- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (October 27, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780143115014
- ISBN-13: 978-0143115014
- ASIN: 0143115014
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.6 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 230 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Perfumes: The A-Z Guide Paperback – International Edition, October 27, 2009
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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.
Top customer reviews
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These guys really do know how to break scents down. I don't agree with them all the time, but at least now I have a critical framework to hang my opinions on. And they are hilarious when they hate something. Still, I hope it goes without saying that choices about scent are personal, and if they trash something you love, so what? Chances are you won't love everything they recommend--although you should try to at least get your hands on a sample to find out what they're talking about.
One: this book is nearly a decade old. It doesn't need an update; it needs a second volume. A revolution in niche fragrance (perhaps kick started by this book, among other things) and a decade's worth of new releases from mainstream houses seem to call for another volume.
Second: *general* ($-$$$$) price points in would be nice, somewhere in the reviews. It seems that the reviewers often have a particular grudge against a fragrance house as a whole, and I wonder if it may have something to do with price-to-quality ratio. This may be an editorial decision, but I see no shame in calling out a producer who overcharges gullible consumers for luxury goods that promise substance and don't even deliver style.
Even so, if we need critics for anything, we need them to help us broaden our horizons, and to help us discern quality and value along the way. Bravo, Mr, Turin and Ms, Sanchez. Please write another book, and tell us what you've found in the last 9 years.
The Kindle edition is actually taken from the older, outdated hardback edition; which is to say it does not contain the numerous updates, new reviews(~450) and new Top 10 lists.
This is the best book ever. Ever. I love pouring through books like this as actual reading (not merely reference), and you could certainly read it cover-to-cover. It is amazing to read, and informative. The reviews are well-written, from a reading perspective I especially enjoyed the fact that there were bargain-basement perfumes included (all the tacky celebrity perfumes- from Celine Dion to Elizabeth Taylor to David Beckham): they really did take every scent possible on- even the venerable Aqua Velva. From a buying perspective I appreciated the even-handed way they were reviewed.
The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that there are so many perfumes excluded (I'm assuming that these perfumes were made post 2008)... I know it's not the authors' fault that the book was published 7 years ago, like many products (cosmetics/electronics/films/wine etc), perfumes are coming into the market so often now that a 7-year gap would include tons of fragrances. I hope they'll consider doing a 10th anniversary edition in 2018 (or sooner)- I'd give 10 stars and pay double the price for an updated version.
These authors seem to have other publications and blogs and so on, this book was so good I'll be looking for other works by these authors even though I'm not especially into fragrance.
This is SO entertaining and useful... buy it! You won't regret it!
of the cosmetics counter display and try recommended fragrances first. I was surprised to learn that some meant for men have the ingredients most appealing to me, so I have a wider choice. This book tells a little of the history of the industry which was interesting.
Most recent customer reviews
Some of the entries are side-splitting.Read more