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  1. #241

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    This is actually an almost perfect analogy. The notes coming out of both instruments have the same major frequency peak, but differ in the amounts of higher harmonics (multiples) of that frequency. Those higher harmonics are what enable our ears to differentiate the instruments.
    In an experiment, someone chopped off the attack of various orchestral instruments leaving only the tone. The average person wasn't able to differentiate between a xylophone, cello, oboe, etc.

    So if you're presented with three perfumes with similar basenotes with their topnotes decapitated would you be able to tell the difference?
    Last edited by SirSlarty; 6th June 2008 at 08:13 PM.

  2. #242

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manos, The Hands of Fate View Post
    See the Love in White review - why should any of us know specifically what the lice in Nouakchott feel like after 30 days of rough sleep such that we can quantify how bad Love in White smells? It's a joke.
    Really? I have not spent thirty days infested with lice in Nouakchott, but I believe that I get the gist of things. Hint for the willfully obtuse: He means Love in White is bad. Really bad.

  3. #243

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    I agree, LT, but I do think a more apt title would have been something like "Perfumes: Select Reviews by Two Aficionados." The actual title does make it sound like a definitive, comprehensive guide book. Also, I forgot to mention in my last post that I'm still curious about the selection process. The problem is that when a reader comes across a Dunhill fragrance, for example, then looks for another one but it's not included, this is irritating. If there is a reasonable excuse, such as discontinuation, that's fine, but otherwise there should be one or two sentences in the intro explaining why some are in and some are not.

  4. #244

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    I agree, LT, but I do think a more apt title would have been something like "Perfumes: Select Reviews by Two Aficionados." The actual title does make it sound like a definitive, comprehensive guide book. Also, I forgot to mention in my last post that I'm still curious about the selection process. The problem is that when a reader comes across a Dunhill fragrance, for example, then looks for another one but it's not included, this is irritating. If there is a reasonable excuse, such as discontinuation, that's fine, but otherwise there should be one or two sentences in the intro explaining why some are in and some are not.
    This is edition 1, and has 1500+ fragrances, not a bad start. It will be completed, extended and improved etc. in future editions. Many thanks to all for the suggestions and comments. It will never include _every_ fragrance released. We're working on the next one already.

  5. #245
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty View Post
    In an experiment, someone chopped off the attack of various orchestral instruments leaving only the tone. The average person wasn't able to differentiate between a xylophone, cello, oboe, etc.
    Right. The higher harmonics (e.g. twice the frequency, three times, etc) and their relative amplitudes are used as the signature of the instrument. Remove them, and they all sound the same. It's representation would be the Fourier Transform of the instrument's sound as it plays a note. There would be a single peak at the base frequency, and other peaks (usually smaller) at the multiples of the base.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty View Post
    So if you're presented with three perfumes with similar basenotes with their topnotes decapitated would you be able to tell the difference?
    The analogy breaks down a little here (with a nod toward Manos). There is much more variability in fragrances, since you can mix any oil, aldehyde, ester, ketone, etc into them with virtually no restriction. The rough rule of thumb here would be that if the peak locations and amplitudes in the gas chromatograph differ in some way between two samples, they should be theoretically differentiable.

    However, some chemicals' scents greatly overpower those of others, and the presence of the others often doesn't contribute a lot to the scent.. One example of this would be a natural fragrance which is composed of many chemicals, being compared to another synthetic fragrance which retains only the most strongly scented chemical components of the first. It might be difficult for many people to differentiate these two fragrances, a factor which often affords the chemist an opportunity to develop a less expense substitute fragrance.
    Last edited by Astaroth; 7th June 2008 at 01:54 AM.

  6. #246
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manos, The Hands of Fate View Post
    We know they're smart - they got their own book, after all.
    One of the disillusioning things you learn spending a long time in academia is that there are a lot of authors who aren't very bright. I'm not saying this is the case here, only that one should never assume someone is smart just because he/she is published.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manos, The Hands of Fate View Post
    Turin's analogies tend to run to the obscure where they should be lucid, which makes them...let's say, "non-guiding." ... If the instructive side of analogy is meant not to be understood and applied, then the whole thing is a joke. Literally, it's a joke: he's trying to make us laugh.
    Well then, ... laugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manos, The Hands of Fate View Post
    You shouldn't assume my analogy is correct just because it has a crazy amount of technical detail, because all that detail I chose arbitrarily. It's a bluff.
    I didn't. I was reacting to the form of the argument rather than the specific content.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manos, The Hands of Fate View Post
    LT misses out on a lot of teaching moments, because he goes for the "Oh no she di'int!" reaction, or, "man this dude is cultured, so he must be right."
    If you're looking to be instructed, you should probably pick up his previous book The Secret of Scent, as well as other scientific volumes on the subject.

