Dominique Roque, a sourcing agent working in the perfume industry, recounts his travels and travails in pursuit of natural ingredients used in perfumes and dives into the storied history and often precarious methods of the producers of those raw materials.
Perfume is a ubiquitous thing, to the point that you don’t really even register it. I have several bottles sitting on my dresser right now. But I’d never really thought about where the components of which they are composed of, which was why I found In Search of Perfumes so fascinating.
Roques has been a sourcing agent for thirty years, and his work has taken him all over the world to some very remote and beautiful places in that time. The best part of this book is how vividly he was able to recreate these places, painting lush scenes and of course evoking the scents that one might encounter here. Equally enjoyable is the true appreciation that Roques has for the industry and the far-flung people he has met over the course of his work. His care and curiosity shines through.
However, while I always enjoyed the reading about the production of the various ingredients, I did feel that the chapters began running into each other by the end, especially as we end on a trio of trees which whose stories have many parallels. I wouldn’t say that content should be cut – for every chapter is really very interesting and well-written – but this is definitely a book that cannot be binged.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.