This sounds like the effect that liquid Skill magic has in Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy, specifically this description:
"What does it feel like?" I asked the Fool.
He glanced down at his bandaged fingers. "Not pain. Very sensitive. I can feel the weave of the threads in the bandages." His eyes started to get distant. He smiled. "I can see the man who wove it, and I know the woman who spun it. The sheep on the hillside, rain falling on their thick wool, and the grass they ate... wool is from grass, Fitz. A shirt woven from grass. No, there is more. The soil, black and rich and..."
"Stop it!" Kettle said harshly. And she turned to me angrily. "And you stop asking him, Fitz. Unless you want him to follow it too far and be lost forever." She gave the Fool a sharp poke. "Eat your food."
Assassin's Quest, page 640-641
The effect of the Skill on unschooled users is that they get lost in the depth and richness of the experience, ending up as drooling husks - not really madness, per se, but along the same lines.
The Fool also has minor-to-major parts in the Liveship Traders Trilogy and the Tawny Man Trilogy, including becoming a highly skilled woodcarver because of his ability to "feel" the wood. (I have not read it yet, but I suspect he's also in the in-progress "Fitz and the Fool Trilogy")