Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Reviews

I can't wait to review the book I'm reading now. Oh, I love it so much.

But for now, I'll write a bit about two other books I recently finished reading.

Ellena, Jean-Claude, Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent, New York, NY: Arcade Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 9781611453300

Burr, Chandler, The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York, New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2007. ISBN: 9780805080377 HD9999.P932B87 2008

I included the LoC call number on the second citation because it was in the book, and I used to add those to a list of books we had collected at my old job. It can help you learn what a book is about by looking at those, and while it might seem obvious for many books, that isn't always the case.

I would definitely recommend The Perfect Scent to anyone interested in fragrances and the perfume industry. It covers many of the aspects of fragrance creation, from the scent itself to the bottles and marketing. Naturals vs. synthetics comes up, and most fragrance companies don't want you to realize their scents aren't all natural. All natural fragrance is really a niche, though some of the larger companies do use large amount of naturals in their perfumes.

I also thought it funny that fashion designers want the public to believe they make the scents themselves. It never occurred to me that they would have, though I didn't know much about who did create them until a few years ago. The Perfect Scent delves even deeper into this, revealing how much goes into one single scent.

I don't really recommend Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent unless you're obsessed with Jean-Claude Ellena. It's not that it's a bad book per se, but it covers a lot of the same ground as the The Perfect Scent. One of the two fragrances featured by Burr was created by Ellena, and he does a better job of capturing Ellena's thoughts and creative process better than Ellena does. Of course Burr is primarily a writer and Ellena primarily a perfumer, so it's probably proper that Burr would write the better book. Ellena does have another book that I haven't read yet, so perhaps that one will prove better.

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