Power of Perfume

By Mingye Zhu

“Perfume follows you; it chases you and lingers behind you. It’s a reference mark. Perfume makes silent talk. ” The saying from Sonia Rykiel about perfume worded aptly said says so much. Perfume may well be a lovely essential in our daily life, we may use to anoint ourselves with certain odours we prefer. However, sometimes, we may be aware that we know only a few things about fragrance, its history, its ingredients, and its relationship with each countries’ culture. Sue Phillips, fragrance expert and Scentrepreneur®, just launched her first book about her area of expertise, called The Power of Perfume, which encompasses and includes answers to all the fragrance questions that clients have asked her over the years, as well as making a great read and reference book for those who want to explore and understand more of this majestic subject.

The author Sue Phillips has rich experience in the field of perfume making. She was hired for marketing executive positions at Elizabeth Arden and Lancôme. During her time as Vice President at Tiffany & Co, she created and developed their first iconic perfume for their 150th Anniversary. In 1992 she established her company Scenterprises Inc, designed and launched fragrances for famous fashion houses such as Burberry, Trish McEvoy, and Avon. Seventeen years later, she started her journey following the idea of serendipity, The Scentarium — the first customizing Fragrance perfume studio in New York where she helped many A-list celebrities such as Jamie Foxx, Katie Holmes, and Zendaya to create the ideal Fragrance; using it to show their personality. From 2020, Sue made the step of offering the online service “ScentSessionSoirees” to help the audience discover their own Fragrance via the Internet.

With all this passion and knowledge, it is exciting to see Sue has drawn the public closer to the Fragrance world through her book The Power of Perfume.

Whilst some perfume books start the journey in a slight pedantry way to intensively dissect the perfume from the history to the ingredient, Sue’s approach is more like storytelling. She is good at using quotes from eminent people while having individually cheerful descriptions of seasons, and preferences related to the using of perfume, to help the reader better understand and engage with the sensual world of scent; as if to feel and smell the perfume by reading her book.

Sue starts with a poetic and emotional understanding of perfume, breaking the book down into chapters, some being around the love of perfume through decades, whilst others introduce an ingredient from the ancient world, for example, Galbanum and Myrrh. It is quite interesting to know that before becoming important elements in perfume, these two ingredients had other unexpected uses a thousand years ago.

As an entry-level, this publication’s objective is to better reach out to the reader enhancing their knowledge of perfume, or for those that already have some level of knowledge to better inform them. As well as of course lift their spirits like only a scent can do.

For instance, do you stress out when you read a perfume’s top, middle and base notes? maybe you really didn’t understand what this means? Were you confused about the odour of said perfume because many ingredients are not known to you or are too hard to imagine what they may well smell of?

Sue narrowed down perfume families into four main olfactory Groups based on the distinct characteristics of each set a perfume may fall into, which makes things easier for nonprofessional to smell fragrance ‘in the mind’: Fresh Family, Floral Family, Woodsy Family, and Spicy Family.

Sue also mentioned a version of the fragrances framework in her book. It is commonly agreed that there are the four families as mentioned above, but that these can be split into further sets. Citrus Family, Floral Family, Fruity Family. Oriental Family, Chypre, Woodsy, Fougrères and Animalic. For those beginners in this field, you may feel it is a complex framework to grasp, worry not, Sue will explain.

In a chapter called “Ever wonder why people are so affected by perfume?”, Sue provides us with some convincible answers with accessible words and quips summarizing the scientific terms. It is unusual to get to know the academic findings in this way because sometimes the verbose analysis of a theory can easily turn the readers away. Understand, with her help, why perfume can become a basic essential for people’s daily life like brushing teeth day and night. It also may breezily solve your questions about the attraction of perfume.

“Both music and fragrance don’t change your hormone levels, but they DO influence your brain systems involved with perception and memory.”

We may easily link a certain smell with a specific location, a person, however, it is a novelty to compare fragrances with music. There is one chapter in The Power of Perfume where Sue explained and made this relationship appropriate. “Indigenous music and songs speak to your personality or culture. Music stimulates creativity. Music soothes and inspires, make you lively and happy.

If you are stressed about being an outsider of fragrance or just would like to get your feet on finding your destiny perfume. Sue Phillips’s book The Power of Perfume is an excellent choice. Her words work like a drop of scent splashed, opening a world of mystery and magic.

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