Bookish Portia reads Denyse Beaulieu, M J Rose and Alyssa Harad and Reviews

Hey Posse Peeps,

Portia in the house from AustralianPerfumeJunkies and thrilled to back with you all today. Recently Ari from Scents of Self did a “Yes, you are a (perfume) nerd” post on on NowSmellThis. A lighthearted look at why all perfumistas are nerds to some degree. Can’t deny it because I am and always have been ‘slightly’ nerdish. Bookish to be exact. So when I discovered the Fragrant Wormhole and dived in it was an easy transition to read blogs for hours on end instead of books, then go to bed and read my books.

Bookish Portia reads Denyse Beaulieu, M J Rose and Alyssa Harad

I’m thinking that it may also have worked in reverse, people start reading blogs and cross over to books. So I have read a bunch of perfume related books and would like to introduce you to the 3 easiest and funnest reads I’ve plowed my way through lately. They are all perfume related, share some useful info and kept me page turning till the end. What more could you ask from a book? As it’s summer up there in the Northern Hemisphere you’ll need a book to sit in the back yard with iced tea or a Piptzer (apple cider & dry white wine in a brandy balloon with loads of ice and a slice of lime, a modern boozier Spritzer)

THE PERFUME LOVER by DENYSE BEAULIEU: If you are a fumie and you’ve not heard of this book then you are either very new or you’ve been living under a rock. Denyse Beaulieu is the woman behind longtime frag. blog Grain De Musc; A Perfume Lover In Paris. The story is a fumies dream come true. Reminiscing one day with a world class perfumer about a perfect night of love they basically dare each other to see if it can become a perfume reality. This is the story of the night, the memories, the perfumes, the creation, the agonising and finally the fruition of that dare. It’s a memoir and a guide book all in one. I enjoyed it immensely and have already reread it.
BookDepository around AUD$21 including worldwide delivery

THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES by M J ROSE: A history lesson, perfume guide, moral and religion questioning, suspense novel full of interesting pieces of the perfume puzzle. The premise being that there was once a fragrance that could recall lost loves through time and space, AWESOME! M J Rose has you right there in the story with the protagonists and there were times when I could not put the book down, completely lost in an alternate reality. Cool, fun reading
BookDepository around AUD$22 including worldwide delivery

COMING TO MY SENSES by ALYSSA HARAD: The newest of the three books; Alyssa Harad is a NowSmellThis blogger who sadly finished up with them earlier in 2012. I inhaled this book in 2 sittings and will have to go back and get the finer details next read. This should be a movie, it’s a screenplay ready to be shot. The story of a girl trapped in a bad cycle who comes to realise all the joy and happiness around her through her love of fragrance, people and surprisingly to her, herself. She learns so much and comes to so many wonderful self discoveries leading up to destination wedding, a place she never expected to find herself. Loads of great perfume info, people, frags, places that you will recognise from your own fragrant adventure and a fraught extended family adventure. You will see yourself in this book, somewhere along the line.
BookDepository around AUD$25 including worldwide delivery

So silly me ordered 2 of Alyssa Harad’s Coming To My Senses so I thought I’d give the other to one lucky reader. How do you enter? Leave a message below telling me what your favourite perfume referencing book is, fiction or non fiction, and a 2 sentence summary! It’s that easy. I will write down all the names on pieces of paper, scrunch them up and TSO Jin will pick from a bowl. The winner can DM me on twitter (@OzPerfumeJunkie) or FB (Portia Turbo-Gear) within a week from drawing, which will be next Thursday night and up on the Perfume Posse next Friday or I’ll give it to someone else.

Please jump on over to the AustralianPerfumeJunkies and have a look; there’s always something buzzy and interesting going on over there too. I wish you all the good things you wish for yourself, and a few more.
Portia xx

I’ve chosen BookDepository is because they are well priced and include delivery. I have no affiliation with them but did steal pictures for this post.

