The Book of Scented Things – a book of perfume poetry

book of scented thingsThe Book of Scented Things is one of those books that as soon as I read about it somewhere or another, I put it on pre-order at Amazon.  Jehanne Dubrow and Lindsay Lusby edited the poetry collection.

First, they sent out perfume samples to some gifted poets.  They in turn sniffed away and put pen to poem and sent back their thoughts in poetry.

I’m not a poetry expert by even the most flexible definition. I just like what I like, and I love and am obsessed with this book.  Sometimes you can tell which perfume they are talking about because they use it in the title, but much of the time you have to shuffle to the back of the book to see what inspired love or loathing or indifference.    I find myself searching madly in the back for some of my favorite perfumes or hated perfumes, rushing to the poem to see what they had to say, turning green with envy at the deft hands used to describe perfume, then giggling if they trash one of my hated perfumes.  Rush to back of book to find another perfume…. rinse, repeat.

I don’t want to give away much here because the book is so good and I’d love to see support for this kind of project with good sales – I mean perfume and poetry??!!!?  If you love literary things and perfume, get it in your library with some spare copies ready to gift to your little perfume friends.

Just a snippet or two from a couple of poems from The Book of Scented Things

“God cannot survive here.  He demands to be named.  Unknown soldier, you hardly say you love me but you love me like the ice.”

Guess what that perfume is?  Caron Narcisse Noir.  Of course it is!   The perfume is an emotional nuclear waste site where you can only visit and mourn what you lost or what you thought you had that wasn’t real.

“– who could bear living next to your wet humping sound—- well i realize people do absurd things in the world they take off their skin and don’t touch me –“

Four decades I longed for a scruple of proof to sustain m y longest longed-for truth.

Bibbins appreciates Frederic Malle Noir Epices about as much as I do, I think.  He was kinder, pretty sure, than I have been when I described it. I think I may have referred to it at some point as a the kind of nightmares I have after I’ve eaten a lot of Moroccan dishes for two weeks straight.

The Book of Scented Things is one of those rare things – a genius ideas that you wonder why no one else ever thought to do it.  Just go get the book and play mystery perfume poetry with me!

We have a couple of winners of some samples this week!  Winners of the 3 ml spray decants of Eau de Missions cologne – Nemo, Lynne Marie, CC, Jaime and emjhenry.  Click on Drop Us a Note at the top of the blog, remind me what you’ve won, include your address.  I’ll give you a quick confirming e-mail so you know you didn’t slide under the spam filter, then I’ll get it shipped to you.

I’m still playing around with the Amouage Sunshine sample Miss Thang sent to me (Musette).  I have not decided exactly what I think. I don’t hate it. I do admire it, I’m a complete whore about that bright yellow bottle.  Sometimes I think I love it, then I pull back from that thought, only to get sucked back in.  Interesting choices.  More when I decide. But I do have enough that I can spritz our two samples of it for two commenters.  Favorite perfume book, or have you ever bothered to read one?  I still haven’t reviewed Scent and Subversion, which is a horrible oversight on my part.  I adore the book so far –  I’m still plowing through it. There’s just so much that’s interesting, great, thought-provoking, it’s a slow indulgent read. I need to remedy thissoonest.

I’ve made a little widget in the upper right with several of my favorite perfume books if you are looking fore more ideas..

14 Comments

  1. Favouite perfume book – ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Süsskind. He manages to evoke smell at so many turns in the book. I first read it years ago before the rabbit hole and reread it with book club. Second time round the writing was still just as evocative but I’d forgotten whole swathes of the book. I also read Jean Claude Ellena’s ‘Dairy of a Nose’ recently. It was thought-provoking and interesting, but lacking linearity or plot, and so I found it oddly unsatisfying.

  2. I enjoyed Diary of a Nose, which was a fun peek into the life of a perfumer (one of my favorites, in fact). The Book of Scented Things sounds very enjoyable too!

  3. i LOVE this!! must have!

    most recent ‘smelly’ book was Fragrant by Mandy Aftel– soooo much great info in there. i also have been doing some research on scent and the tree of life (sephriot), which is fascinating albeit dense work to move through.

    Of course Sheila Eggenberger’s Quantum Demonology is a sensual read for the fiction fans. >;)

    • I agree about Jitterbug. It was a fun read and I think someone on here recommended it some years ago.

    • I LOVE Jitterbug Perfume. My favorite Tom Robbins book, and loved it even before I was into perfume. I read it a long time ago, but recently re-read it. So good.

  4. The only perfume book I’ve read was Coming To My Senses but this sounds wonderful

  5. I loved What the Nose Knows by Avery Gilbert. Laugh out loud at times, scientific treatise on scent at others, but I was enthralled. Much of the information is on his blog, First Nerve, but I liked this. Some areas are dense; consider yourself warned! I’m a nerd at heart.

    I think a book of poetry and perfume sounds like fun, and thanks for telling me about it. I will add it to my reading list. Be well 😀

  6. This sounds wonderful! I’ve got to find this to read. The only other book I’ve read regarding perfume was Coming To My Senses which I also enjoyed. Thanks for the draw too 🙂

  7. i have read most perfume books i can get my hands on…i really loved some of the philosophical passages in the alchemy of scent by jean-claude ellena and some of the poetic moments in chandler burr’s books but my desert island perfume book would be perfume legends by michael edwards.

  8. The only perfume book I’ve finished is Perfume: The Guide. Right before I got it I bought Lalique Le Parfum, which Turin gives one star and perhaps the most scathing review in the entire book. Süsskind’s Perfume and Coming to my Senses are on my nightstand, though, and The Book of Scented Things is on my Amazon Wishlist.

  9. I have so many perfume books but haven’t read many of them because they are mostly so huge. The newest one is the Dior book by Chandler Burr.

  10. Definitely The Guide, but I think you mean more book like, and not just a list… so I’ll say The Perfect Scent, which was enlightening.

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