Rare Perfumes ~ perfume book review

Rare Perfumes, book cover

Rare Perfumes (the French version is called Parfums Rares) is a celebration of niche perfumery, in a coffee table format with large illustrations and plenty of white space (see images below). It was commissioned by the Osmothèque, the museum and scent archive in Versailles, and sponsored by The Fragrance Foundation France, InterParfums, Robert Piguet and Parfums de Nicolaï, among others. It was written by two fragrance journalists, Sabine Chabbert and Laurence Férat, and features a preface by Patricia de Nicolaï.

If you’re looking for a critical, in-depth analysis of how niche perfumes fit into — or don’t fit into — the larger fragrance market, or how niche influences mainstream or vice versa, look elsewhere (and tell me where you find it). This is not that, nor is it a niche version of something like Michael Edwards’ Perfume Legends: French feminine fragrances, with its focus on perfume development and the interplay between brands, perfumers, marketers and designers. Other than in passing, you will learn relatively little about individual fragrances or how they differ from from their mainstream counterparts…

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The bold, the sexy and the downright odd smells

Barbara Herman, author of Scent & Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume, talks to NPR's All Things Considered about vintage fragrances:

Blogger Barbara Herman has spent the better part of the past six years taking a deep nosedive into the world of vintage fragrances. Her quest? To find the bold, the sexy and the downright odd smells that have defined women over the decades.

The segment is a little over 5 minutes long.

Fragrances of the World 2014 by Michael Edwards ~ new perfume book

Fragrances of the World 2014 by Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards has released the latest version of his “fragrance bible”, Fragrances of the World 2014. The reference book celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The 2014 edition lists over 8,000 fragrances grouped by fragrance family, and includes over 1,200 new releases. The book is used by numerous retailers to help customers find fragrances they might like based on the scent(s) they already know and enjoy…

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22 Perfumers / 22 Parfumeurs by Clara Molloy & Carine Soyer ~ perfume book review


The format of the 2007 book 22 Perfumers: a creative process (also published in French as 22 Parfumeurs) is simple: interviews with 22 perfumers, presented in a coffee table format with lots of pictures. The book was the brainchild of Clara Molloy, who founded the niche perfume brand Memo the same year that the book came out.

As the subtitle suggests, the book focuses on the creative aspect of perfume development, but you’ll learn other things about the perfumers in question as well — Michel Almairac loves to cook, Alberto Morillas has “organized his life around a garden”. Each perfumer is presented with different questions, but overall, you’ll get a glimpse into what it’s like to work as a perfumer…

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