Samuel J. Hoffman

Perfume Set to Music

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Following the success of the 1947 album Music out of the Moon, theremin player Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman, composer Harry Revel, and conductor/arranger Les Baxter teamed up again for Perfume Set to Music. The odd concept behind this six-song album (originally issued on 78 rpm, and then in the 33 1/3 LP format) was to present musical pieces, each about three minutes in length, sponsored by the Corday perfume company. While the songs don't particularly evoke certain scents or perfumes, as on Music out of the Moon, they match easy listening orchestration, the palest form of jazz, and lyric-less vocal choirs, embellished by Hoffman's theremin tones. And as on the previous go-round, the theremin isn't really that dominant, used more as a colorist than the main course; the album could just as well be credited to Revel and/or Baxter as to Hoffman. It's much less jazz-oriented than Music out of the Moon, though the strange electronic tones of the Hammond Novachord add another exotic element. It was reissued as part of the 2004 Rev-Ola CD Waves in the Ether: The Magical World of the Theremin, which also includes Music out of the Moon and a subsequent album on which Hoffman played theremin, 1950's Music for Peace of Mind.