This month’s fragrant read
This month, journalist Megan Volpert launches a fascinating book that chronicles our sense of smell and how it affects all aspects of our lives. Published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic magazine, Volpert uncovers the hidden aspects of smell. She starts off by clearly identifying how smell is crucial to our survival. We can smell fear, disease, food. Fragrance is also entertainment. We can smell an expensive bottle of perfume at a high-end department store and be transported away to a foreign country or vacation destination. A perfume can even remind us of a beloved aunt. A memory in a bottle is a powerful thing.
This interesting book balances the artistry with the science of perfume. The science takes us into the neurology of scent receptors, how taste is mostly smell, the biology of illnesses that impact scent sense and the chemistry of making and copying perfume. She outlines the five scent families and symbolism in perfumery explaining the subjectivity in perfume preference, perfume marketing strategies, iconic scents and perfumers. She even delves into why the industry is so secretive. The finale chapter follows her adventures making perfume.
This is a “must read” for any fragrance enthusiast.