Chandler Burr is The New York Times’ perfume critic. His new book, The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris & New York, tells two parallel stories, the first about a year Burr spent for The New Yorker magazine in Paris behind the scenes at Hermès watching legendary perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena create the Hermès scent “Un Jardin sur le Nil”; and the second about a year (beginning with an article for The New York Times) inside Coty with Sarah Jessica Parker as she directed the making of her perfume “Lovely.”
His first novel, You Or Someone Like You, will be published in the summer of 2009. It was originally excerpted as a novel in progress by narrativemagazine.com
Burr is also author of the books The Emperor of Scent: A True Story of Perfume, Obsession, and the Last Mystery of the Senses and A Separate Creation: The Search for the Biological Origins of Sexual Orientation, based on his Atlantic cover story, “Homosexuality and Biology.”
He speaks around the world on scent and perfume and hosts interactive masterclasses in gourmand scents; this series explains perfume for the lay person and shows fragrance’s structure and artistry, with food-based scent raw materials (absolutes of cinnamon, clove, pepper) and gourmand perfumes like “Angel” (which uses the scent of cotton candy) and “Shalimar” (the scent of vanilla) reflected in a 7-course gourmet meal.
Beginning his journalism career as a stringer at the Christian Science Monitor’s Southeast Asia bureau in Manila, Burr then earned a Masters in International Economics & Japan studies from the Paul H. Nitze School/Johns Hopkins. He has also studied international relations at l’Institut d’études politiques in Paris and Chinese history at Min Zu Xue Yuen (Central Institute of Foreign Nationalities) in Beijing.
Burr has written on business for Fast Company and Fortune, politics for the New York Times Magazine, on travel and food for Gourmet, Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and Departures, and religion and science for US News & World Report, where he was a Contributing Editor. His first stage play, “Exquisite,” was nominated in 1992 for the Helen Hayes award for Outstanding New Play.
The Perfect Scent
A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York
The Perfect Scent is the thrilling inside story of the global perfume industry, told through two creators working on two very different scents....