The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry In Paris And New York by Chandler Burr

I read Chandler Burr’s original New Yorker article on Un Jardin Sur Nil when it came out and remember being absolutely fascinated. Mr Burr is an excellent journalist and writer, and he really drew me into a world which I never really give much thought to otherwise. This book expands upon that original article and, even better, includes the research he did following Sarah Jessica Parker through the unprecedented creation of her scent, Lovely (if you’re a fan of hers, this book is essential reading.) The Perfect Scent made me hyper-aware of the role of perfume in our daily lives, and taught me a lot about the modern industry. I found especially amusing Mr Burr’s periodic rants against the market, though I do confess that I was not personally impressed with Un Jardin Sur Nil when I finally got a chance to try it, though most everyone in the book lauds it. But taste is a difficult creature to pin down, I suppose. Mr Burr does a great job with helping the reader break down the whys and wherefores, however, and really broadened my view of perfume.

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