A very good, uncut and partially unopened copy of C. F. Bertrand’s vade mecum and analytical study of perfume and cosmetics, modeled after earlier manuals. According to perfume historian Edwin T. Morris, “The year 1809 saw the publication of Le Parfumeur Impérial
by C. F. Bertrand. There was no longer a royal perfumer, but the actual substance of Bertrand’s book contained material similar to that discussed by eighteenth-century handbooks, such as how to make pomades of hyacinths, roses, jonquils, and mixed flowers (pommades de pot-pourri). Bertrand also contributed to the raging controversies by suggesting his own recipe for eau de cologne.” Bertrand also considers perfumery and the production of cosmetics from a medical point of view, recommending certain recipes as not only aesthetically pleasing but beneficial to one’s health. An unsophisticated copy of a substantive and important manual, well-indexed and appended with a glossary of terms. Complete with the sometimes-lacking errata leaf.
Paris: Brunot-Labbe, 1809. Octavo
, 215 x 140 x 40 mm. xiv, 402,  pp. Contemporary publisher’s pink pastepapers wrappers, printed spine label reading Le | parfumeur | impérial. Covers dog-eared, spine creased, upper tail joint starting. Interior
: Minor foxing and staining, some leaves at beginning and end dog-eared, a few modern bookseller’s notes in pencil to endleaves.
Provenance: Donated by ABAA bookseller Ben Kinmont to PBA Galleries Benefit Auction of 8 February 2015, lot 156, knocked down to Philadelphia Rare Books and Manuscripts for $1,200.
Morris, Edwin T. Fragrance. New York: Scribner, 1984. Sagarin, Edward. The Science and Art of Perfumery. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1945. Montesquiou, Robert, Comte de. Pays des Aromates. Paris: Floury, 1900. Cothenet, Eric. “A New Bibliography of Perfume Books,” Private Library, 5th Series, Vol. 5:4, 2002, pp. 179-95.