Perfume, by William Kaufman, is yet another coffee-table type survey of the world of perfume. It offers a more detailed history of perfume than some of the other books reviewed here, starting with the use of aromatic materials in ancient Egypt, moving on to an overview of perfume flacons through the ages, and then tracing the origins of the modern perfume industry in France via the production of perfumed gloves in Grasse. The section on modern-day perfumery is, however, comparatively brief and offers little of note on the 20th century.
But the main draw is the second section of the book, which focuses on creation and artistry in the field. Highlights include 1973 interviews with Edmond Routnitska and Marcel Carles, a lecture given by Mr. Roudnitska to the First International Perfumery Conference in 1969, and a reprint of an article by Jean Carles titled “A Method of Creation in Perfumery”. These are fascinating reading for perfume enthusiasts, and the Jean Carles article will also be of special interest to anyone who is interested in learning to create their own perfumes.
Perfume is 200 pages long, and there are full-color illustrations throughout. It was published in 1974 by E.P. Dutton & Co, and is long out of print, but copies turn up on Ebay fairly regularly.