|BookPage Nonfiction Top Pick, July 2012.|
“Coming to My Senses…offers a luscious immersion in the world of perfume obsession. But what makes this memoir so appealing are its deeper notes, the ones that linger on after reading.”
|LA Times [PDF]
“In “Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure and an Unlikely Bride,” Alyssa Harad recounts her Kate Chopin-like awakening to the sensual joys of perfume and the fulfillment, happiness and fragrant friendships that follow.”
|BookPage Must Read Memoirs of 2012|
Honored (and flabbergasted) to be on this list with the likes of Cheryl Strayed, Anne Lamott, Jenny Lawson, Jeanette Winterson, Anna Quindlen, and Alison Bechdel.
|Beauty on the Outside
“There is a delicious intimacy about this book. In telling her story Alyssa allows the stories of others to flow into hers. Perfume is all about intimacy, and sharing, after all. I’ve been calling the author ‘Alyssa’, even though academic detachment normally forbids it, because I feel I know her.”
“A charming memoir about how a woman's "torrid affair" with perfume changed her life…A quiet delight.”
|The Alembicated Genie
“I didn’t read it at all. I ate it in two days…This is an incredibly charming book.”
|Austin Chronicle Critic's Pick, Best of 2012 Issue|
"Alyssa Harad's funny, galvanizing memoir Coming To My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride explores the personal and the political of eau de parfum, and provides much food for thought about our own arbitrary lines in the sand vis-à-vis feminism and femininity. Call it scent and sensibility – and a sweet read, to boot."
|Cake, Tea and Dreams
“Full of tidbits about the perfume industry and lusciously described scents, and peopled by elegant, quirky characters (who all smell wonderful), this memoir swept me away.”–Katie Noah Gibson
Chosen by Katie Noah Gibson as one of her Best Books of 2012
|The Dallas Morning News|
“Harad manages to pull off…word sorcery, layering one scented note of description atop another, until the reader is afloat in a sea of sensations ranging from louche to pristine. One is ridiculously tempted to put oneâ€™s nose to the printed page and sniff, as if the paper might somehow carry the scents that would complete the experience of reading about perfumes. If ever a book called for scratch-and-sniff inserts, this is the one.”
|The Soul of Scent: Perfume and Pleasure in Alyssa Harad's Coming to My Senses
"I made it two paragraphs into Austin writer Alyssa Harad’s memoir Coming To My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride (Viking) before I burrowed my nose into my wrist and inhaled deeply, pondering for the first time in years the perfume I’d rotely put on in the morning. Her book is eye-opening, intoxicating stuff...This is a book that arouses and galvanizes the senses – all of them, but especially those of the overlooked olfactory nerves...The very word puts a lot of us on edge – perfume – but turns out it’s just the elbow crook inching open the door into Harad’s memoir, which is as much about her surprise at delighting in perfume’s history, community, and aromatic allures as it is about her own reckoning with what it means to be a woman."
“…charms everyone with stories, recommendations, and delight..,This memoir is lovely and evocative as Harad becomes more comfortable with herself and her open appreciation for things, like perfume, that are about beauty and pleasure.”
|Shelf Awareness Starred Review
"The story of one woman's highly unlikely--and deeply rewarding--obsession with perfume...Full of luscious scent descriptions and fascinating tidbits about the perfume industry, and peopled by elegant, quirky characters (who all smell wonderful), this memoir will send readers dashing to the nearest perfume counter for a bit of olfactory bliss."
|Whole Living Magazine [PDF]|
“The Scent of a Convert: An unlikely fan of fragrance is transfixed by the world of jasmine and ylang-ylang-and discovers there’s beauty in paying attention.”