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  1. #1

    Default Books On Perfumes

    Can anyone recommend to me any books on perfumes.....i don't mean the techniques of perfumery as such.. just books detailing the history etc of famous perfumes......

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    I am interested in ordering the publications from the Fragrance Foundation:
    http://www.fragrance.org/public_public_flash.html

    I'm not sure if they are books or pamphlets.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Hmmm they look like pamphlets don't they?

    Look interesting though


    I really wanted 'The Perfume Companion' by nigel Groom

    But it's out of print

    http://www.elegant-lifestyle.com/perfume-books.htm

  4. #4

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    You may want to check out the following titles:

    Elizabeth Barillé & Cathérine Laroze
    The Book of Perfume
    transl: Tamara Blondel
    Paris: Flammarion (1995)

    Susan A. Irvine
    The Perfume Guide
    London: Haldane Mason Ltd (2000)

    Jan Moran
    Fabulous Fragrances II: A Guide to Prestige Perfumes for Women and Men
    Crescent House Pub (2000)

    John Oakes
    The New Book of Perfumes
    London: Prion Books Ltd (2000)

    The first two should be easily available everywhere. I've listed these four specifically because a) they are in English, and b) they have been recommended by BN and PoL members on several occasions. I still enjoy browsing through "The Book of Perfume" after many years of owning it.

    As for Groom's "Perfume Companion" from 1999, I still use as a reference book every now and then, but it's a bit outdated. I don't think it's worth getting second hand unless you buy it cheap (say, 15$ or less). Beware that the exact same book has been published under different titles, and with different covers (= different publishers): you may in fact still be able to find a new copy somewhere.

    Now if you read French, there's a galaxy of perfume books out there, with many outstanding works indeed.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcello
    Elizabeth Barillé & Cathérine Laroze
    The Book of Perfume

    Susan A. Irvine
    The Perfume Guide
    I have and really like these two. *The Perfume Guide mostly features women's perfumes though. Susan Irvine also wrote Perfume: The Creation and Allure of Classical Fragrances. I think that's the full title, but I can only find it online as simply "Perfume" and I haven't got the book here.

    Nigel Groom's The New Perfume Handbook is a great encyclopeadic (sp?) work that I use a lot for reference.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcello
    You may want to check out the following titles:

    Elizabeth Barillé & Cathérine Laroze
    The Book of Perfume
    transl: Tamara Blondel
    Paris: Flammarion (1995)

    Susan A. Irvine
    The Perfume Guide
    London: Haldane Mason Ltd (2000)

    Jan Moran
    Fabulous Fragrances II: A Guide to Prestige Perfumes for Women and Men
    Crescent House Pub (2000)

    John Oakes
    The New Book of Perfumes
    London: Prion Books Ltd (2000)

    The first two should be easily available everywhere. I've listed these four specifically because a) they are in English, and b) they have been recommended by BN and PoL members on several occasions. I still enjoy browsing through "The Book of Perfume" after many years of owning it.
    Thanks Marcello. I do have susan Irvines book. Enjoyed reading through it, but mainly female perfumes unfortunately. Still interesting musings though

  7. #7

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    I own Jan Moran's Fabulous Fragrances I and II and can only give them a mixed review. For the first month that I owned them, I thought they were pretty useless. I was spoiled rotten at the time because I had just been reading much more engaging perfume reviews by Luca Turin. Moran only seemed to be supplying a list of the notes in each of a wide variety of perfumes accompanied by a "review" that in most cases sounded like something the manufacturers could have written about their own stuff. I do not recall reading a single negative review. Her implication appears to be she would not include a review of a perfume if she did not like it, and (in fairness) she does include a long list of "runners up" to which she could have relegated the stinkers.

    Then I lost volume II for a month (the only volume with any masculine fragrance listings) and came to realize that just having lists of notes for fragrances you have never smelled can be rather helpful. Had I known what I was getting, however, I'm still not sure I would have forked over amazon's price for the books.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    I'm new here, but apart from the titles listed in other posts, I would suggest :

    - (usable with minimum proficiency in French)
    Rebecca Veuillet-Gallot, Le guide du parfum, Editions Hors Collection, 2004.
    This handy and well-written book is just that : a real guide, with clear and relevant information, historical perspective and personal judgement in brief notes about what you can buy these days.
    Veuillet-Gallot is 'artisan parfumeur junior', and her training is put to good use for beginners and more advanced amateurs. Only 170 pages long, small format. It comes as a relief after all the costly and spectacularly useless coffee-table books published around Christmas. I now take this book with me as a check-list when I go to the big stores and don't want to be drowned into the ocean of (short lived) new fragrances.

