Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume Hardcover – 17 Sep 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£27.86 £21.09
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (17 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747554099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747554097
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.6 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 819,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Probably the ultimate Christmas present for the modern aesthete" -- Evening Standard --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mandy Aftel is the founder of Aftelier, through which she creates one-of-a-kind perfumes for individuals and private labels. She is also a counselor who specializes in working with artists and writers. She is the author of three previous books, most recently The Story of Your Life. She lives in Berkeley, California.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Considering the book is quite in depth in outlining the history of perfume, its practical and very readable .Attention to all details have been provided regarding essential oils throughout history to the present, including discussion on synthetic and consumer perfumes plus various recipes to produce your own natural perfumes.Throughout each chapter there are fantastic illustrations of period engravings and tales about the magic of perfume.To date the best book on essences and perfume I have read.
Comment 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This book is brilliant - it magically captures the science, history, scents and tradition of perfume. It also gives suppliers and suggested basic recipes. This is a must for anyone interested in aromatherapy or creating their own scents.
Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book expecting an overview of the "world discovered in perfume's wake" as Amazon quotes from the backcover of one edition. I expected some history, a little background, insight into the cultural significance of perfume to fill in the gaps I still had after reading the very technical Luca Turin on the same subject. If you share these expectations reconsider getting this particular book.

The author provides some history, but it is very short and my impression while reading was that it's very unfocused. There's no timeline, no key thought to hold it all together as the author just rambles on about alchemy and how magical perfume is, which is not at all how I like my history served. The whole book up to the actual perfume making from essential oils is very repetitive and all I remember stated over and over again in one way or another boils down to: essential oils good (and earthy, natural, magical, etc.), synthetic compounds bad (non-magical and earthy that is). After a few times reading what is really only the author's subjective feeling and preference in choosing the ingredients for her everyday work I seriously considered putting the book down.

When you go past the whole alchemy/history piece, you get to what clearly is the author's passion - actual perfume making. Still infused with the "natural good, synthetic bad" approach, I imagine it would be extremely helpful to anyone wanting to make their own perfume. It was very informative, consistent and organized, taking the reader step by step further into the secrets of composition, actual mixing of ingredients and all the equipment you need to start your own perfumery workshop, from beginner to advanced perfumer.
Read more ›
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The fastest reading in last years - I really liked it. It gives basic understanding about composition of perfume, how to work on it, also some historical and antropological insights why perfumery is so special and even magic.

I reccomend it for everyone starting to understand perfumery.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Just how much I loved this book, I have never seen someone write with such passion like this woman.

I felt like I was reading such a complex, interesting subject. It make me want to go and research everything I can on perfume.

It has made me want to be apart of creating natural perfumes. It opens your eyes to the sadness of loss of great natural perfumes and smells

This is an amazing book, by just reading this you will feel true passion for anything you love.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is a poetic, informative book on the history of perfume. It touches on various philosophical aspects in order to describe the nature of scent and provides an introduction to creating your own perfume. Easy reading, difficult to put down and full of infectious enthusiasm, this book will make you want to embark on creating your own perfumes imediately! Even if you have no intention of creating perfumes (which you may well have by the time you finish this book), Mandy Aftels Essence and Alchemy is an entertaining, inspiring and educational read.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback