A Journey of the Senses
A unique travel memoir – and a vividly drawn portrait of today’s exotic world of perfume.
When Celia Lyttelton visited a bespoke perfumers, she realized a long-held ambition: to have a scent created solely for her. Entering this heady, exotic world of oils and essences, she was transported from a leafy London square to a place of long-forgotten memories and sensory experiences. And once drawn into this world, she felt compelled to trace the origins, history and culture of the many ingredients that made up her unique perfume…
And so began a magical journey of the senses that took Celia from Grasse, the cradle of perfume, to Morocco; from the rose-growing region of Isparta in Turkey, to the Tuscan hills where the iris grows wild. And after journeying to Sri Lanka, the home of the heavenly scented jasmine, Celia ventured to India, the Yemen and finally to the ‘Island of Bliss’, Socotra. Here she traced the rarest and most mysterious agent in perfumery, ambergris, which is found in the bellies of whales and is said to have powerful aphrodisiac qualities.
From the peasants and farmers growing their own crops, and the traders who sell to the great perfume houses, to the ‘noses’ who create the scents and the marketing kings who rule this powerful billion-dollar industry, Celia Lyttelton paints a mystical, sensual landscape of sights, sounds and aromas as she recalls the extraordinary people and places she encountered on her unique Scent Trail.
“A fantastic book about perfume and our sense of smell...”
Anna Shepard, Times Online
“'The intriguing relationship between scent, memory and place is the underlying note in Lyttelton's journey through the history, creation and business of perfume. We are whisked to traditional perfumers' workshops, with their phial-filled antique cases, to the spice souks of Marrakech, Ottoman houses in Turkey adorned with necklaces of peppers and chillis, iris farms in Italy, and the mossy-floored cedar forests of Azrou'”
“This book offers an insight into the foreign origins of the perfumes lining chemist shelves, while taking us on a sensory adventure around the globe”
Real Travel Magazine
“A magical journey of the senses”
Yorkshire Evening Post
“When Celia Lyttelton set out to have a scent created solely for her, she found herself propelled into an adventure that would take her across the world, investigating the origins, history and culture of wonderfully exotic ingredients...The Scent Trail tells her story.”
Woman and Home