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Perfumes The Guide 2018

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  238 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In 2008, Turin and Sanchez up-ended the world of fragrance with their critically acclaimed Perfumes: The A–Z Guide, one of Amazon’s best books of the year, described by John Lanchester in the New Yorker as “ravishingly entertaining,” by India Knight in the Sunday Times (UK) as “one of the best books I have ever read,” by Hilary Mantel as “opinionated, knowledgeable, sharpl ...more
Kindle Edition, 346 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Perfüümista OÜ
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Sharon L.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Smart and poetic. If you have ANY interest in perfume, I highly recommend this book. Sanchez’s introduction alone is worth the buy. She delivers a concise and fascinating overview of the contemporary market as the center of gravity shifts away from Grasse and Paris and towards the niche and indie creators around the world. Sanchez and Turin are skilled at turning out sharp and thought-provoking reviews that elevate perfumery as an art form.
Dave  Johnson
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Because I am a fragrance lover, I want to like this book. Because I am a fragrance reviewer and critic, I want to like this book. But I don't.

The authors have a lot of opinions, as anyone would, and they give their honest thoughts--which I appreciate. But the problem is not that they like or dislike fragrances, but that they don't explain WHY they don't like or dislike them. Sometimes they do this very well, but most of the time, they don't, leading to a very unbalanced mix of high quality and
Jul 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I give one star to Luca Turin with the same mindless negligeance as he is roasting many perfume artworks with his arrogant reviews just for the egoistic reason - to entertain his readers. This is very funny boulevard read for the masses, somebody will discover new names and new brands, but not really for the true enthusiasts who want to dig deeper, who are spending a lot of time and money into sampling. Basicaly - are you serious? - at the age of Fragrantica, countless perfume blogs and vlogs, w ...more
Tara (A Bottled Rose)
The original Guide had a profound effect on me as a newbie to the world of perfume. This latest version is a snap-shot of the current fragrant landscape rather than an update. There are a lot of indie brands, which is no bad thing, but there were a lot of brands I'd never heard and I tended to skip those. I no longer take LT's opinions as gospel but still hugely enjoy his writing and am interested in what he has to say. The way he translates scent into words is utterly unique and Tania's excelle ...more
Randy Rusbridger
Disappointing, but not without merits

Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez have a vast following of admirers and fans in many places around the globe. Deservedly. Their guide Perfumes: A-Z from 2008 is extraordinarily well written, funny, brave and informed. Actually, it is very clever and insightful, ranging from discussions about art, society, to small essays on economy and contemporary culture. Everyone that has come in touch with this book wants more from Luca and Tania. Enters "the new guide", whic
Deborah Wickham
Not as interesting as the first guide, I guess maybe I have tired of their rather patronising review style. It's far too easy to give vicious one star reviews of perfumes without actually explaining what it is they don't like about it. And as this judgement, which unfortunately a lot of potential customers see as gospel, is directed at a lot of new independent perfume artists, it's not being very supportive of new ideas. I understand what they mean by comparing it to good and bad art, but constr ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
hilarious reviews I can read a sip at a time. half of it is fighting words! as for the other half, while I cannot align my own experience with theirs (with their 2008 guide), it is genuinely enjoyable to witness people being caught off guard by exquisite things. No better treat than this new edition the year I bellyflopped into perfumes.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like the previous version, which I got at Christmas-time, this book rates perfumes on a 1-5 star level. I got this year's book just now as a random late-birthday/early Christmas present to myself. I was glad to see reviews of some of the newer perfumes I'd been trying samples of. Sadly, after several bouts -- or perhaps just one very long bout -- of sinusitis, I can't smell much of anything currently, but I'm recovering, and I think that sense will come back.

At least I have the reference from gr
Saatwik Katiha
The utter subjectivity of olfactory sense trumps the technical expertise of the authors. LT/TS are obviously technical experts on the composition of fragrances and have an (often exasperatingly and pretentiously) ornate, allusional, symbolistic, metaphorical way of describing fragrances. Sadly, the reviews are often colored by more than just the objective aspect of fragrances, and, while that's neither unexpected nor unfair, the reviews do simply end up as lame opinions in more cases than you'd ...more
Kathy Patterson
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Snarky, occasionally very entertaining, but also occasionally a bore. Too many low-rated frags by obscure lines I have no desire to explore, and many lines ignored.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, essays, classics
Why would you read (cover to cover no less) a book that is merely a list of relatively short perfume reviews? Well, because I'm a bit of a geek about smells and because I like quirky writing. This book does both in spades. Turin and Sanchez definitely have their bias (pretty sure anything with a vaguely smokey or fougere aspect got an extra star), but they also have encyclopedic knowledge of the trade and the history of perfumes. Agree or disagree, but for anyone who is cultivating their own kno ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I have loved three or four of these authors other books, but after reading this one I'm afraid I might have those three permanent confused looking lines people get between their eyebrows.

