Perfume by Neil Chapman

I had a post all about Les Eaux de Chanel planned for this week! But then I finished Neil’s book and I figured why not write about it?

The full title is: Perfume: In Search of Your Signature Scent. The art deco cover design is gorgeous. There are even little illustrations of perfume bottles throughout the book, which is such a nice touch. It’s clear that no detail was too small here.

Let’s be honest, Perfumes: The A-Z Guide from Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, looms over this genre. I own the 2008 paperback and it’s definitive in a way. I almost feel a little bit upset when I disagree with Luca or Tania’s opinion on a fragrance. I appreciate that Neil has made his own entry into this category because his approach is different. The book is littered with personal anecdotes and I feel as though I’m having a conversation with a friend. Whereas, with Luca in particular, I feel like I’m interacting with a professor (Tania comes across as more friendly to me, more like Neil). If you’re intimidated by The Guide, or find yourself disagreeing with Luca (which I often do), give Neil’s Perfume a try. It’s a welcome approach to breaking down this slightly maddening and endlessly fascinating world of fragrance.

I finished reading Perfume on Monday night after an upsetting and emotionally distressing afternoon, during which we all saw Notre Dame de Paris go up in flames. I couldn’t focus on anything that evening, not making dinner, not mindless tv shows. Eventually, I found solace in Neil’s book. It helps that many of the entries are short and easily digestible. When the entries on individual perfumes are longer, it’s for a good reason. It means that Neil has a good story to tell!

I would have enjoyed this book no matter what. But the fact that it helped ground me during an emotional time makes it even better. I’m now in the process of going back through to mark certain chapters and pages with post-its. I don’t want to write in the actual book because it’s such a lovely presentation! I’d hate to mark it up with a highlighter or pen. But making note of certain passages and perfumes I want to try from here is a must. Get your post-its ready while reading this!


I ordered my copy of the book from Amazon. It’s a super reasonable price for a hardback book, and it’s eligible for Prime shipping!

The photo of my copy was taken by me.

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