“Perfume” by Richard Stamelman is a heavy read – and I mean this both literally and figuratively… It weight five pounds!
Regarding content, the author has gone into great depth and research concerning the concept of perfume in general. The bibliography alone is 28 pages long, and references books by several of our own IPBA members. In addition to discussing the “juice,” he delves into how perfume has been portrayed in poetry, literature, paintings, sculpture, advertisements and other related connections. It is all interesting, but definitely not light reading.
This book would be interesting to the serious student of all aspects of perfume through history to modern day. Perfume bottle discussions are scattered throughout the text, but are incidental to the main topic. Of the many colored illustrations included, only a small percentage is about the bottles themselves, and even those are ones seen in other perfume bottle books.
I found the book difficult to read and ended up skipping scanning the majority of the text. Since our own IPBA Lending Library owns a copy of this book, I would suggest that any interested member check it out to peruse before deciding whether to by his/her own copy.
Reviewed by Lenore Worth-Hiers.