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Download The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York Audiobook, by Chandler Burr Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 5 3.70 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chandler Burr Narrator: Mel Foster Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9781400176571
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No journalist has ever been allowed into the ultrasecretive, highly pressured process of originating a perfume. But Chandler Burr, the New York Times perfume critic, spent a year behind the scenes observing the creation of two major fragrances. Now, writing with wit and elegance, he juxtaposes the stories of the perfumes—one created by a Frenchman in Paris for an exclusive luxury-goods house, the other made in New York by actress Sarah Jessica Parker and Coty, Inc., a giant international corporation. We follow Coty's mating of star power to the marketing of perfume, watching Sex and the City's Parker heading a hugely expensive campaign to launch a scent into the overcrowded celebrity market. Will she match the success of Jennifer Lopez? Does she have the international fan base to drive worldwide sales? In Paris at the elegant Hermès, we see Jean Claude Ellena, his company's new head perfumer, given a challenge: he must create a scent to resuscitate Hermès's perfume business and challenge le monster of the industry, bestselling Chanel No. 5. Will his pilgrimage to a garden on the Nile supply the inspiration he needs? The answer lies in Burr's informative and mesmerizing portrait of some of the extraordinary personalities who envision, design, create, and launch the perfumes that drive their billion-dollar industry. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A thorough and often hilarious account of perfumery's colorful characters, the science and art of fragrance creation and the human experience of scent itself. Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 2/11/2014

    " When Chandler Burr is good, he's very good, but when he's bad, he's better--meaning he can write beautifully about fragrances he loves, but when it comes to acerbic criticism of scents he hates, he is downright hilarious. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to pull the verlvet curtain back on the mysterious (and, at times, nonsensical) world of perfume. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paddy | 12/26/2013

    " Not as good as Burr's Emperor of Scent, but I learned more of what I'd like to know about how perfume is made. Burr is a fine writer. This subject amuses and pleases me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Francesca | 11/23/2013

    " I loved this audio book! I'm going to buy samples of some of the perfumes and I want to read the print edition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sienna | 11/7/2013

    " i tend not to read a lot of non-fict, but i loved this. burr did a great job of keeping me interested and making the science understandable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 11/2/2013

    " Exactly the type of non-fiction reading that draws me to The New Yorker. Concise, descriptive, introspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maura | 10/29/2013

    " very interesting and engaging look into a very private industry. for me perfume is the intersection of art, science and business; a combination of three topics that intrigue me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sps | 10/29/2013

    " Fun, frivolous, luxurious, aspirational. Lots of good (or totally ridiculous) descriptions of what must be sublime smells. Too bad it didn't come with echantillons. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharilyn | 10/12/2013

    " This author was our neighbor in Paris. He caused a bit of a rukus because he didn't like the way the restaurant on the ground floor smelled. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel | 9/16/2013

    " This was a fascinating look inside an industry I knew nothing about -- really interesting mix of chemistry, art, and fashion politics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 8/15/2013

    " An interesting inside look at the perfume industry, with a touch of expose. Burr speaks frankly and eloquently of both the mechanics of the business, and it's products. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Memoriam | 5/26/2013

    " The writing is extremely pretentious, and the author wastes no opportunity to let us know that he's really quite far above writing about perfume. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 10/15/2012

    " Loved this book, fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 7/7/2012

    " I found the insight into perfumery fascinating. Nerdy, I know. The part about laundry soap...wow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 11/10/2011

    " I pick up a bottle of perfume every day and spray myself with its intoxicating scent -- but never, did I realize what went into the process of placing the bottle in my hands. Nor did I know the secrecy behind the industry that Chandler Burr carefully unfolds before you as the pages turn. A fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorie Mcmillin | 7/8/2011

    " I love perfume and loved reading this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 5/28/2011

    " Absolutely fascinating--an intriguing introduction to both the business and the science of frangrance. Very accessible and engaging. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marie-claude Dessureault | 5/28/2011

    " An interesting look at the perfume industry from two different perspectives. I sometimes got lost in the molecules, but overall I found it very hard to put down. Anyone into senses would find this book interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Market Publique | 1/27/2011

    " A great read about the perfume industry. A bit too gushy about Jean Claude Elena, but really, can you blame him? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maura | 1/13/2011

    " very interesting and engaging look into a very private industry. for me perfume is the intersection of art, science and business; a combination of three topics that intrigue me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juno | 6/14/2010

    " Fascinating look at the tension between business and artistry, desire and outcome, old world and new in the world of perfume creation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 5/12/2010

    " I found the insight into perfumery fascinating. Nerdy, I know. The part about laundry soap...wow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 4/27/2010

    " A great read for any olfactorily-oriented person. It's rare to find descriptions of smells, and naturally, this book is full of them.

    If I'm a really, really good person for the rest of my life, then maybe in my next life I will get to come back as a perfumer. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Good | 4/24/2010

    " The writing is extremely pretentious, and the author wastes no opportunity to let us know that he's really quite far above writing about perfume. "

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About the Author
Author Chandler Burr

Chandler Burr is the New York Times perfume critic and the author of The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Perfume, Obsession, and the Last Mystery of the Senses and A Separate Creation. Burr, who earned a master’s in international economics and Japan studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, has written for the Atlantic; the New York Times Magazine; US News & World Report, where he was a contributing editor; and the New Yorker. He lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Mel Foster is a prolific audiobook narrator, having read dozens of titles throughout his career. He is the recipient of the prestigious Audie Award, as well as the AudioFile Earphones Award. A former advertising agency executive who used to record test tracks for commercials, his narration career was born out of encouragement from his clients who would often say, “why are we hiring someone else? I like this guy.”