  7. #247

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    I have just finished reading THE GUIDE and I'll be honest and say it was not to my taste at all.

    After reading Burr's "Emperor of Scent", one can't help acknowledge that Turin's understanding of perfume from a molecular and biological perspective, is staggering. In terms of my own edification, I learned much from EOS, and found it a very compelling read. Burr's dynamic writing style in particular, paints a portrait of Turin as a man whose eccentricities and, at times outlandish work practices were often overlooked because of his natural drive and academic aptitude. Thus, one can't help feel Turin is revered as somewhat of a demigod in his scientific profession.
    But this unfortunately does not ring true for his abilities as an author or a critic. In fact, I find the majority of the reviews in THE GUIDE self-indulgent, slap-hazard and extremely inconsistent.
    I think when one - whose knowledge is revered by a great many - fails to deliver dependable, penetrating insights across the board, and instead, favors wise-cracking remarks or insubstantial criticisms to flesh out the pages; then its best to leave well enough alone. Turin's efforts I feel, are best spent in the laboratory, or out in the field - not between the pages of a book.
    To my mind, Tania Sanchez's insights are, more often than not, equally as redundant. I don't feel that simply having a love and appreciation of fine fragrances endows one with the shrewdness and practical knowledge required to consistently write credible, objective, critical appraisals. Her evaluations are peppered with tongue-in-cheek humor and flippant declarations that I feel don't always win out over the sensitivity with which some of these scents deserve to be treated. Comedic one-liners do not make for illuminating reading.
    It would also appear that in Sanchez & Turin's world, Cool Water seems to be the yardstick against which all men's commercial scents that have followed, is measured. In addition, I often found myself "tut-tutting" where criticism of a scent was overlooked in favour of criticism of the wearer. It's precisely this kind of subjective claptrap that I find hard to swallow in The Guide.

    OK, kudos to them both for upping off their asses and getting out there and walking the walk. No one can deny Turin's passion and contribution to the science, but to the total sum of their "insights" in The Guide, I will absolutely not subscribe.

  8. #248
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
    I have just finished reading THE GUIDE...
    Your post sounds like it was outlined before the book ever arrived.

  9. #249

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    Your post sounds like it was outlined before the book ever arrived.
    Um, no.
    The book was read over the last number of days/nights, (before it appeared in my SALES thread, I might add) and my post created today. Odd that you might think that Pluran.

  10. #250

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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by luca turin View Post
    ....Seriously, though, those who want a completely different book should just write it. There's plenty of room.
    ...and Astaroth and Hands of Fate...now, you boys play nice!
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  11. #251

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    The Guide (Turin and Sanchez) *** opinnions actually
    A very macho tome with the slight scent of a woman.

  12. #252

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Yes, it's really not much of a "guide." The sections before the reviews are good, but the reviews are more for an aficionado, who has already sampled many of the frags. There is not much of an organization principle to the reviews, nor is there consistency from one review to another (and many frags are omitted, even though others from the same company are included). As I said before, it has the feel of a self-published book.

  13. #253
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    The Guide (Turin and Sanchez) *** opinions actually
    A very macho tome with the slight scent of a woman.
    LOL! I love it. And as the initially striking topnotes of your commentary's truth faded away with some acceptance, the base notes of your fragrance classification kicked in, providing a very satisfying overall experience.

    Indeed, although I am against wanton reformulation, a slightly more unisex version of The Guide might actually be welcomed in the next repackaging. Some of the floral notes were particularly interesting, in my opinion, and would do well to be brought to the front.

