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Perfumes: The A-Z Guide Paperback – International Edition, October 27, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 411 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

aWhile the authors embrace point systems and science, they also offer vivid, funny, evocative descriptions of the smells they write abouta]To enjoy "Perfumes," you donat need to know, or even to like, perfumes, such is the brio of Turinas and Sanchezas prosea]This is fun to read a and a rare pleasure, tooa]The joy of Turin and Sanchezas book, however, is their ability to write about smell in a way that manages to combine the science of the subject with the vocabulary of scent in witty, vivid descriptions of what these smells are like. Their work is, quite simply, ravishingly entertaining, and it passes the high test that their praise is even more compelling than their criticisma]Its blend of technical knowledge and evocative writing is exemplary in the strict sense: people who write about smell and taste in any context should use it as an example.a
-"The New Yorker"
aThis comprehensive book is unfailingly entertaininga]Their passion for a few scents and their outrage at the othersa failings make for entry after entry of hilarious, catty comments interspersed with occasional erudite, eloquent disquisitionsa]This will be a must-have for anyone who already loves perfumesa]and those who arenat 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.a
-"Publishers Weekly," starred review
aAfter spending the better part of a weekend reading a galley a often aloud to anyone willing to listen a I'm convinced Turin and Sanchez offer some of the most stylish, erudite and hilarious criticism in any subject field.a
-"Dallas Morning News"

"Ravishingly entertaining. . . . Its blend of technical knowledge and evocative writing is exemplary in the strict sense: people who write about smell and taste should use it as an example."
-"The New Yorker"

"As vivid as any criticism I've come across in the last few years, and what's more a revelation: part history, part swoon, part plaint."
-Jim Lewis, "Slate"

About the Author

Luca Turin was born in 1953 and educated in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. He holds a PhD in biophysics from the University of London and was for ten years a tenured staff member of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). From 1993 to 2000 he was lecturer in biophysics at University College London. Since 1996 he has worked on primary olfactory reception and the prediction of odor character. In 2001 he became chief technical officer of Flexitral, where he uses his theory of olfaction to design new fragrances and flavor molecules.He wrote the very first perfume guide in 1992, a relatively small (270 fragrances), literary, and confidential affair. Although out of print and out of date, his guide has achieved cult status among perfume aficionados. He has twice won the highest honor for perfume writing in France, the Prix Jasmin, in 2001 and 2004. Turin's fame is partly based on a BBC documentary about his scientific work, A Code in the Nose, which still airs in reruns all over the world. Turin's book The Secret of Scent was released to critical acclaim in 2006. 

Tania Sanchez is a writer of poetry, fiction, and essays, a sometime journalist, and a senior editor for a small nonfiction publishing house in New York. She is also an avid perfume collector and all-around perfume expert. She has contributed hundreds of perfume reviews on several of the perfume boards and blogs, as well as writing her own blog, which not infrequently deals with perfume. She provided editorial advice in exchange for perfume during the development of Luca Turin's The Secret of Scent.

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Ben
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun guide, but take it for what it is
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 25, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious book
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clear-eyed reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, erudite, entertaining and amazingly inclusive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 15, 2018
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Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, funny, a necessity for anybody passionate about scent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars INHALE
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 13, 2017
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Fiona
5.0 out of 5 stars Instructive and amusing
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Maria
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun read but follow your own nose...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 26, 2014
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John G
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Guide
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Gavin B.
5.0 out of 5 stars and adores this book - very funny and insightful reviews (good and bad
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite
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Rosie Hales
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfume guide
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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Amber
5.0 out of 5 stars For the seriously interested.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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