Coming to My Senses by Alyssa Harad
A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride

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Honest and beautifully written—a nuanced exploration of femininity and pleasure through the enchanting world of fragrance
Alyssa Harad’s affair with scent begins in secret, late at night, by the glow of her computer screen when she stumbles on a blog devoted to perfume. Bookish and practical, and a stranger to beauty counters, she is surprised to find herself lured into a sensual underworld of quirky characters that changes her mind about much more than perfume. Candid, elegant, and full of lush description and humor, Coming to My Senses takes readers from a private museum of rare essences in Austin, Texas, to the glamorous fragrance showrooms of Manhattan, and finally to a homecoming in Boise, Idaho, to prepare for Harad’s wedding. This deeply personal story reveals the intimate connections between scent, our senses, and the people we are and want to become.


About Alyssa Harad

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ALYSSA HARAD grew up in Boise, Idaho. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard and a PhD in English from the University of Texas. Her writing has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine and the perfume blogs Now Smell This and Perfume- Smellin' Things. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband.
Published July 5, 2012 by Penguin Books. 271 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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As she learned to put perfume scents into words and understand the complex ways in which perfumes unfold upon the skin, her desire to experience other scents grew.

Apr 04 2012 | Read Full Review of Coming to My Senses: A Story ...

Publishers Weekly

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She became hooked on the writers’ paeans to scent, and although her attraction to perfume contrasted with how she saw herself (“a serious, Birkenstock-wearing feminist”), she was unable to resist first taking a nervous trip to the mall to smell a featured scent and, as her fascination grew,...

Apr 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Coming to My Senses: A Story ...

Dallas News

She notes that “the entire city of Halifax has banned the public use of perfume,” and a backlash to the over-perfumed 1980s — as well as the prevalence of allergies — makes perfume far less likely now to be worn daily than it was 20 or 30 years ago.

Jul 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Coming to My Senses: A Story ...

Open Salon

A native New Yorker born to Puerto Rican & Sicilian parents in Spanish Harlem's El Barrio, Literanista is a Social Media Strategist, a published poet/writer, formerly worked at in the Hachette Book Group Online Marketing Dept, and now scouts the web for multicultural literary news, trends, innova...

May 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Coming to My Senses: A Story ...

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