  14. #254

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by luca turin View Post
    We get complaints from both directions: some readers say we should explain at greater length why crap perfumes are crap. Some say we should omit them altogether. Saying a lot about very little is tiresome, but saying nothing fails to steer people away from the awful stuff. So we tried to be both brief and funny, but obviously not everyone is pleased.
    I do appreciate it. I was entertained, and I learned a lot. I'm trying to help you out, here.

    If you want to steer people away from truly bad fragrances, you need to level with them. Start from the perspective of the people who take truly bad fragrances seriously enough to buy them, and then use substance without art to destroy every part of that fragrance (which is itself substance without art, right?). Then you could go from there to what the guy who bought it is missing out on, if you want.

    If you dismiss someone's favorite fragrance with nothing more than a joke, you're just going to make him defensive, and then he'll continue to buy it just to spite that out-of-touch critic, or worse yet, just decide once and for all that you don't know what you're talking about and ignore you completely. People are kind of predictable that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by luca turin View Post
    Seriously, though, those who want a completely different book should just write it. There's plenty of room.
    Nah, you'll do a better job. Seriously. You already got my money, and a large portion of my attention too. I don't talk this much about books I hate. I would if someone paid me, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    Really? I have not spent thirty days infested with lice in Nouakchott, but I believe that I get the gist of things. Hint for the willfully obtuse: He means Love in White is bad. Really bad.
    I just don't want to think that hint was for me, so I simply won't ;-)

    I'm pointing out that he was literally making a joke. I don't find reviews consisting of nothing but a punchline instructive.

    Whenever I read a review, I try to identify with the critic. I try to figure out, ok, how does this fellow arrive at his conclusions, given his starting points, and am I going to arrive at the same conclusions?

    I guess it's a dialectic (like Hegel, right? No! 'cause Hegel sucks!). I'd like to figure out where I might take the same steps, or at which point I might veer off into a different line of thought. I don't really ever merely take someone's word for it.

    One-liner reviews consisting of nothing but a punch-line don't give me much to go on. Using that review as an example, there could be many smells that make him feel worse than a month-long infestation of Mauritanian lice (reading the book gives you the impression there's at least one fragrance every three or so pages that does that for him).

    Yes, I get that he thinks it's "really bad." He neglected to tell me why I should feel the same way about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    One of the disillusioning things you learn spending a long time in academia is that there are a lot of authors who aren't very bright. I'm not saying this is the case here, only that one should never assume someone is smart just because he/she is published.
    Well, yeah, but I'm assuming that since we bought the book, he should assume we're giving him the benefit of the doubt, for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    Well then, ... laugh.
    I said it was funny, it's just not helpful. I mean, it's Perfumes, the Guide not Don Rickles on Toilet Water, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    I didn't. I was reacting to the form of the argument rather than the specific content.
    You should react thus: "Manos, you're totally full of crap!"

    If you lend credence to this form of writing, you end up here:

    Quote Originally Posted by some writing contest winner
    Indeed dialectical critical realism may be seen under the aspect of Foucauldian strategic reversal — of the unholy trinity of Parmenidean/Platonic/Aristotelean provenance; of the Cartesian-Lockean-Humean-Kantian paradigm, of foundationalisms (in practice, fideistic foundationalisms) and irrationalisms (in practice, capricious exercises of the will-to-power or some other ideologically and/or psycho-somatically buried source) new and old alike; of the primordial failing of western philosophy, ontological monovalence, and its close ally, the epistemic fallacy with its ontic dual; of the analytic problematic laid down by Plato, which Hegel served only to replicate in his actualist monovalent analytic reinstatement in transfigurative reconciling dialectical connection, while in his hubristic claims for absolute idealism he inaugurated the Comtean, Kierkegaardian and Nietzschean eclipses of reason, replicating the fundaments of positivism through its transmutation route to the superidealism of a Baudrillard.
    This may win "world's worst writing" contests, but it's about par for writing in the social "sciences." Please just call BS before it gets to this point,

    ...or we're all dooOOoomed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    If you're looking to be instructed, you should probably pick up his previous book The Secret of Scent, as well as other scientific volumes on the subject.
    I shouldn't have to read The Secret of Scent to receive guidance from "The Guide." I just wanted to know what makes a good perfume good, a bad perfume bad, and a terrible perfume sell.

