Perfume by Dariush Alavi aka Persolaise – Book Review

Perfumistas, Welcome to the New Perfume Year.

Let us start the fragrant journey this year with Perfume…

Perfume by Dariush Alavi aka Persolaise

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This book is a great read even if you are miles along your fragrant journey. If you think you know everything then you will appreciate the compact and erudite prose. If you are just starting then this book will calibrate your knowledge so that you can read the signposts to travel on into unexplored places. An essential travel guide to scented landscapes; effectively a written mappa mundi of Perfumeland. This book is nothing to do with being snobbish despite the complete name which is Le Snob: Perfume. Le Snob is the name of a series of knowledge based books on various topics from publisher Hardie Grant. Watch out, some people became caught in a monsoon somewhere in this hardcover book. You of course would be able to weather the weather and read on.

Throughout the book there are sections headed Words from the Wise; these are commissioned contributions from Christopher Chong, Roja Dove, Jo Fairley, Ronny Geller, Francis Kurkdjian, Carrie Meredith, Linda Pilkington and Andy Tauer.

The scope of the book includes:

Origins of Perfume
Making Perfume
Perfume Structure
The Perfumers
Appreciating a Perfume
The Language of Perfume
Trends and Variations
The Categories of Scent

Mainstream and Niche Perfumes – selections arranged by perfume house with examples of their output rather than with every single ‘fume they have ever made. Great idea. This section makes up 92 pages of the 143 pages in the book.

How to Wear Perfume
Perfume Storage
Rare and Exclusive Perfumes
Bespoke Perfume
Buying Perfume

Events and Exhibtions
Perfume Courses
Professional Bodies

There is also a Glossary which is far more informative than many online resources. As you would expect from this author.

After reading this book you will know how to smell well.

Available at:
Good Reads
Harrods London for under £10

and anywhere where good perfume books are sold.

Further Reading
Author’s notes
Persolaise – website

Volatile Fiction
Perfume Shrine
Tauer Perfumes
The Non-Blonde
The Unseen Censer


11 responses to “Perfume by Dariush Alavi aka Persolaise – Book Review

  1. Pingback: A New Day has come… | The Fragrant Man·

  2. Seems like the book I’ve been waiting for, and I don’t mind becoming lost or caught up in storms or monsoons or even drowned in the new knowledge wafting through my brain. Sorry Jordan, I pinched your word there.

    • It was fun and intelligent. I had fun today drawing a sandalwood oil draw. What a way to start the year. I love my life. The gift recipients should be announced soon. They are sitting in the publishing queue.

  3. I was lucky enough to find this little gem in my stocking this Christmas and it really is a lot of information in a small package. On a practical level, I also love the stretchy page marker thingy, as I’m always losing bookmarks, which could also double up as a note holder thingy. I thought the info was well organized, clearly written and best of all, omits what I feel is the “fluff” of many other perfume tomes. I did find myself saying “Oi! What about XXX” in several sections – after all, I reasoned, how can you have a section on Guerlain without L’Heure Bleue, Liu, Parure, Samsara, Vol de Nuit – erm, oh right, I get it. This isn’t a perfume dictionary that covers everything, it is a selective guide that covers the – well – select. I like how each section is color coded and the hand drawn illustrations are charming. Best of all, due to its handy size, I can take it with me in my bag and treat my friends to on the spot info …

  4. Pingback: Holiday Reading – Book List 1 of 2 | The Fragrant Man·

Leave a Reply to Jordan River Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s