Sanchez and Turin launch The Little Book of Perfumes later this month

by Grant Osborne, 10th October, 2011

Later this month, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez’s latest book, The Little Book of Perfumes, is released. According to the publishers, the book is "devoted purely to those fragrances that earned their highest praise, the “masterpiece” rating. Stunningly produced, this petite volume concentrates on ninety-six top fragrances and four legendary scents preserved only in the French museum of perfume, the Osmothèque."

They continue:

While The Little Book of Perfumes celebrates such masterpieces of the perfumer’s art, it also sounds a warning: just as the four great historical perfumes described within are gone forever, the other ninety-six may be at risk too. Many perfumes are changing, some for the better but more often for the worse, due to negligence, penny-pinching, extraordinary regulatory decisions, misguided modernization and all the other shifts that can take your favorite perfume away from you forever.

So is your long-loved favorite still great? Turin and Sanchez weigh in on which classic perfumes are still worth hunting down, which new fragrances are destined to be remembered for years to come, which are better than ever and which seem on the decline. The Little Book of Perfumes is your guide to the beautiful, diverse, and controversial world of classic fragrances, before they’re gone forever.

For those who already have Turin and Sanchez's Perfumes: The Guide, most these reviews may be familiar to you, Sanchez explains on her blog:

Penguin and Profile, our publishers in the US and UK, approached us with an idea for a derivative work: 100 Great Perfumes, taken entirely from reviews we’ve already written, save for a small number of new ones to bring the number up to a round 100, since if I recall correctly there were only 96 five-star reviews. This book, slender and adorable, would be for people who cannot bear to read us ragging on their poor deceased relative’s favorite or for perfume shops and counters that would like to be able to sell such a book along with a nice perfume at Christmas, and who found the original too bitey.

We always thought, and still do think, that good things said about perfume mean absolutely nothing if you only ever say good things. Also, we thought it might be dull to read rave after rave without a palate cleanser. Yet we were assured an entirely positive tribute to the glorious art of perfume was in the making. On consideration, we saw an opportunity.

To top the 96 scents up to a round 100, the duo went to the Osmothèque and reviewed the original versions of four classic scents: L’Origan, Chypre, Emeraude, Iris Gris.

Sanchez adds "We considered doing [the original] Fougère Royale but both Penguin and Profile were resolutely against 101 fragrances, so it fell by the wayside."

The Little Book of Perfumes is available late October (US) and early November (UK). Basenotes will feature a review of the book shortly.

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    • donna255 | 10th October 2011 13:50

      I have this on pre order from Amazon.

    • michailG | 10th October 2011 14:46

      This is a great idea and I would buy the book. However, 100 looks good on a book cover but it is not a representative number. In the future I think an online database of 5-star perfumes should be slowly compiled and regularly updated. Basenotes could do that based on members’ reviews! Osmothèque has a nice site but too bad it’s only in French.

    • MysteryBuff40 | 11th October 2011 02:54

      Excellent! Turin and Sanchez are pure joy to read whether they're being naughty or nice. They elevate the whole conversation about fragrance.

    • Sybarite | 11th October 2011 07:40

      Well, there's certainly no reason why they shouldn't "milk it" for all they can and for as long as they can, now is there !? ;o)

    • Sybarite | 11th October 2011 07:48

      P.S. > Sorry, I'm just an ol' cynic. :o) ... But I am pretty sure thay're gonna make an absolute killing for Xmas. It does make a perfect Xmas gift. And I'm sure will grace many a loved one's stocking this year !

    • Persolaise | 11th October 2011 11:42

      I must say that I'm not crazy about star ratings for any type of art (movies, music, theatre etc) but I will definitely buy a copy of this for myself, even if it's just to read the 're-smelling' sections.

    • ts brock | 11th October 2011 20:11

      Also a great opportunity for the companies who made a good showing. They'd be crazy not to send this out with their annual report and leave piles of this slim volume in the waiting areas of their corporate headquarters. It's probably already a best seller because of preorders by the LVMH and Estee Lauder Groups alone.

    • awesomeness | 12th October 2011 20:27

      I've had this on pre-order from Amazon since July. Current release date is Oct-27, and Amazon usually ships for arrival on release dates. Currently priced at only $12 in US on pre-order. List price is $18. Order now at Amazon to lock-in the pre-order price. :wink:

    • Diamondflame | 13th October 2011 04:21

      Always a pleasure to read Turin's work even if I'm not a bona fide 'acolyte'... :wink:

    • CanwllCorfe | 13th October 2011 20:35

      Since I already own Perfumes: The Guide, I'll probably give this a pass.

    • WimJanssens | 25th October 2011 09:49

      As long you see their work as personal review and not use it as "The Fragrance Bible" - then I have no problem at all with it.

      I bought the first and the second edition but I will pass for this one. I am still capable to trust my own nose and I only find the introduction very nice to read. After the 5th review it gets a bit dull and boring... .