    I did read it, along with Chandler Burr's books, but I remember what I didn't know before I read them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    The Guide (Turin and Sanchez) *** opinnions actually
    A very macho tome with the slight scent of a woman.
    You see, all we've written here could be condensed to about half a page, and that would make a decent review. I don't do stars though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Yes, it's really not much of a "guide." The sections before the reviews are good, but the reviews are more for an aficionado, who has already sampled many of the frags. There is not much of an organization principle to the reviews, nor is there consistency from one review to another (and many frags are omitted, even though others from the same company are included). As I said before, it has the feel of a self-published book.
    I'm not worried about the omissions (though I tried to find Drakkar Noir just to see what they thought, and I couldn't. Is it in there?)

    Other than that, I'm pretty much with you on that point.
    Current frags (in order of preference):

    1) GIT
    2) GV
    3) MR

  15. #255

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manos, The Hands of Fate View Post
    Yes, I get that he thinks it's "really bad." He neglected to tell me why I should feel the same way about it.
    Fair enough. Although you or I will not know whether we agree with Mr. Turin's assessment until we have smelled Love in White for ourselves. This is true whether Mr. Turin writes 10 words or 10,000 words on the subject. All Mr. Turin's words will ever tell us is what he thinks of Love in White -- not what we will think of it, which we won't know until we smell it. This is true of any criticism of any medium.

    To be fair, very few of Turin and Sanchez's reviews are of the one-liner variety.

  16. #256

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    Right. The higher harmonics (e.g. twice the frequency, three times, etc) and their relative amplitudes are used as the signature of the instrument.
    "Attack" and "harmonics" aren't the same thing. Attack-Decay-Sustain-Release is more analogous to the to the temporal evolution of a perfume (being, as far as I know, Topnote-Heart-Drydown) than is your analogy regarding FFT analysis of a sustained note, which to me is more like individual scent chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty
    So if you're presented with three perfumes with similar basenotes with their topnotes decapitated would you be able to tell the difference?
    Depends on the scent. I know I'd prefer Kiehl's Original Musk be decapitated thusly.

    My nose isn't really all that great, to be honest, but I'm pretty good with drydowns.
    Current frags (in order of preference):

    1) GIT
    2) GV
    3) MR

  17. #257

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manos, The Hands of Fate View Post
    If you want to steer people away from truly bad fragrances, you need to level with them. Start from the perspective of the people who take truly bad fragrances seriously enough to buy them, and then use substance without art to destroy every part of that fragrance (which is itself substance without art, right?). Then you could go from there to what the guy who bought it is missing out on, if you want.

    If you dismiss someone's favorite fragrance with nothing more than a joke, you're just going to make him defensive, and then he'll continue to buy it just to spite that out-of-touch critic, or worse yet, just decide once and for all that you don't know what you're talking about and ignore you completely. People are kind of predictable that way.
    I get the sense from his earlier replies that Mr. Turin thinks carefully dissecting bad fragrances isn't worth the time and effort ("saying a lot about very little is tiresome"), but critics of other arts manage to do a lot of it every day. And many of them do it with a sense of the responsibility that inheres in tearing down the hard work of another human being. A dismissive one-liner simply adds insult to injury.

    Part of the problem, I guess, is just a lack of time. I've never seen a guidebook that reviews 1500+ anything unless it was written by a large group of people (the Time Out Film Guide, for example), or written by one or two people over a course of many, many years, usually as a compilation of daily or weekly reviews in a serial outlet (such as the guides by Ebert or Maltin).

    Cutting corners inevitably lowers quality, in both the creation of art and in its criticism, regardless of the brilliance of the intelligence behind it.

  18. #258
    Morning Star

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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by FloatingPoint View Post
    I get the sense from his earlier replies that Mr. Turin thinks carefully dissecting bad fragrances isn't worth the time and effort ("saying a lot about very little is tiresome"), but critics of other arts manage to do a lot of it every day. And many of them do it with a sense of the responsibility that inheres in tearing down the hard work of another human being. A dismissive one-liner simply adds insult to injury.
    I think it's important to have enough self-esteem and enough confidence in your work that criticism of it from anyone, whether justified or not, is something you can tolerate with grace. A truly great work will eventually shine through, and it will not matter in the long run who is detracting from it.

