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Bombay Duck London

Quintessentially Perfume

Actually, Quintessentially Perfume is not a perfume:  it’s a new book about fragrance, and definitely one for the scentophile’s bookshelf.  Edited by Nathalie Grainger, with an intro by professeur de parfums Roja Dove and published – price £25 – by Quintessentially (those lifestyle concierge folk, who can bag you a table at Nobu or a helicopter to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – at a price), it is a gloriously multi-faceted look at the fragrance industry.  There are interviews with ‘noses’ (Camille Goutal and Ormonde Jayne’s Linda Pilkington, Clive Christian, Christine Nagel and more).  Lavish photographs and insights into historic flacons (with wonderful archive photography).  A look at the future of scent, from Chandler Burr, the New York Times’s own fragrance critic.  A chapter on the language of perfume, de-mystified, with a jolly useful glossary.

Why, there’s even a section from The Scent Critic herself, looking how at the rise of the ‘boutique’ fragrance houses like Frederic Malle, Francis Kurkdjian – not to mention Chanel’s Les Exclusifs collection – is a response to the age of ‘Me’, when we long to look, to be and most definitely to smell different from everyone else.  (There are other musings, too, by journalist colleagues who’ve also won Jasmine Awards for fragrance-writing:  Vicci Bentley and Jo Glanville-Blackburn.) I’m keeping Quintessentially Perfume by my bed, and enjoying dipping into it very much indeed.  And one last bonus of the book, since this blog is focussed on smell…?   The glossy pages have that wonderfully exciting, heaven-for-your-inner-glue-sniffer scent of a just-published, luxurious coffee table art book.



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