This month The Little Book of Perfumes: The Hundred Classics by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez hits the shelves. This is a short but sweet book of the 5-star perfumes featured in Perfumes: The Guide. The book is cute. It’s a slim hardcover with a black and white cover paired with hot pink in the inside. It’s also available as an ebook.
I was very stubborn when it came to Perfumes: The Guide. I only read it this year after 10+ years of being “serious” about perfume. I wanted to form my own perfume personality. I didn’t want to be persuaded or influenced by people with more experience than me. I read the book this year and loved it. Turin and Sanchez are entertaining. I also loved to think about the perfumes. I don’t agree with them about everything. Who would? Perfume is subjective. But, I love to read other people’s fragrance perspectives.
The Little Book of Perfumes doesn’t contain “new” reviews. If you have Perfumes: The Guide, then you’ve read the 5-star reviews before. However, if a perfume has been reformulated, then there is an update. And to my surprise, some of the reformulated perfumes are deemed better! The book also contains updates like if the perfume was discontinued. Sanchez’s foreward is a good read; I really enjoy her style. There’s a section where Turin talks about the Osmothèque and a reviews a few classics, the actual, “real” formulas before all this IFRA mess. That is interesting. There’s also a very brief dictionary of terms.
Out of the perfumes that are considered “classics” by Turin and Sanchez, over 60% retail for under $100. I thought that was nifty. Also, the houses that recieved the most representation in The Little Book of Perfumes include my two favorites: Guerlain and Estee Lauder.
Do you need this book if you already own Perfumes: The Guide? No, you’ve read 90% of it before. It isn’t “new” to you. But, it is handy to have the 5-star rated all in one place.
I recommend this book for those that are just starting to show an interest in perfume. Yeah, I was stubborn but I think giving people a “where to start” is a good idea. Take out the negative reviews, you can form those easily on your own. Start with the “good” and form your own opinion. It cuts through the industry’s fluff. You may not appreciate Shalimar now but you may 5 years from now. This is a great gift for someone curious about perfume.
I also recommend this book as mandatory reading for those that are in sales for perfume or beauty products. Educate yourself and realize there is more to the perfume world than this week’s mindless launch. Learn some terms, sniff these for yourself.
I have a few issues with the book that I state in the video review. It isn’t the book’s fault. It’s the industry. This printed book is already out of date and it hits the stores this week. The industry with its trends and sales reports and the whole IFRA craziness results in fabulous perfumes being reformulated quicker than we can say “scrubber”. None of favorite perfumes are safe from being destroyed by its creator. This all sounds like some mythology, but it’s fact. So, what are we going to do about it? Update our reviews? Start a riot? Out bid each other on eBay for questionable bottles of “original” Dior Homme?
The Little Book of Perfumes retails for $18 and is available at bookstores nationwide on October 27th.
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