Perfume: A Century of Scents

Perfume: A Century of Scents

Last night we celebrated the launch of ‘Perfume: A Century of Scents’ by Lizzie Ostrom.

Five years ago, under the alter ego of Odette Toilette, Lizzie started hosting themed evenings brought the world of perfume to life – in exactly the same way they might go to a food festival, a wine tasting or a literary salon; she wanted to create a different conversation around scent.

At Hatchards Book Shop in St Pancras International we were joined by a selection of fragrant fanatics and keen historians to be taken on a whirlwind tour of the book, with the hand of 7 perfumes (each with their own accompanying music…!).

The book tells the incredible stories of 100 perfumes in all their fragrant glory – with ten lovingly chosen scents for each decade of the twentieth century.

Signature scents and now lost masterpieces; the visionaries who conceived them; the wild and wonderful campaigns that launched them; the women and men who wore them – every perfume has a tale to tell. On these pages Lizzie has captured the elusive role scent has played in our cultural history.  Depending which perfume we’re talking about, there are chapters on scent and literature, theatre, fashion, advertising, archeology, TV, gender and cinema.

Perfume: A Century of Scents is out now in a seriously blingtastic hardback by Hutchinson (£16.99) and on Kindle (£6.99) - head to Hatchards in St Pancras for your signed copy (perfect for Christmas!).

A huge thank you to Lizzie for her fabulously fragrant presentation, and to Hannah and the team at Hatchards for hosting (and especially the fragrant cakes pictured below)!

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