Something to stave off the January blues
Happy New Year! I've been spending the holidays curled up with Perfume - A Century of Scents by Lizzie Ostrom, otherwise known as Odette Toilette. I've met Lizzie several times (having attended her Vintage Scent Sessions - where she talked us through perfumes of the 1930s), she's a seriously inspiring lady, whether as an author or host of her many perfume-themed events which take place throughout the year (to find out more about them, click here).
The great thing about this book as it's not a whacking great coffee table tome that you can't take on the tube on your way to work or pop into your holiday suitcase. As the title might suggest, each chapter is dedicated to a particular perfume and chronologically works its way up through the decades of the last century. The thing I find tricky about perfume books is that perfume is such a personalised and subjective thing, that when its written about in a detached objective manner, it's hard to stay hooked. However, Lizzie's approach is a little different...
Being a well-known figure on the fragrance circuit, she manages to inject a lot of her personality into her writing and bring to life the spirit of each decade, through the perfumes that defined it. Her book is like a collection of short stories, in the way in which you can just dip in and read a chapter at random rather than feel you have to work your way through from start to finish. Make sure you catch one of Lizzie's fragrance events if you're ever in London - head to www.odettetoilette.com for more info and click here to buy the book.