IPBA The Essence of Perfume by Roja Dove

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The “Essence of Perfume” is lavishly illustrated journey through the history of perfume, taking in the glamour and scandal of the industry as well as the science behind iconic scents. Perfume has always been an exclusive industry. From its early days with France quickly claiming the title as the premier centre of the perfume industry, to the current multi-million pound industry retaining is image of luxury and glamour. In the Essence of Perfume, the story of perfume, from ancient Egypt where the fragrance Kypi induced mass surrender when it was offered in worship to the sun god, through the rivalry between Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, and up to modern day celebrity fragrances, is told by the world expert in perfume.

Roja Dove is without doubt the world’s leading fragrance authority. Described not only as a perfume historian, but also a storyteller, Dove’s genuine passion and often risque wit are infused within the pages of this authoritative guide to the world of perfume. The book includes chapters encompassing the social and scientific history of scent. Our sense of smell is discussed, focusing on how it has evolved and why we respond to odours in the way we do. The birth of the modern perfume industry is outlined, looking into society’s attitude to fragrance and the progress towards perfumery as we know it. The techniques involved in the process of making perfume are detailed including the methods of extraction used to obtain the oils that form the building blocks of perfumery. Furthermore, the raw materials of perfume and their olfactory qualities are explored, leading onto how a perfumer constructs a fragrance and the principle styles and strengths of fragrance that are created.

Dove then goes on to look at the great creations in perfumery from 2990, decade by decade with descriptions and their socio-economical context. The perfumers and the stories behind the houses are discussed revealing the characters that have revolutionized the industry, told with Roja’s knowledge and humour in a delightfully photographic section the crystal houses and the iconic bottles they produced are explored. Roja also looks towards the future of the perfume industry and the influence celebrities, and their fans, have had.

With beautiful photographs from unique and iconic perfume bottles, vintage and modern day advertisements, and featuring big name houses and characters. The Essence of Perfume is an ideal gift for anyone with an interest in beauty, fashion, perfume and design.

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