Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    26,583

    Default Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Many weeks ago I posted about an article that was to appear in Fantastic Man magazine (a quarterly mag that I find brilliant) on Luca Turin. Mr. Turin continues to either delight and/or annoy many Basenoter’s. It was with much anticipation that I finally found a copy of FM magazine and quickly devoured the article.

    I've reprinted the first section of the article below (Part 1 of 3) and will post 2 other threads in the following days. It’s a quite long article/interview and entirely too much information and comments for just one thread.

    The strange indentation at the beginning of each new paragraph (and the here-and-there capitalization of some proper words and names) are not done by me, but are parts of the way articles are laid out in FM magazine. Strangely quirky, I think - which is part of FM’s visual appeal.

    BTW – the article also had some photographs of Mr. Turin in his cluttered office, literally strewn with over 600 bottles of fragrances in bookshelves surrounding him. I’ll include them in a later post.

    My favorite parts, from this part of the article are 1. His references to the Hitchcock film in describing one of the new Chanel’s are so ‘dramatic’…classic Turin-speak. 2. The way he describes how a quality scent has top notes that frame the scene for the mid notes and dry down...lovely description...

    Author: Susie Rushton
    Magazine: Fantastic Man
    Contact: www.fantasticmanmagazine.com (If you like this article, why don't you support FM magazine and buy a copy on newstands now, or even better subscribe - I am in no way affiliated with the magazine, just an admiring fan and FM reader)

    Part 1 below:

    The esteemed biophysicist and perfume critic Mr. LUCA TURIN was already somewhat of an outlaw in his field for his outrageously complicated theory of the human sense of smell. Then last year he published his popular-science exploration THE SECRET OF SCENT, a hilarious and enchanting trip through the world of odorous molecules. Mr. TURIN has successfully turned his deep-seated fascination for perfumes into an enviable profession. And along the way he has built up an international following of fans for his perfume critiques in the NEUE ZURCHER ZEITUNG, the Swiss quality daily founded on January 12,1780…

    “Perfectly normal" is how LUCA TURIN describes his sense of smell. He sniffs at the little patch of CHANEL’S 31 RUE CAMBON that he has just sprayed on the back of his hand. We are reclining, a bit awkwardly, on a red sofa in the living room of his comfortable town in Camden, North London. It's Saturday morning and there's a scattering of kids' toys on the floor.
    “You know in REAR WINDOW when GRACE KELLY barges in - he's sitting by the window with his leg in plaster- and when she walks in, everyone in the audience, male and female, feels a pang of pain because so much beauty hurts. Well..." (sniff) "to me, this thing hurts. Oh God."

    TURIN tends to call fragrances 'things’ perhaps to downplay how much he loves them. "There is an assumption that real men aren't interested in smell and perfume. Well I consider that to be an opportunity." Italian by passport, born to Italian-Argentinean parents in 1953, raised in France and for the past 15 years resident in Britain. TURIN describes himself as 'Early European". He speaks English with an East Coast American accent that suits his characteristic enthusiasm just as well as his sardonic asides. It's been said that he resembles GIANNI VERSACE. The fashion designer didn't have TURIN'S height, but perhaps they have a similar squared profile and friendly brown eyes. When Turin is really enjoying a smell, you notice that his eyes become round and unblinking with pleasure.

    To me it smells like DIORESSENCE, which was a landmark," TURIN continues rapidly, "although strictly speaking it wasn't a landmark - but in any event, it has the chypre base from CUIR DE RUSSIE but also something of YVES SAINT LAURENT’S CHAMPAGNE..." He waves a pointed finger in the air.

    As unlikely as it might seem to anybody who has read any of his gripping DUFT-NOTE columns in the NEUE ZURCHER ZEITUNG, TURIN insists that until a motorbike courier delivered this new CHANEL scent the previous week, he'd all but sickened of them.
    "I always think I hate perfume and then the next day a fragrance arrives that makes me change my mind. That's what happened with this insanely great thing."

