The Case Against Fragrance

The Case Against Fragrance


by Kate Grenville
13 DEC 2018

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Pub Date: 13 December, 2018
Extent: 208pp
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925603477
Rights: World: Text Publishing
Trade paperback available: ISBN: 9781925355956, £12.99

'an accessible, intelligent, seriously researched – and terrifying – book.’ —Daily Mail

Kate Grenville had always associated perfume with elegance and beauty. Then the headaches started.

Like perhaps a quarter of the population, Grenville reacts badly to the artificial fragrances around us: other people’s perfumes, and all those scented cosmetics, cleaning products and air fresheners. On a book tour in 2015, dogged by ill health, she started wondering: what’s in fragrance? Who tests it for safety? What does it do to people?

The more Grenville investigated, the more she felt this was a story that should be told. The chemicals in fragrance can be linked not only to short-term problems like headaches and asthma, but to long-term ones like hormone disruption and cancer. Yet products can be released onto the market without testing. They’re regulated only by the same people who make and sell them. And the ingredients don’t even have to be named on the label.

This book is based on careful research into the science of scent and the power of the fragrance industry. But, as you’d expect from an acclaimed novelist, it’s also accessible and personal. The Case Against Fragrance will make you see—and smell—the world differently.

the i
NZ Herald 
The Pool

The Intelligent Medicine Podcast



‘Kate Grenville has suffered adverse affects—including serious migraines—from scent for years, and shocked by the lack of information available, has taken it upon herself to examine a seriously secretive industry in this informative and continually shocking investigation...she raises valuable questions about the potentially harmful chemicals surrounding us every day and why we so unabashedly live in ignorance of them.’ —Readers Digest

‘Grenville expresses hope though that our society will find solutions to the fragrant violation of personal space based on courtesy and civility rather than on regulation and policy.’ —Australian Book Review

‘You may be familiar with Australian novelist Kate Grenville’s work but she enters new territory here. After exposure to perfumes and scents delivered ill-health her way, Grenville got curious as to why…The result is a fascinating (and worrying) exposé of the potentially damaging health effects of fragrances and the laxity of their regulation. Grenville digs into the science of scent as well as the intrigue of a multi-billion-dollar industry and makes it beautifully accessible in the process.’ —WellBeing

‘Fact-dense and extensively referenced, the book is a delight to read and never gets bogged down…While some of the science has been simplified, the book generally conveys the sense of it correctly…Well developed and thoughtful. Read The Case Against Fragrance and you will never think about fragrance in the same way again. If you have been suffering fragrance in silence, you will know you are not alone.’ —Conversation