper reporter and reads like an extended news article. Interesting subject, learned a lot about orchids, import rules, smuggling.
You can see them in windows of houses whilst driving along the road. Go to a florist or to a gardening store and there they are, and botanical gardens are positively lousy with them. I’m talking about orchids — it seems like everyone likes orchids. But some people like them a little too much. It’s these people who are the focus of Craig Pittman’s recent book, The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World’s Most Beautiful Orchid [University Press of Florida; 2012].Reading thi [...]
Seventeen years ago while living in Orlando I picked up a photograph I was having enlarged and the store owner commented that it was a nice shot, maybe I should enter it at Selby. "What's a Selby?" I asked as he handed me an entry slip. Turns out it is a garden and research center in Sarasota with a specialty in orchids and they sponsor an annual photo contest so off went the picture. I got a call a few weeks later letting me know that I had won the landscape division and could I come over for t [...]
Up until orchids could be propagated in quantity, they were searched for by the Indiana Jones' of the plant community, slogging through dense jungles for that prize orchid, the Holy Grail of orchids, that they could add to their precious collections, and would make them a packet. Then in 2002 the world's most exquisite orchid in over a century was found. Not wanting to be scooped, or to cause any kind of sensation before this orchid could be identified and named, it was illegally smuggled out of [...]
The true story of an orchid. It doesn't sound like a very exciting story,but it was. Orchid people are nutty, I've concluded, but there are many nutty people in all kinds of professions. The story is about a new slipper orchid and its "discoverer" and a whole lot of orchid people who got into this mess. The basic "story" is about Michael Kovach, who brought this new orchid into the country, showed it to orchid people at Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota, and had it named after him. But a lot of ot [...]
I am the typical common orchid lover, who got her first Phalaenopsis, and when I managed to get it flower again I was over the moon and rushed to buy anther one. today I have 16 of them. Tried my luck with other types, but we did not click. However this does not prevent me from admiring other types, go to shows, visit botanical gardens and read about Orchids, and thus this book.Although I did not have luck with Lady Slippers, looking at the pictures of the Kovachii I can understand why people wa [...]
I liked this book quite a bit. The people who found, collected, studied, and/or named Phragmipedium kovachii had such amazingly bad luck!My one (very) minor issue: this purportedly factual account perpetuates a myth about the discovery of Cattleya labiata. (See nybg/plant-talk/2013/0). Part of that myth is that C. labiata is endemic to Rio de Janeiro. The fact that it is found in northeast Brazil around Pernambuco can be verified in the literature (see Almeida, P et al. "Microsatellite markers f [...]
In The Scent of Scandal, Craig Pittman takes a complex drama with numerous actors and manages to keep the reader interested and carried along the story's multiple twists and turns. Like being on a roller-coaster ride through a botanical garden--including the offices, laboratories, and greenhouses out back. The character-driven narrative includes just enough backstory on orchids, endangered species policy, South American jungles, and botanical science for context. There are no boring parts.Anyone [...]
If I had known I would have to keep track of 45 participants in this saga overall amzing that all this came about from bring a flower(s)? from Peru - all those US tax dollars spent for investigating and prosecuting. GueI thought this book would be more fun Like Eric Hanson´s Orchid Fever which was an easy romp through the wild world of orchid collecting mania.I had to keep referring to the 2 pages of names of the participants in the scandal --- who was that again?I wouldn´t want to read this b [...]
A terrific story well told about the orchid world and the local and international scandal at Marie Selby Gardens, Sarasota, Florida. The author is the St. Pete Times reporter who covered the story, so it is filled with facts and well researched information. I recommend to all readers and Floridians.
This book got some great reviews and since I love my little orchid collection and botanical gardens such as the Selby, I thought I would enjoy this book. Wrong. I kept waiting,page after loathe some page, for it to get in the least bit interesting, I skimmed the last 10% just to make sure I had not missed something exciting; I didn't .
Knowing some of the people involved in this "drama" made it interesting reading for me. It's more like a novel and could be made into a movie or play. The characters are "characters" of various kinds and with various agendas all revealed as the story unfolds.
Interesting story of how lust for an unusual orchid got a lot of folks in trouble. For the orchid enthusiast.
Fascinating how obsessed orchid collectors can be.
I like the book and a lot of research was done.
If you enjoy raising orchids, you'll find it a good read.
Fascinating story of orchids, smuggling, and Marie Selby Gardens.
great start but dragged towards the end. interesting though, learned a little about the corrupt world of orchid's.
An interesting read but a bit tedious after about 75 pages---It is amazing however to get a peak at the Orchid Underworld.Although well researched, I did prefer the Orchid Thief over thisbook.
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