- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Hutchinson (22 Oct. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0091954533
- ISBN-13: 978-0091954536
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.5 x 22.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Perfume: A Century of Scents Hardcover – 22 Oct 2015
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"A wonderful, well-informed read... Charming and illuminating... I loved it… if you're thinking about Christmas presents I would buy it..." (India Knight Spectator)
"Lizzie Ostrom’s entertaining romp through a century of perfumes, ten per decade from 1900 to 1999… This book is as delectable an artefact as the product it describes… the perfect accompaniment to a bottle of J’Adore in your stocking." (Suzi Feay Independent)
"A really enjoyable, fun book... a great stocking filler." (BBC Radio 2 Fact Not Fiction Book Club The Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman)
"Beautifully written and illustrated with a sumptuous cover, this would make a perfect gift." (Cathy Rentzenbrink Stylist)
"More social history than beauty book... the witty insights and fun, chatty style make this a lush treat or a gorgeous gift." (Alexandra Heminsley The Debrief)
The incredible stories of 100 perfumes in all their fragrant glory – ten lovingly chosen scents for each decade of the twentieth century.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
The structure of her witty, entertaining socio-scentual musings is simple: for each decade of the 20th century, she has chosen 10 scents which, in some way, encapsulate the concerns, ideals and mores of the years in which they were created. In other words, she doesn't aim to present a list of the best or most acclaimed fragrances, thereby giving herself the freedom to spring several surprises, including Impulse O2, Hai Karate and Mennen's Skin Bracer. It's a refreshing approach and even if it sometimes results in unfortunate omissions - I suspect Ostrom will spend at least 20 years in purgatory for snubbing Shalimar - it ensures that the book never slips into predictability.
Indeed, its lack of cliches is its most disarming and commendable attribute.Read more ›
There have many dry, dusty and pretentious books about perfume over the years which use language that "Countdown's Dictionary Corner" would struggle to understand, but this is not one of them. "Perfume: A Century of Scent" is a roller coaster ride through one hundred years of fragrance. The good, the bad and the downright ugly are all in here, and that is what makes the book such a compelling read. It was fascinating seeing some of the scents that I work with every day being given a totally new spin. I have heard EVERY Guerlain story a thousand times, but Lizzie manages to make everything sound fresh and new, and even educate this 'old rascal'.
Rather than just choose one hundred perfumes and write about them in depth, Lizzie cleverly sets her choices against the historical background of the time. You get one fragrance from each year, from 1900 to 1999, and you will be amazed at what she has selected. You've got the big hitters like Guerlain, Chanel and YSL, but room is also made for a few forgotten gems. I'm going to let you discover these yourself, because that is part of the fun of this book, but the fact that Lynx and Avon are bedfellows with Piver and Caron shows just how diverse Lizzie's selections are.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very nice book with a lot of good ideas but print a bit small, my mum couldn't read it which was a shamePublished 7 months ago by lovenest
Bought this for a birthday present for someone who enjoys both history and perfume, they were thrilled!Published 13 months ago by Rebecca Jayne Smith
This is for the dedicated perfume lover, those who enjoy the interesting stories behind the perfumes more so than a description of the ingredients in the perfumes themselves. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Miss Rosemary G Lloyd
Perfume and scent wasn't something I particularly had an interest in until I read this very well written book. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Rohan G.
Light heartedly written, well researched and quite a few of my favourite scents here, but a few notable omissions that I would liked to have seen, maybe room for volume 2?Published 17 months ago by John N Pring
A fascinating book. It just kept me turning the pages, and revealed lots about the relationship between perfume and society.Published 17 months ago by Denyse Weiser
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