The Little Books of Perfumes – sneak peek

October 4, 2011 § 11 Comments

The 100 Classics

Penguin US edition on the left, Profile UK edition on the right. Official pub date October 31, I’m told. Day before my birthday, note.

Oopsie on the blurb from India Knight on the UK edition, we know, please don’t write and tell us. Will be fixed on next printing, I am promised.

Material is mostly taken from our original Perfumes: The Guide and Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, with 96 five-star reviews from those two editions.

A good number of those reviews have re-smelling notes appended, since many many older fragrances have been recently adjusted with new materials, which have changed the balance in some and utterly changed the character in others. Some current bottlings we were unable to get in time, unfortunately.

The new material includes a foreword by TS and an essay on the Osmothèque by LT; there are four reviews of long-lost, beautiful Osmothèque perfumes we tested during a presentation on perfume by the brilliant Patricia de Nicolaï, curator of the Osmothèque, at the French Embassy in Washington, DC, organized by Smithsonian Associates.

I am sorry our publisher was so keen to have 100 fragrances; I would have liked to write about Poiret’s Fruit Défendu, about Fougère Royale and Ambre Antique and Parfum Idéal. At any rate, we give you L’Origan, described by me by LT’s request, and Chypre de Coty, Emeraude and Iris Gris, described by LT at my request. Personally, I think the book is worth peeking into just for LT’s take on those three fragrances. (My thoughts on L’Origan I think were tainted by despair for what had happened to L’Heure Bleue—all I could think while smelling them both was lost, lost, lost.)

There are also a glossary, a brief bit on sources for perfume samples and perfume education, and a Top Ten List section that includes Desert Island lists from both authors, so you can find out what we can’t live without. (Of course, if you asked me today I’m sure I might give you a different list. Hormones, you know.)

And that is it. Both editions are beautifully produced with the aim of making somebody you know a grand present at the end of the year. And the UK edition has a beautiful shocking pink ribbon, which you may slide slyly into place to your favorite perfume, and leave about the house prominently, as an indication as to what the next present ought to be.


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