Synopses & Reviews
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.
Read Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez's posts on the Penguin Blog.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
While the authors embrace point systems and science, they also offer vivid, funny, evocative descriptions of the smells they write about
To enjoy Perfumes
, you dont need to know, or even to like, perfumes, such is the brio of Turins and Sanchezs prose
This is fun to read and a rare pleasure, too
The joy of Turin and Sanchezs 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 criticism
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.
-The New Yorker
This comprehensive book is unfailingly entertaining
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
This will be a must-have for anyone who already loves perfumes
and those who arent 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.
-Publishers Weekly, starred review
After spending the better part of a weekend reading a galley often aloud to anyone willing to listen I'm convinced Turin and Sanchez offer some of the most stylish, erudite and hilarious criticism in any subject field.
-Dallas Morning News
Pompous names, bizarre ads, hundreds of new scents a year?the multibillion-dollar business of fragrance has long resisted understanding. At last the first critical?and critically acclaimed?guide to perfume illuminates the mysteries of this secretive industry. Lifelong perfume fanatics Luca Turin (best known as the subject of Chandler Burr?s The Emperor of Scent)
and Tania Sanchez exalt, wisecrack, and scold through their reviews with passion, eloquence, and erudition, making this book a must-have for anyone looking for a brilliant fragrance?or just a brilliant read.
The quintessential guide to the one hundred most glorious perfumes in the world.
When Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez published Perfumes: The Guide in 2008, it was hailed as "ravishingly entertaining" by John Lanchester in The New Yorker, "witty and knowledgeable" on Style.com, and "provocative and hugely entertaining" by the Times Literary Supplement. The Little Book of Perfumes focuses on just one hundred masterpieces of perfume: ninety-six five-star perfumes from the original book, as well as four "museum" perfumes-legendary scents that are preserved in the Versailles Osmothèque.
This stunningly produced petite volume offers lovers of perfume the best of the best-a perfect gift book for anyone looking either for a brilliant fragrance or an intelligent, witty read.
About the Author
is a leading scholar in the field of olfactory science. He holds a PhD in biophysics from University College London.
Tania Sanchez is an avid perfume collector and expert. She has written hundreds of perfume reviews on several perfume Web sites.