Simon Constantine, Head Perfumer at Lush, recommended us Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin, describing it as “Perfume writing [that] has certainly never been this honest, compelling or downright entertaining."
This time, Lush Library is recommending another book by Turin – The Secret of Scent.
The Secret of Scent opens the lid on two worlds - the glamorous and highly lucrative realm of the perfume makers, and the equally rivalrous domain of smell science.
Author and biophysicist, Luca Turin has always had a fascination with the science of scent, perfumery, and the fragrance industry. His opinion has become somewhat of a gospel in the perfume world. If there was a Sommelier of Fragrance, it would be Turin.
Turin is an obsessive on a mission to map an invisible world where he believes he has unique insights. “Smell is our forgotten sense. Long neglected by science in favour of more prestigious areas of research, it's also barely understood in general life.” And he uses his book The Secret of Scent to ask these questions;
Why do things smell the way they do?
How is smell written into the molecules?
Starting with a tour of the great perfumes and their gifted makers, he shows how few people have an idea of what perfume is or how it is made, let alone how smell works and what part it plays in other pleasures like food. But not everyone has ignored this powerful sense. A small band of mavericks has been trying to crack the code of smell for seventy years. Building on their work, Turin thinks he has succeeded. And like all good mysteries, the solution was all the while hidden in plain sight - in this case, right under our noses.