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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11 thoughts on “Luca Turin & Tania Sanchez – The Little Book of Perfumes Review”
Even though my copy of “Perfumes” is well-worn and I have certain reviews nearly memorized, I really do want to read this, and I’ll probably end up buying it.
There are just not enough good books about perfume out there. Go write one! 😉
PS – Have you read Gabriella Hernandez’s “Classic Beauty” yet? I thought of you while reading it. Not much to read, but the photos are great fun.
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I do like that this is all of the 5-star all in one place. Plus, it’s cute.
No, I haven’t. I should order a copy. I mean, it sounds like something I’d love.
Great review! I actually have never read The Guide. I think I’ll start with this one!
Hope that enjoy it!
Thanks for the candid review. Also, love your turtleneck / almost turtleneck in the vid. 🙂
I never wear turtlenecks, makes me feel like a physicist which is actually quite cool, really.
Can’t figure out why I have freakishly dark eyebrows in this, oh, well.
I’ve been stubborn about actually buying Perfumes: The Guide. I started reading it in Barnes & Noble about 2 yrs ago and just couldn’t. Also, re: Osmotheque, I know Sephora opened sensorium– not sure if its the same thing but worth a visit.
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I think it is very important to form our own opinions and “perfume personality” first. But, with this Little Book, I wouldn’t tell anyone not to try any of these. They are the ones that are notorious.
The Sephora Sensorium is a pop up event from what I understand. It will be packed up soon 🙁 Which is a bummer because I’m certainly going to miss it. I think that the Osmotheque will have a permanent “sister” home in NYC and it should house some of the original formulations of the “classics”. They are 2 different things but that is good. The more fragrance events/museums, the better!
How odd that this old review from 2011 should pop up on my subscriber page at youtube today. Why? because I am reading the big book by Luca Turin and and Tania Sanchez. I got the Little Book first. It is just serendipity I guess. The books are both fun and very educational in the taste and palate of LT and TS. As I have mentioned before on Youtube I really enjoy your reviews and now that I see you blog about perfume (as do I) well, Hello! I look forward to reading more of your fine reviews.
LANIER SMITH recently posted..MEMORY ~ Marilyn in August
I can’t wait to check out your blog!
I think the Little Book is a great place to start. In a world of a thousand launches a day, it’s nice to have some idea of where to start. I find that if you don’t agree with LT or TS, you at least sniffed a perfume that many people view as a “classic”.
Victoria how right you are on that point! And how kind of you to visit my blog…some of it is Memory and some of it is Scent and sometimes they meet.
LANIER SMITH recently posted..MEMORY ~ E.T. and Me
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