    While the fragrance industry manipulates a widely held perception that scents are mysterious and somehow unknowable, TURIN is an arbiter nonpareil. To him, perfume is not an accessory to seduction but an art form, comparable to a painting or a symphony. On snatching a little of a scent's vapours with his nose, after just a few seconds TURIN can sketch out its genealogy, then render palpable its unseen loveliness, or horror, with metaphors that leave one in a synaesthetic daze. It is this facility that makes his opinions more interesting than those of a mere connoisseur.
    For instance, at one point, we are discussing the commonly held belief that fragrances behave variably on different skins. "I've always said that's bollocks and sales patter. But recently,” and suddenly he's as grave as if he were speaking from behind a lectern - "I've come to the realization that top notes, what you get in the first two minutes, are affected by skin type."
    Oh, the top notes. I always want to get them over and done with.
    "I agree. On the other hand, there are different kinds of top notes. There are the fragrances where they've spent all their money on the top notes,"
    Can you give an example?
    Almost every modern fragrance. They have 85 dollars for the formula and they spend 83-and-a-half on the first five minutes. So the beginning is like a fairground ride. And then it just dies. Then, there is the second kind, the classical top notes, which are like an opera curtain embroidered with a bucolic scene, and you can hear the set being moved about backstage. That's CHAMADE by GUERLAIN or any of the 1960s French classics. Then the curtain goes up and there's a beautifully lit interior with a window on a meadow. And that's top notes literally as a curtain in front of the structure of a fragrance."

    Most people find it difficult to describe smells, I say.
    "Well, I’m delighted to hear that" he says, flatly, "I hope it stays that way." He often uses musical metaphors. Do you have any musical talents? "None whatsoever, but I'm a terrific listener," says TURIN, who prefers a soundtrack of anything "lyrical or elegiac" while he works, reserving special praise for the contemporary composer HOWARD SKEMPTON. "But as WALTER PATER said, all art aspires to the condition of music, and I agree, enthusiastically."

    His ability to portray the scent-smelling experience - its emotion, logarithmic nature and sophistication-with figurative expressions can make the technical descriptions of fragrance (woody ambers and so forth) nonsensical by comparison.
    "Well, it's like somebody saying, ‘this symphony contains cellos'," says TURIN, "Don't they all? That's a technical description of a perfume. ‘Contains cellos and violins.’ Terrific. But what's the fucking tune?"

    TURIN tells a story about visiting the nose FRANCOISE CARON at the offices of QUEST, one of the six largest fragrance houses that supply fashion labels and celebrity brands with their perfumes. She asks him to smell a new fragrance she is working on for ESCADA and he says that it reminds him of a silk that changes colour as it's tilted in the light. CARON gives TURIN a weird look and, from a drawer, produces the brief given to her, which reads: a silk in two tones.
    "I have this way of connecting perfume to other things, and it makes it easier for people to understand. But it's not what you're saying; it's that you're saying it at all. I think a lot of people must have had strong feelings about perfume but hadn’t articulated them. So when they see somebody articulating them, it legitimizes them. It's a permission. I'm just opening a door."
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 17th May 2007 at 11:49 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Very nice piece, Mike! Thanks for sharing it with us.
    "Perfume is the dream that carries me."

    There is always the sky to look at

  3. #3

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Brilliant. Thanks for posting (is it ok for copyright? ).

    I never realised that Mr. Turin lives a very few miles from me. I may have to go search some dustbins for leftovers......
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  4. #4

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Whatever the rights or wrongs of his theories, the man has a lovely turn of phrase.
    .
    .
    "The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for", Allan Chalmers.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    He's wrong about Villoresi , but otherwise, a refreshingly independent mind with a most entertaining wit.
    Thanks for sharing, hope you didn't type that off by hand...
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Michaeld, you're absolutely right, he does have such a delightful grasp of the language.

