Perfume by Neil Chapman: In Search Of Your Signature Scent




Hey Crew,

Thinking Christmas? Want something totally fabulous but a little bit different?

Neil Chapman, longtime blogger under the guise of The Black Narcissus, has written a book about perfume and the finding of your signature scent, or scents. Anyone who reads TBN will already be acquainted with his spectacular prose and far flung knowledge realms, his posts can be utterly mind blowing and thought provoking and sometimes even just plain weird assed shit. He is a grand devotee of art and literature, lives in Japan and cruises the second hand perfume emporiums there grabbing the rarest vintage gems for peanuts. He is my perfumed spirit animal and I aspire to be more like him (without the book obviously).

Perfume by Neil Chapman

In Search Of Your Signature Scent

Perfume by Neil Chapman In Search Of Your Signature Scent

Neil thoughtfully sent me a Press Copy which took eternity to get to Australia. It was the day before the big London Launch Party that it finally arrived. I tore it open and immediately stated to read. GAWD! It’s so damn enjoyable. He drops the names of so many fragrances I know and love. Also things I’ve never heard of, by houses that are brand new to me. Well. you can imagine how excited that gets me. Furiously hitting Fragrantica to find out more, obvs. Even that makes it more fun. Like he’s leading me on a journey of discovery too.

Neil sets the scene, gives us some info. He then launches us into a catalogue of fragrance styles and some of his favourites in each category. Now I must warn you that lists are not exhaustive, it’s a taste of Neil’s taste. So you’re not allowed to get all huffy that your personal favourite isn’t mentioned, OK? We are merely flotsam in Neil Chapman’s fragrant thought stream and must go where he takes us. It’s actually a really fun way to do it. Like sitting at his house and you mention a fragrance style. He goes and gets his best of list of bottles for each style and you sit together and try them over a few drinks.

I’m not sure where you’ll be getting your copy from but look it up online and I reckon you will be able to order one.

It’s a fun window into fragrance by one of us, most enjoyable.

Portia xx


The was first posted on Perfume Posse with only slight alterations for APJ.

18 thoughts on “Perfume by Neil Chapman: In Search Of Your Signature Scent

  1. I have read this book cover to cover, and have gone back to review my favorite fragrance categories. The book is thoroughly entertaining and exactly what I love to read. Like you Portia, I enjoyed the journey of discovery and also recognized and shared love of many of the fragrances that Neil wrote about.


  2. Great review, Portia! Neil’s writing is superb, and oh my god, those Japanese perfume markets must be like Ali Baba’s cave, what with so many treasures!


  3. Will call Neil’s style “positive perfumery”, as he doesn’t mention a perfume he doesn’t like. At most, if for instance mentioning a friend’s favourite, he might say something like, “My, it certainly projects well”…

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  4. I love this book. Everything about it. Cover design, illustrations, inside leaf. And it can be picked up and put down any time. So enjoyable reading Neil’s thoughts on familiar perfumes. I brought it to work one night and a couple of my workmates almost wrestled it from me to see if their favourites were in there.


  5. Anything written by Neil is a sheer delight. Brain porn, I guess. I think I’d be rendered speechless and awestruck should I happen upon him in real life. He would have NO idea of the bazillion ideas for conversation I practice in my head.

    I got my copy online and ripped into it straight away. I read it cover to cover that same night.

    Neil was rather restrained and polite in the book. A tad too sanitised for my liking, but I understand he needs to sell to those uninitiated to his blog.

    Funny how two of the most coveted people for my imaginary dinner party both happen to be British expat men living in Japan. (Peter Barakan is the sceond, in case you are remotely interested.)


  6. I bought Neil’s book when it was first launched. It is a delight and would make a wonderful gift. The cover is exceptional, I keep looking at it. !!


  7. Stumbled on it in July and immediately bought it, even though I should not bring more books to store at my parents just now but there you go. Hid it furtively in a drawer at my parents in the hopes they wont notice 😁 Its lovely book, cant wait to read it again when Im back on my annual leave!


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