Bookish Portia reads Chandler Burr

Hello Perfume Posse Peeps!!

Portia from AustralianPerfumeJunkies in the POSSE! YAY!! I love coming and visiting you all on Fridays, it feels like a holiday every week. I hope summer is treating you well, though I’ve heard it’s been NASTY!! Sorry to brag but our winter has been delicious: today, which is nearly spring but technically winter is 27 degrees celcius (over 80F) the sun is shining and life seems pretty good, except the wind is blowing leaves in the damn pool and clogging up the baracuda. It could be worse right?

Bookish Portia reads Chandler Burr

Most of my work is night work so I usually have the days to myself because the crew is out a school or work, we have homestays. That is when I get my reading on. I love to lie out in the sun and read, or even grab a cuppa and sprawl all over the couch in the sunroom. With a book I am gone…..

The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Perfume, Obsession and the Last Mystery of the Senses

THE EMPEROR OF SCENT by CHANDLER BURR 2002: This is the story of one of the instigators of perfume writing, Luca Turin, and his scientific belief in smell as vibration rather than smell as shape. Chandler follows Luca through his process of discovery, testing, meetings and the incredible stupidity, wall building and self serving bullshit that is the scientific community at its absolute worst. They act like 4 year olds in a kindergarten, putting their heads in the sand so they can’t see the new theory, or even test it. This is compelling reading from a story viewpoint but also a very interesting look into another world not so far from our own. Like a good old fashioned pot boiler it is very hard to put down.
TheBookDepository AUD$14.25 delivery worldwide incl

The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York

THE PERFECT SCENT by CHANDLER BURR 2007: Imagine following 2 superstars on and off for a year, having access to places we mortals only dream of and getting the absolute inside skinny on how 2 entirely different fragrances are created, marketed and produced. Chandler Burr follows Sarah Jessica Parker (OMG! I love her and was totally impressed by Chandler’s reactions to her) through the creation of Lovely and Lovely Lotion and Jean Claude Ellena and the Hermes crew through the creation of Un Jardin Sur Le Nil (Garden On The Nile). Again we are given an entree into worlds hitherto completely off limits from the public, even most perfumistas never get this close to the sources of their passion. A must read for anyone embarking on a life down the fragrant wormhole.
TheBookDepository AUD$14.44 delivery worldwide incl

You or Someone Like You

YOU OR SOMEONE LIKE YOU by CHANDLER BURR 2009: Here we see a great departure from fragrance writing, Chandler tackles the Jewish and Gay questions head on in a very thought provoking and in your face way. It’s a great read loosely based on his own life experiences being both. I had to go away and digest a lot of the material in the book and read it again because it was quite confronting to the way I think and I had to re arrange some of my processes and prejudices to cope. As ever the tale is told in such a readable style that you’ll find it hard to leave for the real world when stuff needs to be done. Chandler Burr is a great story teller and I am glad he chose to use his celebrity in such a profound way. Bravo! Go read it.
TheBookDepository AUD$11.98 delivery worldwide incl

Chandler Burr Photo Stolen gawker

I have chosen Chandler Burr because I love reading what he writes. I have no affiliation with him. Nor am I affiliated with TheBookDepository but I think their prices are excellent, include worldwide delivery and arrive at my door quickly, I have stolen my book photos from them today.

I hope life gives you some time this week to get your book on. What have you been reading scent wise? Last time I wrote about books you all gave me some great suggestions; Floating Gold, The Mephisto Waltz, Chandler Burr, Luca Turin and more. All of which I have added to my collection and most of which I’ve now read. Tell me more please,

Don’t forget to come on over to AustralianPerfumeJunkies too. There’s always some damn CErAYzy mayhem going on over there too and we LOVE visitors. See you next Friday.

Portia xx

24 Comments

  1. Howdy, Portia! Always a treat to read you on Fridays. Thanks for this excellent roundup of books. Although I read every day for my job, it’s often hard to get around to reading for pleasure in my off-hours with a pre-teen. But one of these days …

    • P.S. What is the “baracuda” you refer to above, getting clogged with leaves? Or is that an Aussie-ism? 🙂

      • The barracuda is a self propelling unit that chugs around the pool floor and walls vacuuming up leaves and cleaning as it goes. At this time of year it gets gum-nuts caught in its diaphragm and stops chugging so I have to go rescue it.
        Portia xx

  2. I’m about half way through The Perfect Scent. You’re right, lots of fascinating glimpses into the whole process!

  3. Hey hey it’s Friday and Portia! My reading list is positively ginormous and the first two are already on it and now I will add the third. I am just starting The Night Circus and next up is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children which looks really interesting. Will let you k ow how they are!

    • Hi, FragrantWitch! My husband has just finished The Night Circus and fell in love with it. He says it is beautifully written, magical and draws you into that world and makes you want to stay in it. He thinks that Erin Morganstern is an amazing talent. I am about to read it for myself. Hope you enjoy it.

