Book Reviews

The Perfume companion - the definitive guide to choosing your next scent

The Perfume Companion is a beautifully illustrated compendium of almost 500 recommended scents, designed to help you pick out your next favourite fragrance.

Perfumes have the power to evoke treasured memories, make us feel fabulous and help us express our best self. But with so many out there, how do you choose something new? When the scents in the perfume shop are merging into one aromatic haze, how do you remain focused? And if your favourite scent goes out of stock, how do you replace it? The Perfume Companion is here to help. Sarah McCartney and Samantha Scriven deliver a host of scents for you to try - including bargain finds and luxury treasures, iconic stalwarts and indie newcomers, the lightest florals and the deepest leathers.

With insider information about how perfumes are really made, discover hundreds of new fragrancesand find the scents to share your own memories with. This is the perfect companion for your scented adventures.

The essence - discovering the world of scent, Perfume & fragrance

The Essence recognises the fact that scents are linked to our most cherished memories, that it has the power to instantly transport us back in time - uncovering the memories in such a vivid way that it feels they only happened yesterday! Given the power of fragrance there is no wonder that it has captivated us as humans for centuries. The book explores the varied world of perfumes, smells, and aromatic incense to reveal the why fragrance has this enduring allure. Th Essence delves into history, culutre and science that has shaped the multi-billion dollar perfume industry. 

This book will explore multiple elements of the fragrance industry from the lavender fields of Provence, to the labratories where fragrance is created, to the incense producers in India. Meet the trailblazers shaping the future of perfumery as well as exploring technologies vital role in scent production and what shape this will take in the 21st century.

An inviting read for novices and connoisseurs alike! Discover the fragrant world today with The Essence! 

Le Snob: Perfume

Part of the Le Snob series of guides (which also includes Cigars, Champagne, and Shoes), Perfume contains tips on developing your fragrance appreciation skills, information about scent creation processes, a compact international shopping directory and exclusive contributions from Christopher Chong, Roja Dove, Jo Fairley, Robby Geller, Francis Kurkdjian, Carrie Merideth, Linda Pilkington and Andy Tauer, covering topics from advertising to the use of suynthetic materials.
The majority of the book conists of over 100 must-try fragrances as chosen by Dariush Alavi (Persolaise). Featuring bona fide mainstream classics and little known niche gems, the selection represents the very best and most interesting creations that today's perfumeries have to offer.
This handbag size masterpiece is filled with jargon-free information covering all of the basics of perfumery. The reviews are eloquently written with emotive language and a comprehensive oversight of the fragrance world. Perfect for brushing up on your fragrance knowledge during your commute to work!


The Little Book of Perfumes

In Perfumes, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez reviewed nearly 1,500 fragrances in their witty, irreverent and innovative handbook - separating the divine from the good from the monumentally awful. 
Here in The Little Book of Perfumes the authors choose their 100 greatest fragrances of all time. Some are very famous, some hardly known, for women and men. 
There is Jicky (1889), unisex coeval of the Eiffel Tower and 'a towering masterpiece'; Chanel's No. 5 (1921), perhaps the world's most famous perfume, 'stretching deliciously like a sleepy panther'; Knize Ten which 'everyone should own because there is only one like it' and White Linen (1978), 'a canonical expression of the American ideal of sex appeal'. 
This is a perfect gift, a perfect browse.


Perfume: A Century of Scents

The incredible stories of 100 perfumes in all their sniffable glory - ten lovingly chosen fragrances for each decade of the twentieth century by Lizzie Ostrom.
‘The Heston Blumenthal of perfumes’
You Magazine
To be published in hardback by Hutchinson, 22nd October 2015, at £16.99 In this beautiful book, full of warm and witty prose, perfume expert Lizzie Ostrom, aka Odette Toilette, tells the stories of 100 perfumes in all their sniffable glory – 10 scents for each decade of the twentieth century.
Beginning with the decadent, Art Nouveau-inspired fragrances of the 1900s, A Century of Scents unveils the fascinating histories of these now-lost masterpieces of fragrance. As the century marches forwards, our guide turns to the scents still loved, loathed and recognised by millions of men and women around the world today, many of which came from the most celebrated creatives of their day.
Odette Toilette will be diving into the bottles, revealing the wild and wonderful ad-campaigns, bringing to life the visionaries who launched these fabulous fragrances and, most importantly, getting to know the people who wore them. Each of the 100 scents – whether a long-lost masterpiece, a guilty pleasure or an infamous success story – is here brought to glittering life.
For fans of Perfumes: The A-Z Guide; Sali Hughes’s Pretty Honest; A History of the World in 100 Objectsand How to be Parisian; as well as readers of fashion biographies and lively history, the story of each of the 100 scents builds an alternative history of the year in which it was conceived, revealing just how weird and wonderful these perfumes – and their makers and wearers – have been through the decades. Since 2010, scent-lover Lizzie Ostrom, aka Odette Toilette, has been turning the world of perfume upside-down with her anarchic, London-based Scratch+Sniff and Vintage perfume events. With her nights inviting audiences to delve into – and sniff – themes as varied as teen nostalgia and scent, Dirty Perfumes (hosted on a bed) and live perfume-making experiences, Lizzie has become one of the most exciting commentators on all things sensory.
As an infectious public speaker, Lizzie has collaborated with cultural institutions and events such as The Wellcome Collection,
Somerset House, The Royal Observatory Greenwich, The Natural History Museum, the Bath Literature Festival and The Royal Institution. Find out more on her website:
For more information or to request a review copy, please contact Millie Seaward at / 020 7840 8453 