  • maggiecat says:

    I’m not going to sound very original here – I love The Guide (Turin and Sanchez) and The Perfect Scent, perhaps because I read both at the beginning of the delightful discovery that there were others out there Like Me – perfume junkies! I’d love to enter the draw. And Portia, it’s often over 100 here in Dallas, Texas during the summer, so there’s no sitting outside till Fall, but thanks for the idea!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Maggiecat,
      Great choices.
      I know about heat, Sunny Sydney here. We are famed for either hitting the beach, pool or parks in the over 100 heat. Oft times firing up the Bar B Q too, just to add smoke to the mix.
      Personally, I love to do some laps of the pool and then read in the sun for a while. It calms me better than anything else.
      Good luck in the draw,
      Portia xx

  • Connie says:

    What a lovely drawing! Thanks, Portia. (I’ve subscribed via email to your site, btw, and I love it!)
    I’d have to echo most of the commenters in saying The Guide is the reference book I use the most. I especially love reading Luca’s succinct, searing reviews when he hates something. Ouch. Having said that, I have to admit I’ve blind-purchased some recommended scents only to realize I must have very pedestrian olfactory receptors because I didn’t like them or get them.
    I can’t wait to read these as well as other recommended reads discussed on here.
    The last book I read relating to perfume (sort of) was Denise Hamilton’s Damage Control … And I loved it. Happy weekend to all and good luck! Xox

    • Hey Connie,
      I think I have Damage control somewhere too. And yes, Luca Turin is sometimes so far sideways to many of us that we find it hard to have equal ground.
      Best of Luck in the draw.
      SO glad you are part of the AustralianPerfumeJunkies family now.
      Portia xx

  • Stacey says:

    I guess I now realize how few perfume books I’ve actually read all the way through. I have a Roja Dove book and a Mandy Aftel book that I’ve only browsed through so far. I read The Guide so long ago at the very beginning of falling down the perfumehole, and I realize that I really need to own an updated copy. Okay, so I have read The Perfect Scent, and I agree with Aubrey that I could barely put it down either. I enjoyed going on the perfume making adventure with SJP and Ellena. Looking forward to reading all 3 books that just reviewed and Floating Gold!

  • AubreyZ says:

    Really? Has no one mentioned the Perfect Scent? I loooooved that book and loved the perfumes that it describes. I’ve read it several times now, and my summary changed from first to 2nd read (after my first read, I would have said it was about the perfume industry, but in my 2nd read, I would say that it was about loving our sense of smell, loving scent, and the many, many ways that the commercial world affects it).

    Of course, I also love The Guide (perfect before bed), Perfume/Story of a Murderer, and the Mary Aftel book. I’ve liked every single perfume book I’ve read other than The Scent Trail. For some reason, I just couldn’t get into that one. Maybe I was too busy at the time.

    I just received The Perfume Lover a week or 2 ago, but I’m waiting to read it until after I have a decant of Seville. I’d love to win a copy of Alyssa’s book. It sounds great!

  • Julie says:

    My go-to reference is The Guide by Turin & Sanchez. Sometimes it’s by the bed, sometimes by the computer. I am really loving Floating Gold, also. I have to ration it so I don’t gobble it all at once. Each time I read from it, I wind up out on the beach looking for my own floating gold. So far just a bunch of rocks. Thanks for the draw.

  • Poodle says:

    I’m another lover of The Guide. I can’t say I agree with their opinions all the time but I do love to see what they have to say. Some of the scents they don’t like are comedic masterpieces. Ive been trying to read more lately but I am doing more blog related reading. This iPad has become a bit of an addiction. I do have some books on my kindle I need to get to though.
    Thanks for the drawing!

    • Hey lovely Poodle!
      It’s hard to let the technology go some days.
      Every time i read the guide I go back and read the piece on Trouble by Boucheron and remember they are fallible.
      Good luck,
      Portia xx

  • vinery says:

    My favorite perfume reference is Perfume Legends French Feminine Fragrances by Michael Edwards. The book describes forty five landmark fragrances of modern perfumery and gives the background story of what inspired each one’s creation. Edwards includes details of the the perfumer, notes, and informative insight from industry professionals. Great illustrations, too.

  • Lemon says:

    Hey, Portia! My favorite perfume reference book is The Guide, by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, the second version. I like to read their reviews after I buy or try a fragrance to see if I agree or disagree with them Usually I mildly disagree.

    My favorite book about scent in general (not perfume) is The Scent of Desire: Discovering our Enigmatic Sense of Smell by Rachel Herz.

    • Hiya Lemon,
      I’ve not heard of this! Thanks. Another to add to my list. Doing a book thing was a great idea, I have 3 newbies on my list.
      Good luck,
      Portia xx

  • Undina says:

    The only perfume-related book I’ve ever read is The Guide – and even that, after reading introductory pages, I’m just checking on the perfume-by-perfume bases since I do not want to be influenced by other people’s opinion.

    I’m entering this giveaway just because I know myself: if I happen to win it I will end up reading the book. Otherwise it’ll forever stay in my Amazon wish list.

