The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York

The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York

by Chandler Burr
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Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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RS92 More than 1 year ago
If the subjects of business, luxury brands, France, NYC or perfume interest you (all four are some of my favorites) - you might enjoy this book. It may not be for everyone but I love it. It makes me happy to read it. It will be a keeper that I have around to re-read upon occasion. Chandler Burr is a really good writer and I am glad I stumbled upon this gem.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book Burr juxtaposes the development of two scents - one in Grasse, France for the couture house Hermes, and the other in New York, instigated by Sarah Jessica Parker, who is working with Coty. His French protagonist is a 3rd or 4th generation perfumer; his American, a famous actress who wants to develop a product she likes, similar to one she blends for her own use, to share with her public. In each case, the approach to product development is similar; someone has an idea and enlists the help of professionals to develop it - and Burr is involved at every turn, from a trip down the Nile with a battalion of photographers, to a walk in the rain in NYC with a famous actress. From the chemicals which are blended to create a perfume to the packaging and marketing of the final products, Burr captures the romance, mystery and mundane business of the perfume industry. (Sorry, I know that sounds like a book blurb, but its true!) I enjoy reading Burr's writing; he can turn a clever phrase, then give a good basic explanation of the problems of using 'natural' or 'organic' molecules in making products. There is a small section in this book where he delightfully reviews a list of popular scents; he is especially arch about the 'masculine' scents which are a blend of pine sol and diesel fuel. This a very funny section which made me stop at a perfume counter and smell for myself. If you are not cognizant of this industry, this book will be a perfect introduction to it; there is far more to it than I ever thought, and these pages are populated by some very interesting personalities. (I am not a television watcher, so have only seen Ms. Parker in a few of the movies she has made; Burr shows her to possess a lively intelligence and a quick wit.) Burr's writing seems informal and occasionally flip, but he obviously knows his science, which is the necessary background to explain the complex chemistry of the scent industry. Burr has recently published his first novel, which was a name dropping story of literature and the Hollywood Hills. It was a fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard this gentleman speak at a Times Talk in the NYTimes building. He's the paper's scent critic and he seemed to know a lot about the fragrance industry and art history. So, I bought this one book of his. Well, I thought I would learn a little about how the fragrance industry works. Wow! I got a thorough understanding while being intrigued and entertained. He's very easy to read, a great story teller and a real smartie. The book has inspired a desire to learn more about perfume, history, and beauty marketing. I can't wait to read the Emperor of Scent, his other book on these subjects.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a most interesting book. I have always loved perfume and learning about the industry itself was facsinating. Mr. Burr knows what he is talking about from every angle and gives ample descriptions of formulas, ingredients, marketing ploys and bottle designs. It was interesting to note that so many of the 'designer scents' that carry the names of famous people don't even have their personal input! Marketing executives and lawyers take care of everything for them and Americans just buy the name brand of whomever they like as a celebrity. So sad...give me real French perfume anyday!! Please pass the Chanel#5 my way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, to credit one of the least creative categories of consumer products categories with this much mystique is another example of yet another industry's delight in mutual masturbation. Celebrity scents - who cares? The lackluster divas who create simplistic, one-trick-pony ads- who cares? This book, this industry, this author - they all stink.