Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume Hardcover – 1 May 2001
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"Probably the ultimate Christmas present for the modern aesthete" -- Evening Standard --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Introduction Chapter 1 The Spirit of the Alchemist: A Natural History of Perfume Chapter 2 Prima Materia: Perfume Basics Chapter 3 The Calculus of Fixation: Base Notes Chapter 4 Aromatic Stanzas: Heart Notes Chapter 5 The Sublime and the Volatile: Head Notes Chapter 6 An Octave of Odors: The Art of Composition Chapter 7 Flacon de Seduction: Perfume and the Boudoir Chapter 8 Perfumed Waters: The Reverie of the Bath Chapter 9 Aromatics of the Gods: Perfume and the Soul Supplies for the Beginning Perfumer Notes Bibliography Acknowledgments Index --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
There is something enormously pleasing about the original slow work involved in making, for example, botanical line drawings, woodcuts and the like, which are then here reproduced.
Aftel is a fascinating writer, too. Originally a psychotherapist she brings that listening delight to teasing out the useful story of ‘the other’ the uncovering of hidden meaning, to the way she sees her present vocation – perfumer. And, her interest is in natural perfumes, rather than those of novel synthesised chemistry created in a lab.
Those of us who are pulled, for many reasons, by perfume using plants, know that this is slow, reflective perfumery. At its best we are drawn into a realisation of the complexity of growing the plants, of extractions to yield their aromatics, of a weight of history behind them
And Aftel brings all this along with her in her book, connecting ‘’Per fumem” to its original, sacred roots, and the making of perfume from extracting essential oils from plants to an original pairing with alchemy.
Along the way as well as philosophical, psychological and historical reflections, there is much practical information for the budding kitchen perfumer, including methods, aromatic suggestions, information about what will harmoniously marry with what, and what might connect with interesting, piquant oppositions.
This is a book to enjoyably read and re-read – not to mention, embark on given formulations and sail out on one’s own to assay others.
The book concludes with a list of potential suppliers, though as this was originally published in 2001 I note some of the listed suppliers have long disembarked from their perfumed barges and vanished into the wild blue yonder,
There is also an extensive bibliography and reference section, to take the eager reader onwards into further aromatic journeys, be these deeper into an exploration of alchemy, or neurobiology and olfaction, or, even weighty tomes exploring the history and design of perfume bottles!
This is very much a deep, broad, wide read on the subject, but beckoning the lured reader on to further exploration
I reccomend it for everyone starting to understand perfumery.
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