Perfume (Hardcover)

Joy, Scandal, Sin - A Cultural History of Fragrance from 1750 to the Present

By Richard Stamelman

Rizzoli, 9780847828326, 384pp.

Publication Date: November 28, 2006

List Price: 85.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This thought-provoking volume transports readers to France of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, beginning with Napoleon's love of perfume and the erotic importance he attached to it, through the lore and symbolism fragrance enjoyed in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Europe. By the early twentieth century, perfume's place as one of France's most important luxury industries was recognized and celebrated, and timeless fragrances—such as Chanel No. 5, Shalimar, Arpeges, and Joy—were launched. The distinctive bottles for these new essences and the art movements that inspired their design are detailed throughout the book, as are paintings, poetry, and literature that reveal the power of perfume and its ability to recall the past and evoke sensuality. According to nineteenth-century perfumer Eugene Rimmel, "the history of perfume is, in some manner, the history of civilization." Through fascinating text accompanied by gorgeous imagery, including packaging, labels, and advertisements, Perfume: Joy, Scandal, Sin explores perfume's impact on history, culture, society, art, and attitudes.

About the Author

Richard Stamelman is a professor of romance languages at Dartmouth College. He is an honorary member of the Societe Francaise des Parfumeurs and winner of a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Jacques Polge is the master perfume designer for Chanel and the creator of Allure, Coco Mademoiselle, Chance, and Egoiste.