The London Observer described him as 'the world's leading writer on the subject'. The Australian newspaper said he is 'known in the hallowed corridors of the cosmetic industry as the man with the best nose in the country'. Vogue magazine calls him 'The Authority'.
Michael Edwards, the perfume experts' expert, author and industry ambassador, has made many significant contributions to the fragrance industry over the past three decades.
His annual fragrance guide, Fragrances of the World, is now in its 27th edition. What started in 1983 as a simple guide for retailers, listing 323 fragrances, has grown into a comprehensive classification system for fragrances worldwide. Its purpose is to make fragrance selection an exciting journey rather than a difficult chore.
It is now universally regarded as the fragrance 'bible' by perfumers, industry professionals, journalists and fragrance connoisseurs, this year classifying over 8,000 fragrances including 900 new releases.
It is the only guide that maintains its independence, accepting no advertising or fees for its listings. The rigorous classification methodology whereby the fragrance gets assigned to a particular family cannot be understated - Michael and his team personally test every fragrance and then cross-check their findings with the perfumers to ensure the accuracy of the listings.
In 2005 Michael went on to introduce Fragrance of the World.info - the world's only fragrance database that sorts and cross-references over 10,000 fragrances by classifications, pyramid and accord notes, perfumers and bottle designers, bottle images, house and corporate groups, gender, country and year of launch. The online database offers such a wealthy source of information that the industry recognised Michael twice with the highly prestigious FiFi award for Technological Breakthrough.
Michael's book, Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances, published in 1998, opened up the secret world of perfumery and instantly became a cult classic given its in-depth historical research. For the first time, perfumers spoke of their work and the sources of their inspiration.
Since his early days in Paris, Edwards has been impressed and fascinated by the world of fragrance creators and yet surprised by the lack of public knowledge about their work. Through his revealing stories of the greatest fragrances ever created, he offers a tribute to perfumers and provides a glimpse into the complex and intricate process of fragrance creation.
A self-proclaimed gypsy, Michael divides his time between Sydney, Paris and New York in order to stay abreast of the market and to keep industry in touch with the latest developments. As Edwards chooses to cover new fragrance markets - Latin America, Middle East, and Asia - the scope of his work continues to expand, yet he is undaunted. After all, every new fragrance offers a new experience, a new memory, a new story.
"Fragrances can be so much more than just pleasant accessories," says Edwards. "A great perfume is a work of art. It is silent poetry, invisible body language. It can lift our days, enrich our nights and create the milestones of our memories. Fragrance is liquid emotion."
Fragrance Family classifications © Copyright Michael Edwards 2012