Name: The Perfume Lover
Author: Denyse Beaulieu
When Denyse tells a famous perfumer of a sensual night spent in Seville under an orange tree in full blossom, wrapped in the arms of a beautiful young man, the story stirs his imagination and together they create a scent that captures the essence of that night. The Perfume Lover is an unprecedented account of the creative process that goes into composing a fragrance, and a uniquely candid insider’s view into the world and history of fragrance. Your world will never smell the same.
Denyse Beaulieu is a fragrance (and erotica) writer and author of Grain De Musc, one of my favourite perfume blogs. She describes scents beautifully, in a way that brings them to life and makes you feel like you have the fragrances right in front of you and smelling them for real. So, when I was offered the chance to review her new book, The Perfume Lover, I jumped at it.
When Denyse told famous perfumer Bertrand Duchafour the story of a magical night she spent with a man, under an orange tree, in Seville during Holy Week, he was inspired to capture the smells, images and emotions of those short few hours in a fragrance. The result is Séville à l’aube by L’Artisan Parfumeur, which will be released in the summer. I will review it nearer its launch date so for now, suffice it to say that it is absolutely divine and I can’t wait for it to be released so that I can grab a bottle cos it is definitely gonna become my signature scent.
In the book, Beaulieu documents the creative process behind Séville à l’aube and her journey from muse to creative partner. It was really interesting to follow the creation of this scent and discover how it was born and evolved as they added and took out the different notes until it became the wonderful fragrance that it was supposed to be and that they first envisioned. The bantering, chatting and even flirty relationship Denyse has with Bertrand was also very enjoyable to read about.
Throughout the book you can find random but fascinating tidbits about perfume and its history. If you wanna know more about the iconic scents that made its history and why they have changed or been discontinued, the importance of fragrance throughout history and how perfumery evolved into the multi-million dollar industry it is today, you’ll find the answers here. I have to say that, as a lover of both perfume (and beauty in general) and history, this was my favourite part of the book and I really learned a lot of interesting facts from it.
But that’s not all. The book is also partly autobiographical and Beaulieu shares anecdotes and events of her life that are linked to scents. I have mixed feelings about this part of the book. Beaulieu has lead a very interesting life and I really enjoyed reading about how her love for perfume started and evolved, but at times I felt some parts were just too personal. There are hints to the author’s sexual life that, although are never explicit or distasteful, are, sometimes, unnecessary.
Of course perfume and sex have always been linked. Beaulieu’s relationship with fragrance is a sensual one, and I did enjoy the eroticism when it was relevant to the story. It’s just that she overdid it a little, but despite that I never really lost interest in the book. Overall, it is a wonderful and engrossing read that I recommend to all perfume lovers. The book will be out tomorrow, but you can already preorder it on Amazon UK.
The Perfume Lover by Denyse Beaulieu is the story of the creation of a perfume, Séville à l’aube, intertwined with personal anecdotes from the author’s life related to scents and interesting facts about the history of perfume. Although Beaulieu sometimes shares anecdotes that are too intimate and not always relevant to the story, The Perfume Lover is an engrossing, fascinating and informative read written in a very passionate voice. Plus, Beaulieu has a way with words when describing scents that will make you feel like you’re smelling them too.