    Back in the days when I did scientific research, it was well known in my subfield that certain faculty members at other universities would routinely give bad peer reviews to submitted papers suggesting excellent competing techniques. They would do this for many self-serving reasons (e.g. limiting exposure of methods that were better than theirs, preserving scare journal space for their own graduate students' submissions, petty rivalry, etc).

    But, eventually, good work gets rewarded with recognition. In the same way, a good fragrance is going to get tried out by people, enjoyed, bought, and worn. And it won't matter if God himself drops out of the sky and dumps on it. Period.

  19. #259

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    Fair enough. Although you or I will not know whether we agree with Mr. Turin's assessment until we have smelled Love in White for ourselves.
    I'll tell you what I thought of it (from smelling it on a test strip): It smells like the potpurri like they have at Michaels, but floating in ambergris. They must think ambergris is like, the smell of wealth, so they take something that's normally pretty cheap and that most people like, like this potpurri, and try to make it smell like no one can afford it.

    It smells pretty nice, but it's kind of like if you had a Honda Civic upholstered in the Louis Vuitton monogram leather, and you tried to sell it as a Rolls Royce.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    All Mr. Turin's words will ever tell us is what he thinks of Love in White -- not what we will think of it, which we won't know until we smell it. This is true of any criticism of any medium.
    Well, yeah, but jokes aren't criticism unless we all have experience with what he's joking about. I mean, he didn't even really get into what it smells like that much (he did a little bit, but not enough, really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    To be fair, very few of Turin and Sanchez's reviews are of the one-liner variety.
    Yeah, but a lot of them just don't talk about fragrances in a way that most (American) people can understand, or they just don't really talk about them at all. I mean, if they know a perfume is a best seller, and they hate it, they should try to take it down on its own merits, instead of talking about...just some stuff, you know?
    Current frags (in order of preference):

    1) GIT
    2) GV
    3) MR

  20. #260

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manos, The Hands of Fate View Post
    I'll tell you what I thought of it (from smelling it on a test strip): It smells like the potpurri like they have at Michaels, but floating in ambergris. They must think ambergris is like, the smell of wealth, so they take something that's normally pretty cheap and that most people like, like this potpurri, and try to make it smell like no one can afford it. It smells pretty nice, but it's kind of like if you had a Honda Civic upholstered in the Louis Vuitton monogram leather, and you tried to sell it as a Rolls Royce.
    Your review of Love in White is vivid and interesting. I think you have a perceptive nose and a flavorful way of describing things. However, to play devil's advocate, the review still suffers from the same alleged problems as Turin and Sanchez's.

    First problem: "Well, yeah, but jokes aren't criticism unless we all have experience with what he's joking about." There are people who don't know that Michael's is a craft store, and people who haven't smelled pot pourri, and people who haven't smelled ambergris.

    Second problem: "I mean, if they know a perfume is a best seller, and they hate it, they should try to take it down on its own merits, instead of talking about...just some stuff, you know?" The conclusion goes off on a tangent about Louis Vuitton upholstery in a Honda Civic. (Pause for a moment while I open another tab and do a Google search . . . . Oh my gentle Jesus, people have actually done that.) What does that have to do with how the stuff smells?

    My point is not to run down your review -- your review is very good. My point is that your review is good -- and Turin and Sanchez's reviews are good -- despite these alleged deficiencies. (And here I choose to define "good" to mean "helpful to me to determine whether I will want to seek out and try this fragrance for myself.") I hope that you will write more about your perfume experiences, since you have ready access to fragrances that I would just have to order blind if I want to smell them.
    Last edited by Advocate; 9th June 2008 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Reorder paragraphs.

  21. #261

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    I think it's important to have enough self-esteem and enough confidence in your work that criticism of it from anyone, whether justified or not, is something you can tolerate with grace. A truly great work will eventually shine through, and it will not matter in the long run who is detracting from it.

    Back in the days when I did scientific research, it was well known in my subfield that certain faculty members at other universities would routinely give bad peer reviews to submitted papers suggesting excellent competing techniques. They would do this for many self-serving reasons (e.g. limiting exposure of methods that were better than theirs, preserving scare journal space for their own graduate students' submissions, petty rivalry, etc).

