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Perfumes
Title : Perfumes
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780670018659
Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 384

The first book of its kind: a definitive guide to the world of perfume Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez are experts in the world of scent. Turin, a renowned scientist, and Sanchez, a longtime perfume critic, have spent years sniffing the world’s most elegant and beautiful—as well as some truly terrible—perfumes. In Perfumes: The Guide, they combine their talents and experiencThe first book of its kind: a definitive guide to the world of perfume Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez are experts in the world of scent. Turin, a renowned scientist, and Sanchez, a longtime perfume critic, have spent years sniffing the world’s most elegant and beautiful—as well as some truly terrible—perfumes. In Perfumes: The Guide, they combine their talents and experience to review more than twelve hundred fragrances, separating the divine from the good from the monumentally awful. Through witty, irreverent, and illuminating prose, the reviews in Perfumes not only provide consumers with an essential guide to shopping for fragrance, but also make for a unique reading experience. Perfumes features introductions to women’s and men’s fragrances and an informative “frequently asked questions” section including: • What is the difference between eau de toilette and perfume? • How long can I keep perfume before it goes bad? • What’s better: splash bottles or spray atomizers? • What are perfumes made of? • Should I change my fragrance each season? Perfumes: The Guide is an authoritative, one-of-a-kind book that will do for fragrance what Robert Parker’s books have done for wine. Beautifully designed and elegantly illustrated, this book will be the perfect gift for collectors and anyone who’s ever had an interest in the fascinating subject of perfume.Read Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez's posts on the Penguin Blog.


Perfumes Reviews

  • Mimi

    How could something as shapeless and evanescent as smell have a history and a culture?[]For the moment, let's just say that, like all other arts, perfume should engage our attention to a satisfying end, first creating an expectation and then satisfying it in a way different and better than you hoped.[]Perfumes seem to come in various weights and sizes, to have different personalities, to wear different clothes, to worship different deities. Some perfumes are facile and some are complicated; some [...]

  • Courtney

    This book is equally fun and frustrating. Turin is a major voice in the burgeoning world of perfume criticism, and he has a lot of knowledge and a gift for sharp insights. I often pick this up when I sample something new to see what the book says about it, and the reviews are very entertaining. What pains me is the 5-star rating system they chose to use. It appeals to our "bottom line" mentality but I worry it will lead less experienced perfume-lovers to start thinking in terms of rankings and t [...]

  • Reese

    Combine three of my favorite things, why dontcha: Very expensive perfume, mordant wit and Pynchonesque range on an esoteric subject. For once, the breathless prose in the book jacket does justice to the actual prose within: Turin and Sanchez actually DO separate the divine and good from the monumentally awful. No sacred cows here: They have the balls to nail Serge Lutens on his not-so-great stuff. And the writing! Sweet Lord -- I defy the reader to delve into this book at random and not find a r [...]

  • Lobstergirl

    This is surely the only perfume guide to be blurbed by Hilary Mantel, Philip Hensher, and Dwight Garner (editor of the New York Times book review). It also got a review in the New Yorker, which is where I heard about it. Authors Luca Turin (a visiting olfactory scientist at MIT) and Tania Sanchez (an "avid perfume collector") are very clever and their writing, endlessly entertaining. In an introductory chapter on male fragrance, Turin notes that the male regimen is simple and low maintenance: "O [...]

  • Lauren Colombrito

    It was nice that Tom was thoughtful and bought me this book since fragrance is my obsession (and job!) After I flipped through it I realized the book was basically 2 people's opinion of different fragrances. To me fragrance is personal and everyone has a different thought of what they like. Fragrance will smell different on me then it will on the next person and vice versa. And what I think is devine someone else may think smells like a grandmother on fire. And NO I am not bitter just because th [...]

  • jennifer

    this book never stops giving. the review for jovan's 'sex appeal for men':Here is more evidence of the glorious world predating the Great Fall that occurred in perfumery circa the 1980s. Sex Appeal for Men, dating from 1976, is, to all appearances, an embarrassing artifact of silly seventies marketing. Inexplicably, I love the ridiculous blue box, which must have changed little in the last thirty years, with its retro typeface and bold claims of raw biological effectiveness. Example: 'This provo [...]