There is definitely more snark here and some just plain rude comments.

I read this with the computer nearby to look the perfumes up and quite a bit of the ones they gave 4 or 5 stars to got mediocre reviews on Fragrantica. The ones they bashed, got more stellar reviews on Fragrantica. Just as an example, let's
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An absolute must if you are a perfume enthusiast. LT and TS are very experienced in the olfactory arena and obviously are often underwhelmed by the product that issues from the industry. They know the chemistry as well as the artistry and also the fakery and piss-takery.
This volume concentrates on quite a few niche, artisan and independent perfumer's work and rates perfumes according to competency of construction as well as innovation.
Of course we are free to choose what we love and wear in fra
Gil Segev
I imagine that at the rate that fragrances get released these days, we should expect a new version of this book by 2023, if not sooner. Already it was somewhat outdated when I read it in early 2020.

This version has a lot more niche and artisan brands than the first, and most are newer releases anyways. A lot of Zoologist, Roja Dove, Byredo, Kilian and the other brands that are on everyone's lips these days.

The opening essays were very good, I wish they were longer. Some of the reviews are except
Tin Huynh
Be open minded prior to reading this book as scent is subjective. Most likely, you will not share similar opinions on most of the included perfumes (Turin’s taste is pretty out here and he is not a fan of modern gourmands such as Grand Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Fève Délicieuse by Dior which are two highly regarded fragrances among the community). With that being said, I enjoyed his humorous and creatively descriptive writing. I only wish he had included more well known fragrances so i ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
Perfume and reading are my two favorite hobbies, which primed me to find Perfumes: The Guide 2018 a delight. Turin is a huge name in the world of perfume criticism and his writing style -- a mixture of chemical analyses, history of discontinued scents, and derision for scents that don't make the mark -- was entertaining. Sanchez reviews a much smaller percentage of these scents but I really enjoyed her insights as well. I found the format a bit tiresome towards the end of the book but overall re ...more
Kira Gold
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this follow up to the first book. LT is his usual snarky technical self, of course, but TS humanizes him and keeps the entries funny.
The entries are of current perfumes, relatively easy to acquire, and most of the comparisons are recognizable too.
Whether you agree with the ratings or not, the descriptions are delightful.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, english
It was a bit more difficult to read than the 1st one, because A LOT of the perfumes described here were totally new to me. Still, it was great to have the book and raid the perfume stores in search of new stuff :). Very informative and funny.
As someone said elsewhere online, you can find the same reviews for free on Fragrantica. Often with much more detail. It was interesting to read a few reviews like Hermès Twilly, Elie Saab Gardenia, and the Lancôme Maison line.
Shirin Alzebari
Not that captivated like the first one!
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
They've still got it. ...more
Judy Lindow
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the followup book to the Perfumes The A-Z Guide 10 years later, in 2018. This book covers reviews for 1200 scents, focussing on the small firms and producers known as "niche"perfumeries. Besides the Q and A at the beginning of the book, there's a short essay on the shifting shape of fragrance between 1918 and 2018.

I did not recognize any of the perfumes. So if you're getting your feet wet, definitely start with the A-Z Guide.This book has the Index by Star rating and the Index by Brand.
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Perfume reviews have no right to be this entertaining. It’s a witty, fun read, but start with the 2008 original book if you haven’t already read it.
Anna Mezhova
As much as I enjoyed the original Perfumes guide, this one is not nearly as good. Might have to do with the selection of fragrances (waaay too niche and hard to find)
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am obsessed with perfumes because of this and its earlier iteration from 2007 (?).
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, this was not as enjoyable as the first Guide from 2008, mainly because there were so many niche perfumes that I've never heard of and likely will never get a chance to try. There was also quite an imbalance between the two authors, with Turin doing the vast majority of the reviews. Still, it was a fun read and it did leave me with a small list of perfumes that I would like to try (unlike the first edition, which left me with a list that filled a notebook page). ...more
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are fans of Luca Turin and Tanya Sanchez and your sensibilities click with theirs this is valuable guide for you. Otherwise, tidbits on fragrances, history, Perfumer’s etc are interesting. Happy to see more niche perfumers than the last decades guide. As always, I like the two word description of each fragrance even if I don’t agree with them. Of course, no one has the same sensory experience as another.
Gediminas Kontrimas
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Privalomas tekstas visiems kvepalų (ne)mylėtojams. Pavyzdys, kaip protingas eruditas sukuria naują kokybę beveik iš nieko. Neabejoju, Turinas įdomiai aprašytų ir klumpių skuobimą bei vyžų pynimą. Metas imtis romano.
May 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
A nice past time if you find it at the local library. Sadly I could not relate with the text. None of the perfumes that have attracted my attention are there.
rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2020
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Luca Turin is a biophysicist with a long-standing interest in the sense of smell, the art of perfume, and the fragrance industry.

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