    Thanks, Mike, for posting this. I'm looking eagerly to the next two installments. Does FM have an online presence?
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  8. #8

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Thanks - parts 2 and 3 please ?
    -

  9. #9
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    26,583

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Quote Originally Posted by ifconfig View Post
    Thanks, Mike, for posting this. I'm looking eagerly to the next two installments. Does FM have an online presence?
    Fantastic Man does have a website: www.fantasticmanmagazine.com.

    For whatever it's worth, the creators of Fantastic Man also created Butt magazine (another quarterly gay 'zine that can be quite controversial in its content, but has the most insightful journalism I've read in years - all with healthy doses of raunch and eye candy!). It was in Butt that I read an interview with John Waters, where he mentions he only wears Odeur 53 by Comme de Garcons.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    He's wrong about Villoresi , but otherwise, a refreshingly independent mind with a most entertaining wit.
    ...
    about Villoresi ? ..... - Otherwise seconded!

    Mike, do they mention who wrote the interview? Parts of it sound very familiar to me. There was a series of broadcasts last winter on modern 'Perfumery' and Turin was in it (his home, black cotton shirt, unshaved for two days, and lively as always. He touches on the same subjects.that came up in the article... It could be from the same film I thought, but bottles are all on the shelves behind him. That didn't look exactly like in a Chanel boutique but tidy enough for a scientist with artistic capabilities ! I recognized a few men's colognes there Tabac Original included.

    Turin does have a few new reviews out (in German) - probably some of those you may find in his book later. I posted the link in the Folio thread. His folio essays are seldom about one fragrance alone. They focus on more general aspects of perfumery.
    Last edited by narcus; 17th May 2007 at 08:15 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Great read, Mike! Love the part about the cellos and the violins
    [font=verdana][url=http://del.icio.us/scentedpages][b]my bookmarks on del.icio.us[/b][/url][/font]
    [font=verdana][url=http://www.nstperfume.com/perfume-books/][b]my book reviews on NST[/b][/url][/font]
    [font=verdana][url=www.scentedpages.com][b]ScentedPages.com[/b][/url][/font]

  12. #12

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Fantastic Man does have a website: www.fantasticmanmagazine.com.

    For whatever it's worth, the creators of Fantastic Man also created Butt magazine (another quarterly gay 'zine that can be quite controversial in its content, but has the most insightful journalism I've read in years - all with healthy doses of raunch and eye candy!). It was in Butt that I read an interview with John Waters, where he mentions he only wears Odeur 53 by Comme de Garcons.
    Thanks for the URL, I checked it out. There's not much on there, but that's okay, I guess. I don't get FM here in Idaho—which isn't exactly the hub of fine taste.
    I have relatively little experience with the CdG line apart from the incense series and with only two at that: Avignon and Kyoto. I simply have to change this status quo.

    I eagerly await the next two, so do please hurry up, Mike!
    De gustibus non est disputandum

  13. #13

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Oh, he's noted repeatedly that he considers Villoresi a rank amateur who lives off of people that prefer ostentatious packaging to a talented nose. My paraphrase. I find too many of his compositions brilliant, idiosyncratic as they may be, to agree with that.
    My theory is he doesn't like him because he's too much like Turin himself - an old school cosmopolitan, witty, intellectual, with highly diverse interests etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    about Villoresi ? ..... - Otherwise seconded!

    Mike, do they mention who wrote the interview? Parts of it sound very familiar to me. There was a series of broadcasts last winter on modern 'Perfumery' and Turin was in it (his home, black cotton shirt, unshaved for two days, and lively as always. He touches on the same subjects.that came up in the article... It could be from the same film I thought, but bottles are all on the shelves behind him. That didn't look exactly like in a Chanel boutique but tidy enough for a scientist with artistic capabilities ! I recognized a few men's colognes there Tabac Original included.