  • Jane

    I'm even more fascinated by the way people write about smell as I am about perfume itself. Perfume writers, at least the good ones, use some of the same language as wine critics ("citrus top notes"), but seem to be a more imaginative and witty lot. (I live for the Chandler Burr columns in the NYT fashion magazines.) Less pretentious too - It seems that you can't talk about smell for a living without an ability to call a stink a stink. I actually read this book cover-to-cover because the hilariou [...]

  • CC

    I knew next to nothing about perfumes until personal circumstances elevated my sense of smell to heightened Labrador, and suddenly I smelled everything. Along came Luca Turin, the very last Renaissance man, with an analytical mind that nevertheless tangents off into music, motor cars, design references, history or simple wit. His opinions are knowledgeable, excoriating, final, enthralled, and visibly stem from a profound love of scent. He talks of perfume exactly as anything that’s beautiful b [...]

  • M.K.Carroll

    I don't wear perfume much.I picked this up from the new books shelf at the public library and opened it to a few random pages. "Hilariously vile 50/50 mix of cheap shampoo and canned peaches." [one star] " feels you know your lover well enough to no longer bother closing the bathroom door." [four stars out of five] The authors take perfume seriously but still know how to have fun with it. This is not one of those guides to perfume you find in a women's magazine (you know, the sort that has you t [...]

  • Emma Rose Ribbons

    This is not a book you can read back-to-back since the bulk of it consists of perfume reviews in alphabetical order. Part of me would have liked for them to be sorted into brands as opposed to names but no matter. The writing style's exquisite and hilarious and well worth the price of the book on its own. I read the lengthy introduction and then hopped from review to review, looking for my favourites and some I'd heard about. Very good resource book. My copy is on my Kindle and I can see now for [...]

  • Kate

    A brilliant discussion of many of the perfumes available as well as information about the perfume industry and male and female scents. Turin and Sanchez write incredibly well informed reviews of over 1500 scents, some of which are bitingly sarcastic due to the dross they are reviewing. This book is an essential guide for anyone interested in perfumes, and training their nose to pick out the gems from the rubbish.Some people who have read the book have been offended that the scents that they love [...]

  • Leigh-ann

    This book is tough to rate. On a positive note, the writing is some of the most original and expressive that I've ever had the pleasure to read. It's funny and thought-provoking, and full of interesting tidbits about the perfume industry. You won't be able to resist reading Turin's reviews about your favourite scents (or scents that you despise).On the other hand, reading "Perfumes: The Guide" is a bit like reading an encyclopedia. Hundreds of different perfumes are reviewed, sometimes with a si [...]

  • Irene

    I got this one from the library and decided that I need to have my own copy, preferably in hardcover, as I love the quality of the pages and heft of the book in my hands. friends: hint hint ;)I have to thank the Turin/Sanchez team for turning me onto some of their opined masterpieces (Guerlain's l'heure bleue, Bulgari Black). There are some frags to which I've never been exposed and now yearn to sample. So, I thank them for that. And I'll try real hard not to resent their opinion that one of my [...]

  • Rebecca

    An extract from this review handily sums up Turin's approach to scent:"Vibration theory lay dormant for the past three decades largely because it lacks a plausible biological mechanism for converting intramolecular vibrations into neuronal activation. Recently, however, it was resuscitated by a physiologist and perfume critic named Luca Turin. While implausible, Turin’s proposal is certainly a delightful potpourri of creativity, conjecture, extrapolation, and isolated observations. And it’s [...]

  • Terri

    Perfumes: The Guide is a wonderful tribute to the art of perfumery written with humor and passion. The authors write about scent like others write about food or wine and, just like a good food or wine writer will have you seeking out food and drink, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez will have you running for the perfume counter to start sniffing away for that smell that will send you to nirvana.The book begins with several essays followed by almost fifteen hundred fragrance reviews. A nifty glossary [...]

  • Michelle

    This is a good and enlightening read about the perfume industry. The first 50 pages have changed my opinion about scent and the way I look at it. They encourage people to like what they like and not fall prey to assumptions and advertising, or even their opinions. They inform you about how to test perfume and why you should be skeptical about industry pablum. Great stuff. I'll never look at perfume the same way again. In fact, some of the perfumes I own are too screechy. They're being tossed whe [...]