The Essence of Perfume

The Essence Of Perfume by Roja Dove is the Master Perfumer's definitive guide, offering a rare glimpse into the knowledge, passion, and creativity of a Master Perfumer. Since it was first launched, The Essence Of Perfume has become the benchmark text for perfumery worldwide, and is an indispensable industry reference for many professional fragrance organisations.
Championing true innovation and artistic flair, award-winning perfumer Roja Dove takes us on his own personal journey of scent, from his transformative childhood memories, to the creation of Roja Parfums; revealing scandals of the fragrance world printed here for the first time. Dove explains why it is essential to look to the past in order to create the future, asking 'What Next?' If Dove's prediction is correct, perfumery is about to change forever.
Due to unprecedented global demand following the sell-out first book, this new edition features additional sections about the inspirations behind Roja Dove¹s creations; new methods of extraction; a comprehensive list of the exotic raw materials of perfumery; and never-seen-before fragrance bottles. Highlighting classic male fragrances, this new book is one of the first to celebrate men¹s perfumery in its own right.


The Perfume Bible

Bestselling co-Author of The Beauty Bible Josephine Fairley has teamed up with leading fragrance expert and former Harrods & Liberty Fragrance Buyer Lorna McKay to create this lavish book. The Perfume Bible captures the romance and beauty of perfumery in an accessible, informative way that deepens the reader’s appreciation and enjoyment of this art form.  This beautifully-illustrated, comprehensive guide to scent brings together everything you need to know about perfume including guidance on which ‘scent family’ you’re attracted to (to help you find new perfume ‘loves’), the art of shopping for fragrance (and its after-care), the journey ‘from field to flacon’, and offers a run-down of the 100 Perfumes to Try Before You Die - which include many of the greatest scents ever bottled. If you’ve ever had a question about fragrance, it’s answered here…
Packed with insider info from the world’s leading experts and interviews with some of greatest international perfumers, this is an essential companion for anyone with a passion for fragrance - or who simply wants to learn more.  And of course, it makes a foolproof and fabulous gift for a perfume-lover, to be referenced time and again.
As Jo explains, ‘The world of fragrance is bewitching – but also, for a lot of people, confusing.  We take the reader on a journey from the dawn of fragrance right through to today – which we believe is the most exciting time in perfume’s history, with contemporary alchemists (the noses) weaving stories in scent form.’
Lorna McKay was Perfumery and Cosmetics Buyer at Harrods before setting up The Liberty Perfumery.  She then joined QVC as their first beauty buyer nearly 20 years ago, and has worked as a consultant in the beauty industry, also helping to create fragrances for the Liz Earle range.
Josephine Fairley is co-author of the best selling Beauty Bible series, which includes The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible and The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, and is a widely-published journalist. (She is also co-founder of Green & Black’s.)
Lorna and Jo have also joined together founded The Perfume Society (, already hugely popular since its launch in May 2014: the first consumer-facing appreciation society anywhere in the world to be dedicated to the enjoyment and understanding of this fascinating industry, whose global annual value is estimated to be upwards of $60 billion.

Perfume legends from Michael Edwards

“Perfume Legends explores the evolution of modern French fragrances through the eyes and words of their creators.”- Michael Edwards, author of Perfume Legends
Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances is now considered one of the most significant books written on modern perfumery. Edwards had been fascinated by the fragrance creators, yet surprised by the lack of public knowledge about their work.Never before have so many creators, perfumers, couturiers, bottle designers and fragrance house executives spoken so openly about their fragrances. Share their secrets, their stories, and their sources of their inspiration. The result is a gold mine of information and insight.


