Think flowers rendered in watercolor — violets touched with carnation and anise — and a soft, slightly melancholy cloud of almond-smelling heliotrope. Perfume fans lament its changes over the years, but the eau de toilette is still lovelier than most of what's available today.
What is it: a paperback copy of Alyssa Harad’s book, Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride. It just went for sale on Amazon this week.
How do I get it: For a chance to win, leave a comment on the website telling me that you live in the US. Then tell me either a) your favorite perfume book or b) what perfume you’re wearing today or c) something else you’ve been dying to post in a comment.
Be sure to use the “Post a comment” box; do not reply to another comment…
Note: Alyssa Harad is the author of Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride, published in hardback last year. The new paperback edition comes out later this month. You can read our Q&A with Alyssa here, or read an excerpt from the book, The Tuberose of My Resistance. Also check out this video interview from Idaho Public Television, or just read through all her old posts on Now Smell This — she used to be a regular contributor here.
Well friends, it’s been quite a year. When Robin first suggested I someday write a guest post about the move “from blog to book,” I was living in the frenetic state of suspended animation common to new authors a month before publication. There were endless things to do, but none of them felt real. Every morning when I woke up, my palms tingled, a symptom I still haven’t deciphered. Life was so uncertain that I slipped into perfume monogamy, reaching for the cheerful elegance of L’Artisan’s Fleur d’Oranger over and over again.
My primary emotions were excitement, terror and gratitude. I was excited because the thing I had just spent nearly three years working on was about to make its way into the world. I was terrified for exactly the same reason.
Coming to My Senses is a true story, a portrait of people and communities I love. I wrote it hoping I could recreate for others the intensity of the pleasure I’d found, not just in perfume and its beauties, but the people and stories — a whole new way of life, really — that came along with it…
The paperback edition of Alyssa Harad’s Coming to My Senses, the US edition of Denyse Beaulieu’s The Perfume Lover, plus Cult Perfumes by Tessa Williams, and two novels — The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro and Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin.
Coming To My Senses by Alyssa Harad
Published last year in hardback (see our Q&A here), the new paperback edition (see above) is due for release in June…
Author Alyssa Harad (our Alyssa!) talks to Idaho Public Television about her obsession with perfume and her book, Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride. About 28 minutes. Below the jump, an “extra” video in which Alyssa and host Marcia Franklin smell things — Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose, a vintage scent that they don’t name (Jolie Madame, perhaps?) and Ginestet Botrytis. Almost 10 minutes.