This month we have been delving into the world of all things aroma – books included! We think the following are must-reads for anyone interested in the alluring, the redolent and the sometimes outlandish world of smell.
Examining the role of smell in English towns and cities, Urban Smellscapes highlights the perception of scents within the city setting and its contribution towards an overall sense of place. With case studies from factories, breweries, urban parks, and experimental smell environments in Manchester and Grasse, Urban Smellscapes identifies the processes by which urban smell environments are managed and controlled.
Essence & Alchemy: A Book Of Perfume, by Mandy Aftel
Written by one of the world’s best natural perfumers Mandy Aftel, Essence and Alchemy is perhaps our favourite book on perfume. In this book Aftel takes an in-depth look at the history of perfume and its social and metaphysical legacy. Tracing scent history from the spice trade to alchemists, Aftel archives the scents used everyday from the places of worship to the bathroom and bedroom, educating us on the art of perfume-making along the way. The book additionally features many of her own recipes, offering insights on the relationship of scent to solitude, sex and the soul.
The Smell Culture Reader, by Jim Drobnick
This collection of essays provides an extensive overview of the most elusive aspects of scent. From hygiene to aromatherapy, the fetid to the fragrant, smells are shown to be much more than just an adornment or a nuisance. Addressing this engaging sense in evocative detail, The Smell Culture Reader demonstrates how essential smell is to sexuality, social status, personal identity, and cultural tradition.
Once Upon A Time…Perfume, by Annick Le Guerer
Although not strictly celebrating natural perfume, this beautifully curated book is a favourite as it chronicles the adventures of Houbigant, Pivertm Lubin, Poiret, Guerlain, Chanel, Dior, Hermes and other master creators who have shaped the history of perfumery. Featuring scented pages comprising of the aromas that have come to define the commercial perfume world as we know it today – Once Upon A Time…Perfume is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the magic of perfumery.
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, by Salvatore Battaglia
Internationally acclaimed as the most comprehensive overview of aromatherapy, this highly informative text is designed with the modern holistic aromatherapist in mind. Covering the art and science of aromatherapy along with the multi-disciplinary constituents of this ancient practice, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy is a must-read for anyone interested in working with essential oils in both a personal or professional setting.
Aroma: The Magic of Essential Oils in Foods and Fragrance, by Mandy Aftel and Daniel Patterson
Without aroma there is no flavour, so what happens when you take one brilliant perfumer and set her loose in a chef’s kitchen – you get vanilla perfume, saffron, ginger, and blood orange bath salts, and a cucumber mist. Swap it around and set one clever chef loose in a natural perfumer’s apothecary and you get rose-infused steamed bass, peach-jasmine sorbet, and a book filled with floral and herbal inspired recipes. Aroma: The Magic of Essential Oils in Foods and Fragrance covers the journey of two talented creatives, chef Daniel Patterson and perfumer Mandy Aftel, trading places and celebrating aroma as the primary food experience.