Thursday, May 1, 2008

Perfumes: The Guide


If you read the previous post about my unremarkable quirks you’ll remember I have a penchant for instruction manuals. It’s a strange fascination I know but I’m funny like that. I’m also a die-hard fragrance junkie. Florals, woods, citrus – you name it, if it’s appealingly smelly then I’m all over it.

The latest tome to land on my desk is Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. Touted as the “definitive guide to perfume,” it’s actually little more than a few tidbits of perfume history and FAQs served up with a healthy dose of snark in the form of expert reviews. My main beef with the book is that the reviews, although often amusing, leave me feeling gypped.

Case in point:

p. 199 Individuel (Mont Blanc)

A laundry-soap formula, apparently for individuals who can’t yet afford the Mont Blanc pens.


I’m not familiar with this scent, and after reading this I’m still not. What I would like to know, however, is stuff like what its notes are, dry-down, history, etc.

Truth be told I’ve gotten more valuable information on the blogs, most notably Now Smell This or Blogdorf Goodman.

Another minus: define “definitive” – some of my fave scents are nowhere to be found:

Ineke After My Own Heart
Profumum Ichnusa

Granted, these aren’t blockbuster scents, but they’re not exactly rare either.

Having said that I do think it’s a fun read, maybe in small doses, and taken with a grain of salt.

Buy it on Amazon.


Fab Over 40 said...

Here I was hoping it would be a great guide - I am horrible at describing perfumes.

Gaia, the non-blonde said...

You're right: not much guidance there. I liked many of the quips, but there's no doubt that a newbie to perfume would not feel less confused after reading this.