Noblesse Luxe Publishing
The Book & Exclusive Interview
It gives me great pleasure to introduce a book that I admired since the first glance at its description while searching for book on fragrances that I may have missed.
The title, CULT PERFUMES- The World's Most Exclusive Perfumeries published by MERRELL gave me goose bumps. It was intriguing and a little bit of a mystery to find out what perfumeries the author thought were exclusive.
Tessa Williams is a journalist and has written for several well known publications such as Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, The Times, just to name a few. I immediately assumed Ms. Williams knew what she is talking about because those publications only work with the best and most knowledgeable writers.
I admire the extensive research done for this book and for Ms.Williams taking the time and expense to visit over 25 perfumeries to conduct interviews with the perfumers, and get a behind the scene look at these beloved perfumeries that have reached the noses and hearts of millions of people around the world.
Not only is the research detailed by CULT PERFUMES offers beautiful photos of the perfumeries, the perfumes and of the perfumers. So, you get a package deal with this book.
The layout and understanding of each perfumery in CULT PERFUMES is easy reading with details that gives historical background starting with Ancient Egypt to the master perfumeries of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
If you are new to niche perfumery, Welcome...CULT PERFUMES-The World's Most Exclusive Perfumeries is a excellent place to start.
I am deeply honored and privileged to have Tessa Williams, author of CULT PERFUMES-The World's Most Exclusive Perfumeries answer my questions about this beautifully orchestrated book of my most favorite fragrances.
1. Tessa, did you write Cult Perfumes: The World's Most Exclusive Perfumeries because you felt this type of book and subject matter is missing from the fragrance industry?
I wrote the book that I wanted to read and there is certainly no other book like this around about fragrances.
I’ve always been fascinated by perfume, even as a young girl, each scent I knew began to unravel a different story for me.
I wanted to write a book about perfume, and initially I had a different idea,
this was similar but slightly different and the publisher liked this so this was how the book evolved.
2. The book is so beautifully arranged. Did you arrange the layout of pictures and articles yourself or did you have help?
I was lucky to have worked with an amazingly talented team at Merrell.
My Editor there, Claire Chandler was a terrific help and the Art Director, Nicola Bailey
had this incredible artistic vision for a very beautiful book . Sadly they have now departed to
work at various other companies as the publishing company is no longer as diverse.
3. During your interviews with the perfumers, what would you say is the most common in terms of their passion for perfumery?
I came across undying passion amongst the perfumers that I met. The most uniting theme seemed to be that most people were creating their
unique and special perfumes for love of creation than from mere commercial desire to make something that sold in the wider sphere.
4. Tessa, how time consuming was it preparing to write CULT PERFUMES: The World's Most Exclusive Perfumeries?
The whole process probably took around 2 years -
The research was a wonderful journey for me, taking me to meet
such special perfumers all around the world, from the magical Serge Lutens in Paris to being present at the 400th anniversary party of Santa Maria Novella in Florence.
Whenever possible I made the journey to meet people personally as I wanted the book to reflect this authenticity and connect with the perfumers on a one to one basis.
I did face to face interviews with many key fragrance creators, which took a lot of time, probably about a year , compiling them all and travelling to each place.
Roja Dove , a real character , Francis Kurkdjian, a fascinating and very likable Parisian, Jo Malone, a very business like and rather tough but friendly lady, Antonia Bellanca (creator of Antonia’s Flowers) wonderfully passionate and inspiring Italian/ American .
After months of travels and many telephone and Skype interviews
it then took hour upon hour of sitting writing on the computer, into the night and starting early in the morning.
I was lucky that my family , also writers and artists were especially encouraging to me at this time.
My father used to ask me every day how many words I had written - that really helped - Also working with a fantastic Editor who insisted on deadlines being met and would not allow for much procrastination. My daughter too was very helpful
and encouraging - she also has a great interest in perfumes, even though she is only 9 , she already has quite a collection of them!
5. What types of scents do you personally enjoy wearing?
I am a big fan of tuberose, I originally loved the Jo Malone Tuberose, now discontinued, I enjoy Fracas a lot by Robert Piguet, I also love Earl Grey Tea by Angela Flanders, I can’t ever say no to a bit of Chanel no 5 and I do also like Chanel No 19 Poudre, I really adore Santa Maria Novella’s Sicilia cologne, I love Oud too by Maison Francis Kurkdjian and I’m very fond of Eau d’Hadrien by Annick Goutal , Mitsouko by Guerlain and also I am a big fan of Epic Woman by Amouage.
6. What types of scents do you think are most popular among consumers in the niche market?
There seems to be a big surge in popularity for the Oud type of perfumes just now in the niche market perhaps influenced by middle east. Also rose scents seem popular just now too .
7. What have your learned from this experience in writing your first book?
It has been a really wonderful experience writing this first book and it has encouraged me to write more .
I am now working on three other books, another on perfume, another guide book on a different theme and a novel. There is a lot of satisfaction in having finished something, that the feeling of writing a book gives you
and also something tangible, in our internet dominated world it is sometimes quite refreshing to be able to hold something and turn the physical pages and be moved by a beautiful design on the page that goes with the writing.
8. What advice would you give to someone who wants to write a book?
Write it! Best advice .... do it and make sure you are writing about something you really LOVE! As writing is a very very tough and lonely occupation. However the opportunities, the rewards in kind and the people you will meet during the process will always be an unforgettable part of your life!
You could also write a best seller - You never know!
Make yourself a realistic deadline of when you can finish the book and set yourself a goal of writing so many words per day. Do it every day too, even if is just a few words, write something new every day. You can always go back and edit once you have written.
9. Lastly, how should consumers refer to your book such as a picture book, reference, coffee table book?
Many people call it a Coffee Table book, I’m quite happy with that or a Reference Book - as I did not have much to do with the Photography I would not call it a Picture book, though it does have many beautiful images.
Many thanks Tessa and much continued success.
The World's Most Exclusive Perfumeries by Tessa Williams
Hardback with Jacket
300 color illustrations
ISBN#978 1 8589 45774
A Special Thanks to Mr. Rob Moore (US Publicity) for sending me the book, CULT PERFUMES-The World's Most Exclusive Perfumeries to me and for allowing me to get my questions answered by Ms. Williams.
Photos: Photo of Ms. Williams courtesy of Merrell Publishers and photo of book cover courtesy of Merrell Publishers/Google images