    Turin does have a few new reviews out (in German) - probably some of those you may find in his book later. I posted the link in the Folio thread. His folio essays are seldom about one fragrance alone. They focus on more general aspects of perfumery.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  14. #14
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    26,583

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    Mike, do they mention who wrote the interview? Parts of it sound very familiar to me. There was a series of broadcasts last winter on modern 'Perfumery' and Turin was in it (his home, black cotton shirt, unshaved for two days, and lively as always. He touches on the same subjects.that came up in the article... It could be from the same film I thought, but bottles are all on the shelves behind him. That didn't look exactly like in a Chanel boutique but tidy enough for a scientist with artistic capabilities ! I recognized a few men's colognes there Tabac Original included.

    Turin does have a few new reviews out (in German) - probably some of those you may find in his book later. I posted the link in the Folio thread. His folio essays are seldom about one fragrance alone. They focus on more general aspects of perfumery.
    Sorry about not listing the article's authors name in my thread post (I am correcting it now!) - her name is Susie Rushton. I am pretty sure the broadcast you saw is not with this author/magazine. You will read in the next installments a little bit more about what he was wearing both times the author met with Luca (quite funny) and as I said before I will post the really humorous photos of Luca in his very messy 'office' with shelves just teeming with bottles...perhaps I will scan the photo (wonderfully shot by Jason Evans) at a high resolution, so that we can play a 'see if you can name all of the bottles in Luca's shelves' game!

    Will post Part 2 of the article tomorrow.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 17th May 2007 at 11:50 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Fascinating details, Mike and t-g-l, and thank you both!
    Mike, I do not have all the names concerning the London interview I saw, but I trust I can obtain them. From names I have, and the small detail that you did not confirm (' black shirt') I am expecting that we will identify two entirely different interviews in the end. Even the better - we may get more that way! Too bad the Swiss version is copyrighted.

    It has just been an impression of mine: Villoresi and he have things in common. V., as a person, seems to be observing things like manners and style very well. I am not saying Turin would not, but he probably has different priorities. I cannot believe what he may have said about V, and it disturbs me. Now of course I understand why you brought that up! I take my time, understanding Villoresi fragrances, and I only bought my second a short while ago. So far it has been an interesting and exciting journey like the legendary ' Passage to India'. I would of course appreciate reading a full Turin review of one Villoresi, not thos flippant side remarks. Maybe it's the Italian kinship which made LT's tongue slip concerning Rancé's(!) 'ludicrous overpackaging a la Lorenzo Villoresi' ..'The bottles had always warded me off....The house (Villoresi) was founded on the premise…no previous experience in perfumery necessary.' (All of this in Turin's blog, 2006).
    Last edited by narcus; 19th May 2007 at 05:30 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  16. #16
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    26,583

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    As fascinating as I find Mr. Turin and his reviews/comments, there are some times (entirely normal) when I disagree with him: I despise Amouage Gold (he likes it) and I think Villoresi's Spezie is one of the best spicy scents out there (obviously I'm sure Mr. Turin doesn't agree with me).

  17. #17

    Default Re: Luca Turin article text (part 1 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    ...I'm sure Mr. Turin doesn't agree with me.
    Never mind, I do !
    Last edited by narcus; 19th May 2007 at 05:39 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

Similar Threads

  1. Luca Turin and 'The Story' Part 2
    By mikeperez23 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 20th May 2008, 11:27 PM
  2. Luca Turin and 'The Story' help me celebrate 5000 posts
    By mikeperez23 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 27th March 2008, 10:46 PM
  3. Luca Turin article text (part 2 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag
    By mikeperez23 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 20th November 2007, 04:13 AM
  4. Luca Turin article text (part 3 of 3) in Fantastic Man mag with PICS
    By mikeperez23 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 26th May 2007, 06:50 PM
  5. Luca Turin interview in the upcoming Fantastic Man Magazine
    By mikeperez23 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29th March 2007, 10:51 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •