Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride

Alyssa Harad. Viking, $25.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-670-02361-5
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The age of 36 was a watershed year for Harad: after earning her Ph.D. in English she found herself adrift, no longer wanting the busy life she’d created, longing to be a writer but unsure how to go about it. While avoiding work on a freelance project, she Web surfed to a perfume blog, and everything changed. She became hooked on the writers’ paeans to scent, and although her attraction to perfume contrasted with how she saw herself (“a serious, Birkenstock-wearing feminist”), she was unable to resist first taking a nervous trip to the mall to smell a featured scent and, as her fascination grew, immersing herself in the real-world community of perfume devotees. She fulfills her new thirst for knowledge through travel and study; she joins a local perfume salon in Austin, Tex., ventures into the perfume sections of Bergdorf’s and Barney’s in Manhattan, and, no longer able to contain her enthusiasm, charms everyone—with stories, recommendations, and delight—at her perfume-themed bridal shower in Boise, Idaho. This memoir is lovely and evocative, as Harad becomes more comfortable with herself and her open appreciation for things, like perfume, that are about beauty and pleasure. An appendix will help converts stock their own perfume closets. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 07/05/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-58367-8
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-58337-1
Paperback - 260 pages - 978-0-14-312338-5
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