      • Hey, ladies, I know this comment is quite late, but I just finished “The Night Circus” and flat-out adored it and didn’t want it to end. Might have to get this one for my personal collection (usually just read library books).

  4. Hi Portia. I’m really honored you read three of my books, and I’m so glad you liked them. I know “You Or Someone Like You” is intense. On Basenotes a few days ago, in a discussion of the crucial need to apply intelligent language to perfume, I quoted Luca on that need for language, and I’ll quote him again here on intensity and the search for Truth, which “You” certainly is for me. “I really do not think that a ‘balanced view’ is derived from tepid opinions. It comes from having extreme opinions and seeing the most extreme sides. In a lecture on Cervantes’s Quixote Vaclav Czerny said, ‘Forgive us our madmen, and we will forgive you your idiots.’”

    I’ve always felt this way. So it’s the way I wrote the novel. Judaism and all organized religions, to me, kill Truth, each in its own way. I just wrote about Judaism because I’m Jewish, but I feel the same about Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. When it comes to tribalism, bigotry, and racialism most of us give religion this weird pass, an automatic bow of the head. I don’t believe in that. I loved the statement– I don’t remember off-hand the name of the guy who said it, an Arab, former-Muslim Frenchman– who calmly said he’d like to propose the shocking, astonishing, radical idea that religion should get our respect to the degree to which it is respectable. (Excellent.)

    • Chandler Burr! We’re honored to have you on The Posse! I’m jumping in for Portia (who will be on later) because I think it’s eleventy o’clock in Australia.

      I absolutely love that proposition re religion getting respect , etc… I am eager to read “You Or Someone Like You” – it sounds like a phenomenal book!!!

      xoxoMusette :Devil:

    • OMFG!!! Did that.. Is..
      Chandler Burr you have astounded me….
      I was raised by Nuns and then Jesuits, I have also come out the other end of religion and need it to be respectable to gain my respect. It is taking me a lifetime to reassess my programming. Thanks for helping, and thanks for coming and writing a message.
      Why don’t they have your first book on BookDepository? Is it still in publication?
      MUSETTE!!!!! Chandler Burr wrote me a note!!
      Portia xx

      • I know! Elegant man! You wrote a very wonderful, thoughtful post about his work – and apparently his momma raised him right!!!

        xoxo :Devil:

  5. I like all the Australian book jackets better than the American ones.

    Great and interesting post!

  6. The number of books I have waiting to be read on my kindle is insane. The first two you wrote about are already on it. I find that other than checking the blogs and Twitter I just don’t read as much in the summer. I always laugh at the term summer reading list because I never seem to have the time with housework and gardening to sit down and read. That outside stuff takes up a ton of time. I read far more in the fall and winter.
    Thanks for these reviews Portia.

    • Hey Poodle,
      I am a bit the same, the cooler months make it easier to concentrate and there is way less on my plate. Even if there were more hours in the day it would get full of other stuff so I have to make myself read sometimes. It’s the ultimate calmer for me, like a brain pacifier,
      Nice to see you,
      Portia xx

  7. I am so glad you wrote about The Emperor of Scent, and The Perfect Scent, as they are such great and educational revelations of our preferred addiction of scent. What a service both books are! I’ve passed Emperor of Scent on to my dentist and doctor, and any one who has a slightly inquisitive mind about the much neglected aspects of smell. I can’t wait to read You, Or Someone Like You now! Thank you Mr. Burr, and thank you Portia!

    • Hey Annie,
      You are so welcome. It’s nice to be able to point to books that give an insight into our addiction, especially to those who are like, “What the…?” and yes good for those who get it too,
      Enjoy your Sunday,
      Portia xx

  8. Portia, the only downside of tempting perfume blogs and all the other wonders of the internet is that I have little free time left for books. I owe being remanded to bed rest following dental surgery for the time to plunge into Denyse Beaulieu’s wonderful book The Perfume Lover. I think the previous one that I finished was Liza Dalby’s Tale of Murasaki, an imagined autobiography of the 11th century Japanese author, based on her poems and Tale of Genji (the world’s first novel). It’s wonderful!

    I’ve read most of the Emperor of Scent, and The Perfect Scent is on my list as well, and thanks to your reviews I’ve added You or Someone Like You.

    • Hey nozknoz,
      Thanks for dropping by. There is so much to read online but I feel deliciously self indulgent with a book. Sometimes it is just too hard to find time though, I hear you,
      Are you loving Emperor of Scent? Can you believe the scientific community?
      Portia xx

  9. I read the first two and really liked them, but never even heard of the last one. I’ll have to pick it up. Thanks for the heads-up!

    • HEY TOM!!
      Thanks for dropping by. I only know about the third because on BookDepository they put the authors other works and similar titles in a book cover line below what you are looking at. Very dangerous, he he
      You are welcome
      Portia xx

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