Every now and then I like to read books that are not necessarily from my go-to genres, and of In Search of Perfumes is certainly one of those books. This is a wonderful and charming book on the authors adventures as a perfume buyer. Before a fragrance can be created by the perfumers of the world, someone has to go out and buy the raw ingredients that comprise these fragrances.
The book is divided into chapters with each chapter being a different fragrance. From roses in Bulgaria, to lavender in France, vetiver in Haiti, Sandalwood in India and Australia and the list goes on and on. Wonderful stories that give us the history of the trees, resins and flowers behind all these natural ingredients, as the buyers and perfumers search for the absolute best products. For instance, did you know that jasmine has it best and brightest fragrance first thing in the morning? That there are various grades of each fragrance with only the best going into perfumes and then down the line to soaps and household scents.
We also see the poverty in most all of these countries, and how the perfume industry is doing their best to help the people who do the backbreaking work in picking, collecting and distilling these products. They build schools, medical centers, and infrastructure that the governments themselves do not provide.
A book that allows you to read one chapter at a time and be amazed at the stories and all the effort that goes into perfume. I had no idea what I was in for when I started this book, but it certainly is the most unique book I have read so far in 2023 and one that will stay with me in the months and years to come.