  • Kami

    I would recommend this guide for anyone looking to navigate the daunting world of scents. There's a lot of stinky water out there, and some that is just perfect, and this book helps readers understand WHY. The first few chapters are a wonderful introduction to the industry. The individual reviews are comprehensive, well-written, and from my limited experience so far, spot-on. I originally checked out Perfumes: A Guide from the library but ultimately ended up buying it because I think I actually [...]

  • Catherine

    Recommended to me by my friend John Q this book is a must-read for smell obsessives like myself. The reviews are structured like the perfumes they describe: bottom notes of memories and evocations, middle notes on origins, similarities, and similar attempts, and top notes of incisive commentary. While I would not suggest anyone select a fragrance based on any of the reviews (smell is very personal!) the authors list all the notes that go into each fragrance, which is quite useful for those looki [...]

  • paula

    Bought the Kindle version specifically so I'd have on my phone. You never know when you'll find yourself wandering the perfume dept, and you could make some bad choices based on first impressions. These thoughtful, comprehensive reviews (which are also often funny) have led me to sample stuff I'd never have considered (Angel, Lolita Lempicka) and more fully appreciate what I'm smelling. Happy to know that no matter how appealing the bottle and pedigree, I never have to consider buying any of Cre [...]

  • Kate

    While I don't always agree with Luca Turin's and Tania's assessments of commercial fragrances, they are interesting to read and never fail to entertain. I'm "virtually" acquainted with Tania via the Makeup Alley fragrance board, and I think she brings a nice balance to Luca's writing. The essays at the beginning of the book are worth the price of admission. If you don't know who Luca Turin is, start with Chandler Burr'sThe Emperor of Scent for some context.

  • Metalpig

    It's true, reading books about perfume is like dancing about architecture. Still, the snark here cannot be beat. I am also very envious of people who, unlike me, can detect all these scents. Even with lots of sampling I mostly get Flowers, Not-Flowers, and Cake. I am the ideal Bath and Bodyworks customer, but after reading this I feel less bad about that.

  • Cheryl

    While it seems like a daunting task, Turin and Sanchez manage to evoke, in words, all of the emotion (and emotional baggage) that we associate with scents. While their raves are sweetly poetic, it's their biting, laugh-out-loud negative reviews that make this well worth a read.

  • GraceAnne

    If you are beguiled by scent as I am, you will find this funny and witty and sly and astonishingly informative. The fact that they write a lovely paragraph about my favorite perfume (Songes by Annick Goutal) does not hurt.

  • Jena

    I know everything about fragrances now.2-stars: Some of the descriptions were creative and fun to read, but overall these authors are snobs.Wear what you like, folks. (Spritz conservatively.)

  • Moi

    HilariousI am an avid fragrance addict and I really did assume that this would be a pretentious or catty tome. Not so although some fragrances are dismissed I imagine they rightly should be. Fragrance is an industry shrouded in bullshit and a lot of product really is dreck to anybody with a developed 'nose'. I will continue to use fragrances that are not masterpieces because I like them and I will also seek out some 'recommended' 5 star rated fragrances because I am interested in them. As a guid [...]

  • Rebecca

    I read this book when it first came out, but it wasn't my cup of tea because it's only opinions/reviews. Perfume is personal, tied to your memory, and you should wear it based on your own preferences and not because of what two married"experts" say. Buy whatever you want and wear it.

  • Diane

    Rating 4.5Is this book subjective? Yes veryIs this book dated? A bitIs this book interesting? Yes, very, at least to me. I never knew that reading perfume reviews could be so fascinating. I think it's because the reviews are so descriptive, personal and well-written.

  • Randy Rusbridger

    Funny, extremely informative, a book you can explore for very long time. For perfume lovers, or those who intend to became perfume experts. Besides, it should be mandatory reading for each ambitious shop assistant in the fragrances despartment.

  • Ella

    The review portion, which takes up 2/3 of the book, outdates fast. Some quibbles with instances of personal taste overruling objective analysis. Still merits 3 stars for their combined expertise

  • Dane

    Eh. I like their writing, and their criticisms, but I was able to shoot through this book in one evening, despite its size, reading only the entries of perfumes I have (that they cover - they do cover every type of perfume, but by no means every perfume within that type) and the ones I'm interested in.