Originally inspired by retro facial powders, these soft and powdery…
By Deborah Fulsang
Reading about fragrance is second only to smelling fragrance. (At least for many of us perfume geeks.) Or tied with ogling fragrance bottles on crowded fragrance counters and spending an afternoon sniffing perfumed blotters.
So if you have a scent lover on your holiday shopping list, do buy them one of their favourite spritzes, but treat them to a fragrance-themed book as well.
Tessa Williams’ recently released Cult Perfumes: The World’s Most Exclusive Perfumeries would be just the ticket. Like a great fragrance, this book has depth, charm and intelligence.
From Lubin (perfumer to Empress Josephine), to modern-day niche perfumeries such By Kilian (the company established by Kilian Hennessy of the Hennessy cognac family), Williams’ book showcases the most influential and highest quality fragrance brands. She traces the history of the houses, spotlights the personalities and the celebrities associated with them—whether Antonia Bellanca, the founder of Antonia’s Flowers, to Erwin Creed and his father Olivier Creed who were inspired by Jackie Kennedy Onassis in their creation of Love in Black.
Not only does Cult Perfumes provide a comprehensive history of modern-day perfumery, it entertains as well. The book is loaded with information yet Williams’ easy-to-read style keeps it from being too dense. A good pacing with chapters, beautiful imagery (from bottles and archival shots to visuals from ad campaigns), along with quotes sprinkled throughout the volume, mean you can pick up the book and launch in at whatever page you like.
So get thee to your trusty online bookseller and shop immediately. Expedited service will ensure you could still receive for Christmas. But then again, this is a great book to give any time of year, because what fragrance enthusiast wouldn’t love a surprise gift on, say, a random Tuesday, of a new perfume and a fragrance book alongside?
Cult Perfumes: The World’s Most Exclusive Perfumeries (Merrell, ISBN: 978-1-8589-4577-4; 192 pages with 300 colour illustrations), $36, www.chapters.indigo.ca