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The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York Hardcover – January 22, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. New York Times perfume critic Burr (The Emperor of Scent) follows the creation of two new scents—Un Jardin sur le Nil by French luxury house Hermès, and Lovely, a celebrity fragrance by Sarah Jessica Parker—in a kind of travelogue through the international perfume industry, one of the most insular, glamorous, strange, paranoid, idiosyncratic, irrational, and lucrative of worlds. The former perfume was conceived by Hermès, informed by a trip to Egypt, then crafted by Jean-Claude Ellena, who represents a breed of ghosts known in the biz as perfumers. For the latter, Parker worked as artistic director of a corporate scent-making team. Burr illuminates perfumery's clash of cultures and values—French artistic purity versus American commercialism. Worldwide, this highly secretive industry's PR machine propagates several anachronistic myths. For example, it insists that perfume ingredients are naturally derived (the overwhelming majority are not, because of concerns about quality control, ecological impact and allergies, among others) and that the big names on the bottles are personally involved in creating scents (perfumers alone typically do this; Parker was a rare exception). Burr makes a strong case that this mythmaking works to the industry's detriment, and that inviting the public behind the scenes might help to reverse the industry's declining sales. Burr's is a thorough and often hilarious account of perfumery's colorful characters, the science and art of fragrance creation and the human experience of scent itself. (Jan.)
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"A thorough and often hilarious account of perfumery's colorful characters, the science and art of fragrance creation and the human experience of scent itself." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I was amazed and intrigued. The best part of the book is being introduced to one of the best "noses" (creators of perfume) in the business, Jean Claude Ellena. He is truly an artist and it was so interesting to learn how he works and how the big brands control the scents they sell.
Well worth the $ for a Kindle copy. If you have more than a passing interest in perfume you will really enjoy this.
Thank goodness this world is still capable of supporting the arts without which we would not have such trials and tribulations. Fun read.