Elise Vernon Pearlstine

Elise Vernon Pearlstine

Perfumer and wildlife biologist, author and teacher, Elise Vernon Pearlstine has combined her passions in her book, Scent: A Natural History of Fragrance. In the book she tells stories of fragrances from the point of view of pollinators but also through the arc of history and human’s fascination with aromatics. She has found that fragrance brings people together, that there are no ‘right’ answers when evaluating jasmine, and that people experience the same scent different ways. As a teacher of perfumery, she shared stories about the origins of natural perfume ingredients but also used her background in natural history to teach about evolutionary, ecological, and geographic influences that result in many of the aromatic molecules used for perfumery. Elise’s years of experience with natural aromatics, perfume-making, and teaching have laid the groundwork for her book written from the point of view of plants, pollinators, and predators with descriptions of terroir and geography. There is a world full of smelly things both lovely and pungent—Elise tells stories of defensive halitosis in caterpillars, mosquitoes that pollinate orchids, the tiny gnats that give us chocolate, and the fungus that produces fragrant agarwood. Elise lives in northern Florida near the ocean where she enjoys sunrise on the beach with her husband, looking for birds and sea turtles, smelling flowers, taking naps with her cat, and tending her garden.
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