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 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.
Picking a Perfect Perfume
For Perfumes: The Guide, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez tested nearly 1,500 fragrances--some glorious, some foul. Here they offer some humble advice on finding something worth loving among the stinkers.
1. Smell top to bottom
Perfumes usually unfold in three (often very different) stages: the sparkling first few minutes are the fragrance's top note, followed by its true personality, known as the heart note, and ending with the base note, aka the drydown, hours later. Something you love at the counter you may loathe by the parking lot. We recommend top-to-bottom tests on skin and on paper, since some scents that disappoint on the heat of skin may shine on your shirtsleeve.
2. Write it down
Bring a pen to write names on paper test strips, so you're not in anguish hours later, trying to recall which is the third scent from the left that transports you to Shangri-La. Keep a cheap, possibly extremely trashy paperback on hand, so you can store strips between pages to keep them separate.
3. Rest your nose
Noses tune out, which is why you can smell your friends' homes but not your own. Smell no more than five scents per day on paper strips and try on only the best one or two, to keep your nose reliable.
4. Check the radiance
To get a good sense of how the perfume will smell to other people as you walk past, try spraying a test strip and leaving it in the room while you step out for a bit. Come back fifteen minutes later and breathe in: that's the radiance.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Less a guide in the sense of helping people choose the perfect fragrance than a wide-ranging, critical review of some 1,200 perfumes, both famous and obscure, this comprehensive book is unfailingly entertaining. A collaboration between Turin, a well-known olfactory scientist, and Sanchez, a perfume collector and critic, the book brings their exquisite connoisseurship to life in a contagious manner. Their passion for a few scents and their outrage at the others' failings make for entry after entry of hilarious, catty comments interspersed with occasional erudite, eloquent disquisitions. French perfumery Guerlain is subject to both: Jicky is an object lesson in perfumery... a towering masterpiece, while Aqua Allegoria Pivoine Magnifica is like chewing tin foil while staring at a welding arc. Other startlingly evocative metaphors abound, especially those comparing perfumes to people, whether someone real (Amy Winehouse, Paris Hilton) or a general type (socialites, someone ill with bronchitis). This will be a must-have for anyone who already loves perfumes, though many of the reviews will cause violent disagreement, and those who aren't utterly perfume-obsessed will still appreciate the opening essays on olfactory science, the history of perfume, general types of fragrances and how to choose perfumes. (Apr.)
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