    - (in French, unfortunately) THE reference for perspective and insight : Le parfum, Edouard Rounitska, Que Sais-je ?, Presses Universitaires de France, 1980 (very unexpensive)
    Roudniska trained and inspired many contemporary perfume composers. He knows what he is talking about (he created Eau sauvage etc. - check your favourite database; Frédéric Malle's fans are familiar with Le parfum de Thérèse Roudnitska created for his wife) He was the first in France to define convincingly the composition of fragrances as an art form and a serious intellectual topic, drawing heavily on Bergson, the early 20th century philosopher.
    The book is often dated : Roudnitska has no taste for 'violent' fragrances, he is sometimes bitter in his efforts to be recognised as an author (such a legal status only came here in 1999 for perfume designers). But the man's passion, intelligence and competence may be felt intact.
    I recently read an interview of a very young designer and she said that this very small book (130 miniature pages !) had determined her decision to start a career, even though her family had no connexions with the Grasse élite or Paris couturiers. Edouard Roudnitska (not his son Michel) also wrote L'esthétique en question (shamefully out of print even in French !) and Une vie au service du parfum.

    And also, but more for background, a novel (In English translation), *: Perfume, the Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind (a huge success back in 1985/6) -widely available in paperback. A pleasant way to learn or refresh your memory about the traditional way of making perfumes. Süskind cleverly integrates the technical details into his narrative about a quest for a deadly perfect perfume before the age of Jicky.





    *

  9. #9

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Edmond Roudnitska is definetly a key figure in 20th century perfumery. In my opinion he introduced academic discourse into the world of perfumery; in all his writings, most notably in "Le Parfum", he raised important questions regarding the art, craft, and aesthetics of perfumery. I agree with Garrigue that he uses a somewhat bitter tone in "Le Parfum" (I guess not unlike many famous French thinkers of his generation). This book is always worth mentioning, as it has been so influential to pefumers in recent decades; but if you are just looking for a book about famous perfumes and nothing more, then Roudnitska's work is not what you're after.

    oh, and a warm welcome to new member Garrigue! A great contribution to this topic, do keep posting!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    I need to bring another book to the attention here, of which I was informed yesterday. It's a follow-up on the Romanian perfume encyclopaedia which I've mentioned earlier this year, a condensed "essential guide". Here's a link to the publisher of "Parfumul", by Octavian Sever Coifan:

    http://www.curteaveche.ro/bookdescription.php?book=303

    I hear you think... it's not in English! Well, let's hope that one day this work will be translated!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Thanks Marcello. I feel Roudnitska gives relevant insight about the history of famous perfumes, for instance about René Coty's Chypre, which still defines this wonderful line of fragrances; and also about his own work for Dior and others
    *

  12. #12

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Thanks Marcello. I feel Roudnitska gives relevant insight about the history of famous perfumes, for instance about René Coty's Chypre, which still defines this wonderful line of fragrances; and also about his own work for Dior and others
    *

  13. #13

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Now

    Not at all a book regarding history - references etcc..... but a classic - if you fancy something a little bit different

    Perfume by Patrick Suskind

    laurent
    Invisible Power

  14. #14

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    In this thread, this may be of general interest since I haven't found any previous reference to Biblioparfum on Basenotes.
    http://www.biblioparfum.net
    It's an easy-to-use French bibliography based on a private collection of more than 500 books (some in Italian or English), on all aspects of perfume, with pictures of covers and contents.
    I find the list tantalizing and it includes several categories I had never considered about this topic. Many historical books are out of print, but their titles and artwork alone stimulate curiosity.



  15. #15

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by garrigue3
    I find the list tantalizing and it includes several categories I had never considered about this topic. Many historical books are out of print, but their titles and artwork alone stimulate curiosity.
    A n d stimulate my willingness to recall whatever is possible from your language, Garrigue. It may take a while, but I want to thank you now!
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Thank you Narcos, don't feel discouraged : perfumes, as is the case with any technical topic, are discussed with a very limited number of terms (ingredients, processes etc.). Once you are familiar with the vocabulary, you can get the useful substance of the vast majority of books in French.
    This is far easier than mastering the nuances of everyday language. Some people are surprised how seriously perfumes have long been considered here, as a lucrative export industry naturally, but also as part of a local lifestyle and an art form. I've noticed that as soon as you have an interest in a given field, learning the essentials gives you access to wonderful resources ignored by publishers who, sadly and often mistakenly, have no taste for translations.
    (Considering the international status of English, I think there would be a niche market there - any volunteer here ?). I try to make the effort with languages that are not my own, and it's worth it, e.g. here on Basenotes, which has no French equivalent as far as I know.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Books On Perfumes

    Nigel Groom's Perfume Handbook

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