Even in times of economic hardship, perfume is an affordable luxury, recognized for its ability to make us not only smell good but also feel great. No woman's dressing table or bathroom cabinet is complete without at least one bottle. Cult Perfumes is the first book to explore the most exclusive boutique perfumeries producing some of the world's most captivating scents. Tessa Williams documents more than 25 perfumeries and brands, ranging from the pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, established by Dominican friars in 1221, and the classic English company Floris, founded in 1730, to the new eponymous range created by the famed fragrance expert Roja Dove. Williams goes behind the scenes at each perfumery to interview the perfumers and explore the evolution of the company, the ethos behind the brand, and its signature scents. With a concise illustrated introduction to the history of perfume-making and features on iconic perfumes, future cult classics and the so-called noses who keep the brands attuned to today s popular scents, Cult Perfumes will be as alluring to lovers and collectors of perfume as the fragrances it presents.

PERFUMES - The Guide

I've long wished perfumery to be taken seriously as an art, and for scent critics to be as fierce as opera critics, and for the wearers of certain "fragrances" to be hissed in public, while others are cheered. This year has brought Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, which I breathed in, rather than read, in one delighted gulp.' Hilary Mantel, Guardian

Perfumes: The Guide is the culmination of Turin's lifelong obsession and rare scientific flair and Sanchez's stylish and devoted blogging about every scent that she's ever loved and loathed. Together they make a fine and utterly persuasive argument for the unrecognised craft of perfume-making. Perfume writing has certainly never been this honest, compelling or downright entertaining.

The Diary of a Nose 

Perfume creation is an exclusive and secretive endeavour. What is day to day life like for a perfume-maker? How does the creation of a new scent begin? How do you capture the essence of a smell on the skin?

For one year, Jean-Claude Ellena kept a diary of his life as 'parfumeur exclusif' ('le nez' or 'the nose') for Hermès. Believing that creating a scent is like creating a work of art, and describing himself as a writer using 'olfactory colours', he explains how all of the five senses come into play when creating a perfume. He also reveals how inspiration can come from a market stall, a landscape, or even the movement of calligraphy, and concludes this charming, perceptive diary with recipes for natural fragrances, each made up of three synthetic ingredients, to create the illusion of smells like freesia, orange blossom, grapefruit, pear, chocolate, cashew and cotton candy.

This is the story of a quest to capture what is most elusive. Jean-Claude Ellena offer readers a rare insight into the secrets of his business, his art, and his life as one of the world's most important and admired perfumers.

The Secret of Scent

Funny, irreverent and passionate, The Secret of Scent opens the lid on two worlds - the glamorous and highly lucrative realm of the perfume makers, and the equally rivalrous domain of smell science.

Smell is our forgotten sense. Long neglected by science in favour of more prestigious areas of research, it's also barely understood in general life. At the core of our sense of smell lies an enigma: why do things smell the way they do? How is smell written into the molecules? This book is the story of the quest to solve this puzzle.

Luca Turin has been described in The Economist as 'a man with a powerful nose and a bizarre obsession with perfume.' Starting with a tour of the great perfumes and their gifted makers, he shows how few people have an idea of what perfume is or how it is made, let alone how smell works and what part it plays in other pleasures like food. But not everyone has ignored this powerful sense. A small band of mavericks has been trying to crack the code of smell for seventy years. Building on their work, Turin thinks he has succeeded. And like all good mysteries, the solution was all the while hidden in plain sight - in this case, right under our noses.

Quintessentially Perfume

Quintessentially Perfume pays homage to the diversity of fragrance styles there are to discover and describes how smell and scent can enhance our everyday lives by triggering emotions, memories and dreams. This stunningly illustrated coffee table book contains interviews from sensory visionaries and reveals what sets them apart; which aspects of their lives inspire their creations and what the power of perfume means to them. The book is split into nine perfectly mapped chapters starting with a brief synopsis of Perfume through the years written by one of the world s most influential perfumers, Roja Dove. The reader is then taken on a magical journey through chapters such as Human reaction to perfume , The language of perfume , and an insight into The Creatives , finally concluding with Perfume - the future . Quintessentially Perfume s main chapter presents 39 of the most prestigious perfume brands and houses worldwide that are loved and admired for their beauty, originality and shared passion for highly individual fragrance. The selection ranges from small or independent to more widely distributed names including: Acqua Di Parma, Comme des Garçons, Grossmith, Robert Piguet and Tom Ford to name but a few.