New Perfume Books : Jean-Claude Ellena, Sanchez &Turin and More


This fall the perfume lovers will have some new books to anticipate. Pictured above is the English translation of perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena’s Le Parfum. Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent contains Ellena’s views on perfumery, marketing, materials and composition. The book is full of many interesting details about his own creative process, but on the whole, it is a general analysis. Available for pre-order on The official launch is November 2011.

Tania Sanchez and Luca Turin are releasing The Little Book of Perfumes : The Hundred Classics on October 27, 2011. The material for the book is mostly taken from Perfumes: The Guide and Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, compiling the five star perfume reviews from those editions, plus a few extra reviews and articles. As Tania explains, “The new material includes a foreword by TS and an essay on the Osmothèque by LT; there are four reviews of long-lost, beautiful Osmothèque perfumes we tested during a presentation on perfume by the brilliant Patricia de Nicolaï, curator of the Osmothèque, at the French Embassy in Washington, DC, organized by Smithsonian Associates.” Available for pre-order on, where you can also take a peek inside the book.

Also available for pre-order is Scent and Chemistry : The Molecular World of Odors by Günther Ohloff, Wilhelm Pickenhagen and Philip Kraft. This much anticipated book (at least, by me!) will be released later this fall.


Those interested in perfume bottles should take a look at the new book by Marc Rosen called Glamour Icons: Perfume Bottle Design.  At first, I bought it as a gift for a bottle collector friend, but I ended up picking a copy for myself, because not only it is a beautifully illustrated book, it is also filled with fascinating infromation about the art of bottle design.

Glamour Icons is a collection of Marc Rosen’s remarkable bottle designs, as well as a selection of perfume bottles from the last century that he considers iconic. It abounds with industry back stories never published before about working at his first job with Revlon founder the imperious Charles Revson, his career at Elizabeth Arden, his collaboration with the fashion houses of Chloé, Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi, Perry Ellis, Ellen Tracy, and Jill Stuart, as well as with celebrities such as Joan Rivers, Christina Aguilera and Celine Dion. The book recounts intriguing stories about working with Princess Grace of Monaco and Saudi Prince Fahad and about the experience that changed his life, working on a fragrance with Arlene Dahl, one of Hollywood’s most glamorous leading ladies, and marrying her, as well.

Marc Rosen is the first perfume bottle designer to write a book about his craft, and to describe the design process from original sketches to models, to working with glass manufacturers on engineering drawings to actual production. He shares his insights into creating the logo, graphics, colors, boxes and counter displays, as well as the “theater of the launch.” Glamour Icons documents perfume bottles, their history, their place in society and their inspiration. Illustrated with amazing photographs by Vincent Ricardel, the book also contains Rosen’s personal photographs and artwork given to him by many of the people he has worked with. 




  • Suzanna: The book on bottles is a sad reminder that they do not build them like they used to. That era is sadly long gone in the mainstream, but let’s remember when Lagerfeld’s KL bottle opened its fan as a modern chypre, and when his frosted Chloe calla lily beckoned from the elegant counters of the better stores of the day. October 20, 2011 at 9:01am Reply

  • [email protected]: And here are four wonderful examples of why, even though I love my Kindle, I will never stop buying books! (Certain of my friends regard me as a book murderer because I own a Kindle.)That Glamour Icons book on bottle design is beautiful. I had a quick peek in one as it was displayed in Liberty’s perfume department. Victoria, that Scent and Chemistry one – how sciencey do you think it is please? I love the idea that I could read it, the subject fascinates me, but I wish I’d paid more attention in Chemistry lessons at school instead of always wanting to drop magnesium or lithium into water to make it fizz! Nicola October 20, 2011 at 9:31am Reply

  • maggiecat: Ditto the thanks for the heads up. I knew about Sanchez and Turin’s book, but Ellena’s translation snuck up on me – and it’s exactly what I can look forward to reading once I survive, er I mean finish, this semester! October 20, 2011 at 10:37am Reply

  • Amarie: I just knew that was a bottle of KL. I used to wear it in high school, and I have been looking for a sample to show my teenage daughters who I am trying desperately to indoctrinate into the world of fragrance!:-). So, seeing that lovely photo today was such a tease… I must add these books to my pile of “waiting to read”! (As much as I share with my girls, it seems that my 9-year-old son is the only one who loves the idea that a fragrance is like a symphony, with each instrument (note) playing a part. I think I have finally convinced him that fragrance is a concerto for our sense of smell!). Thank you for sharing these books and indulging my other passion: reading! October 20, 2011 at 12:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: So true! I picked up this book mostly for the photos, but it turned out to be very interesting. And yes, it is a reminder that the bottle design was taken very seriously at one point. It still is, but the budgets have been reduced so dramatically that no wonder that most flacons are as boring as the perfumes they contain. October 20, 2011 at 9:14am Reply

  • Victoria: It should be quite technical from what I understand. After all, it is written by chemists. However, I will post more when my copy arrives. October 20, 2011 at 9:47am Reply

  • Susan Webster Adams: So excited about the book by Jean-Claude Ellena! I loved the book “The Perfect Scent” by Chandler Burr about Jean-Claude Ellena. I’ll pre-order today! Thanks for the heads up. October 20, 2011 at 9:55am Reply

  • Victoria: His newest book written in a diary form is very interesting too, but it has not yet been translated. October 20, 2011 at 1:21pm Reply

  • Victoria: Your son seems very precocious, and how great that he shares your interest.

    Reading is a favorite activity for me too. The post lady delivering yet another book purchase finally asked me if I'm running a book shop. 🙂 October 20, 2011 at 1:24pm Reply

  • carmencanada: Actually, it has been translated (the publisher informed us when JCE spoke at the Société Française des Parfumeurs) but will be out later. I found it a more personal (obviously, being a diary) and engaging read that the one that’s coming out now, which as you say has bits in it that are more general. Still, JCE’s viewpoint often shines through, and I’ve used some of the exercises he outlines in my perfume appreciation lectures. Definitely worth having for any perfume lover. October 20, 2011 at 6:53pm Reply

  • Victoria: You will enjoy it then! October 21, 2011 at 6:09am Reply

  • AromaX: Thanks for the helpful review! Leaving the comment to see if there are any issues with commenting you’ve mentioned of Facebook October 24, 2011 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, M! It is working!! 🙂 October 24, 2011 at 1:18pm Reply

  • Emma: I looked at Luca Turin’s The Little Book of Perfumes yesterday at Barnes & Noble, how disappointing! For $20, there was no way I was going to buy this one.
    What Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez call “The hundred classics” is simply their favorite fragrances, not conventional classics therefore in the book there is no review, none whatsoever of Frederic Malle and Annick Goutal (not that I’m particularly fond of these perfumers myself but still) however amongst their must-have classics, Tommy Girl and Beyond Paradise, like really??
    The 2011 updates are for the most part one-liners at best when I was expecting complete new reviews.
    As far as I’m concerned this book is totally worthless specially when can you find better reviews and information online, for free ;-)) October 29, 2011 at 2:47pm Reply

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