The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Fragrance Industry in Paris and New York (paperback)

By Chandler Burr

  • The Perfect Scent is the thrilling inside story of the global perfume industry, told through two creators working on two very different scents. The first is commissioned by the French luxury brand Hermés, and developed by renowned perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, who begins his search for the scent on the banks of the Nile. The second is a celebrity fragrance, developed in New York by movie star Sarah Jessica Parker and a team of perfumers from a global conglomerate. Chandler Burr, the former New York Times perfume critic, spent a year behind the scenes watching both creators at work. His thrilling narrative follows each scent from the initial concept to the worldwide launch. The Perfect Scent is the story of two daring creators, two very different scents, and a billion-dollar industry that runs on the invisible magic of perfume.

  • "Filled with fascinating revelations about an industry built on illusions . . . entices you to marvel all the more at the power of fragrance." —The Dallas Morning News

    "The Perfect Scent has drama, unforgettable characters, history, and location." —Los Angeles Times

    "An inside, Hollywoodesque account." —The New York Times Book Review

    "Burr winds his way deep into the secretive, dark, high-stakes world of perfumery, where following the scent can be hazardous to your career. . . . He smells the story in each bottle." —Associated Press

    "Passionate and captivating." —The Toronto Star

    "An appealing writer and an acute observer, [who] tells his two stories well." —The Wall Street Journal

  • Chandler Burr is curator of olfactory art at the Museum of Art and Design in New York and former scent critic for the New York Times




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