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This review is from: The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York (Hardcover)
If you are intimidated by whippet-thin, well coiffed, stylish clerks at the cosmetics counters or simply wish to learn more about an industry that sells dreams, Mr. Burr peels back some of the layers of marketing and spin put out by the perfume industry. Over the course of about a year, he follows the NY-based production of a contemporary fragrance issued under Sarah Jessica Parker's name and the Paris-based building of a "scent image" for the ultra protective Hermes house. He discusses the pros and cons of natural vs. synthetic ingredients, schools you in how fragrances are designed and described and sheds light into the reclusive, spotlight-shunning world of the trained perfumers who build the fragrances that fuel the industry. A bit of gossip, some dish on his disdain for any of the Hugo Boss products, a reveal on that final marketing push to capture the eye and nose of the media and public. A quick read, funny and a good introduction that makes you want to run the gauntlet of fragrance-spitzing women at the local Nordstroms, Sephora or Macy's to see what he speaks of.