    • YAY!! Undina,
      Awesome that you are over here. I love it when I read the guide and am completely outraged at something they’ve written, ha, I stomp around the house before I remember it’s only an opinion. Such a great read though.
      Good luck in the draw.
      Portia xx

  • OhLily says:

    How lovely of you, Portia – Thank you for the drawing!

    Books were the first thing I started ‘collecting’. Your question brought back an unexpected memory for me, so this isnt about the last one I read, but rather the first one(that I can rememer). I was 13 or 14, it was summer and I was tanning by the pool. I had my usual summer fare of very well dog-eared paperbacks in my bag, since our local library had tons that people could either borrow, keep or donate to. One of those during that summer was The Mephisto Waltz, a tale of the supernatural, occult, and warring perfumes. Yep, Joy went after Shalimar, and I was enthralled – I could hardly wait until the next time Mom took us shopping, so I could check them out! I won’t tell you which of them ‘won’ in the book, but I fell in love with Shalimar on the spot, and Joy hated me!(She still does, boy can that girl hold a gruge. 😉 )

    Thanks for all the good books mentioned, and for a fun memory!

  • pam says:

    I, too, keep The Guide (Turin/Sanchez) by the bed as a reference book. I love to read perfume books and also enjoy the one by Roja Dove with all the terrific photos. Yes, enter me in the draw, just for the heck of it. Thanks!

    • YAY Pam!
      Right! I need to go back to the top and re-answer!
      That guide has a lot of sleepless nights to answer for here too. Roja Dove’s book is about 4 books down my pile, I’m glad you loved it.
      Good luck in the draw.
      Portia x

  • Sam says:

    I never thought about a connection between being a book addict (words are my crack) and a perfume junkie. Intriguing notion. It would explain a lot! 😉

  • Michelle H. says:

    I treasure all of my perfume books, but If I had to choose one it would be Arctanders Perfume and Flavor Material of Natural Origin. It is an extensive encyclopedia of natural perfume materials. The descriptions are so thorough and engaging, I can read it with the same satisfaction as I would a novel.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Hey Portia,
    Another book nerd checking in! I will never live long enough to read everything I would like to as the list grows every day. Reading at my leisure is the thing I miss the most from my pre-Mummy days. How I would love to just curl up and lose myself utterly in a book! Good thing I love my daughters to pieces eh? At least they have inherited their parents’ love of books as they spend their pocket money from Grandad on books already – maybe when they are older we will all spend quiet winter afternoons reading? That would be fab but I suspect they’ll be off with friends or <> boys…
    Don,t worry about entering me for the draw as it is already on order. Luck to everyone else though!

    • Lovely FragrantWitch,
      It must be the hardest thing about parenthood, giving up some of the bits of you. I don’t know how you do it. I am way too selfish to even consider it.
      It’s been reading in the sun weather down here, even in Winter, so I’m trying to get through some of my backlog.
      Portia xx

  • Ramona says:

    Thank you for the draw! The last book I read that was scent related was “Floating Gold” by Cristopher Kemp. This is a great nonfiction read about Ambergris- that rare and priceless I ingredient in some perfumes. The book traces the span of this prized ingredient through human history, and the particulars of how, when, where, and why it exists in the natural world. Fascinating stuff to nerds like me 🙂

  • sally anne says:

    Ashamed to say…. I have never read any perfume books….unless you believe books on Aromatherapy count. I’d really like to win Alyssa’s book….a couple of reviews suggest to me it is very inspiring. thanks for the chance,Portia. Hugs from Saffy.

  • Musette says:

    Portia! How nice of you to do this! I am such a Nerdzilla, it isn’t funny. My side of the bed looks like Barnes & Noble threw up on it! I loved the MJ Rose book – so much so that I’m starting from the beginning now. In addition, I’m reading Alyssa’s book and Denyse’s and anxiously awaiting the new Deborah Harkness installment – such great olfactory descriptions of the vampire and the witch and..well, pretty much everything. Where they go in Book 2 is sure to evoke some rather …pungent…scent descriptions…

    It”s 70F here this morning. After 2 weeks of high 90s + it feels almost like winter! LOL! After I get some work done this morning (that pesky Business thing, don’tchaknow) I just might take a break, curl up and read a bit!

    xoxo :Devil:

    ps. obviously I am not eligible for the draw but did want to yakk atcha!!!

    • Oh Musette,
      I know the problem. Since I started the blog I’m hardly getting any reading done from a book. I do push myself to get at least one read a week though because I keep being inspired to buy them. This week, Hunger Games. Loving it.
      Portia xx

  • carlene says:

    Oh, it’s The Guide. I keep it next to my bed, like someone normal might keep the Bible.