    But, eventually, good work gets rewarded with recognition. In the same way, a good fragrance is going to get tried out by people, enjoyed, bought, and worn. And it won't matter if God himself drops out of the sky and dumps on it. Period.
    I'm not suggesting a moratorium on criticism. Far from it!

    But I do think that negative appraisals should be substantive and delivered with sobriety--even solemnity--rather than glee. As in, Here's what went wrong, A, B, and C, and better luck next time. Not: Vile crap best suited for Ulan-Ude! Sure to be big in Bahrain! or whatever. Criticism is easier to tolerate with grace when it's delivered with grace.

    Just as problematic is that the wording is often confusing or at odds with the star rating:

    A La Nuit ***
    Death by jasmine.

    Cuba ***
    ... Overall, an interesting trajectory and an unpretentious, refreshingly daring fragrance. Strongly recommended.

    Huh? Is "death by jasmine" a good thing or a bad thing? I have trouble believing it's a "so-so" thing, as the star rating would imply. And if Cuba is so "strongly recommended," couldn't it merit, oh, I don't know, maybe a fourth star? Arpège gets four stars, but it's only "Recommended." The book has many such confusing appraisals, suggestive either of carelessness or a rating system so idiosyncratic as to be useless.

    Again, these are problems that could have been sorted out with more time and/or a smaller number of reviews. The '92 guide in French only had a couple hundred, and I would have preferred two hundred really thoughtful reviews (even something just like a "Greatest Hits") to this hodgepodge of sublime poetry and embarrassing self-indulgence.

  22. #262

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    Your review of Love in White is vivid and interesting. I think you have a perceptive nose and a flavorful way of describing things.
    Pshawww!

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    However, to play devil's advocate, the review still suffers from the same alleged problems as Turin and Sanchez's.
    Bawww!

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    There are people who don't know that Michael's is a craft store, and people who haven't smelled pot pourri, and people who haven't smelled ambergris.
    Granted, but we're talking about the difference between people who don't know Michael's, and people who don't know that Nouakchott is even a city on earth without any context.

    It's always a gamble, referring to things, but I think the audience we're talking about probably knows Michael's and potpurri better than Undecalactone and Ulan-Ude. (U like that Ulliteration?)

    Ambergris's scent? Yeah, they're on their own.

    I guess it smells like fat tastes, maybe? I just know it because Creed stuffs their fragrances with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    The conclusion goes off on a tangent about Louis Vuitton upholstery in a Honda Civic.
    I talked about how they dress something cheap up with something expensive, and that it's incongruous, like Louis Vuitton upholstery in a Honda Civic. Then they charge a lot for it, like a Rolls-Royce. I didn't just spring that on you out of the blue, did I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    (Pause for a moment while I open another tab and do a Google search . . . . Oh my gentle Jesus, people have actually done that.) What does that have to do with how the stuff smells?
    You found the review's easter egg!

    But yeah, that has everything to do with how the perfume smells. It's like a cargo cult for class.

    (since I'm not in review mode, if you don't already know what a cargo cult is, I would say you should look it up. It's one of the most interesting things I've ever read about)

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    My point is not to run down your review -- your review is very good. My point is that your review is good -- and Turin and Sanchez's reviews are good -- despite these alleged deficiencies.
    Aww thanks.

    I was consciously trying to do one a bit in their style, but more how I'd like to see it: What I think it smells like, followed by what I think the artist might have been aiming at, followed by what I think they got, then maybe a joke or some sort of funny comment or whatever have you.

    I couldn't do one for Mitsouko, though. I just don't have it in me.

    One thing just has to lead to another, really. LT is a funny guy and TS is a funny girl. If they just set about the business of reviewing perfumes properly, the funny will just come out naturally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    I hope that you will write more about your perfume experiences, since you have ready access to fragrances that I would just have to order blind if I want to smell them.
    Really, thanks. I can't really talk a lot about fragrance (that's why I buy these books), but I can talk a little bit about other stuff.

    I can talk about talking about stuff better, I guess.
    Last edited by Manos, The Hands of Fate; 10th June 2008 at 01:19 PM. Reason: wording
    Current frags (in order of preference):

    1) GIT
    2) GV
    3) MR

  23. #263

    narcus's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by FloatingPoint View Post

    Huh? Is "death by jasmine" a good thing or a bad thing? I have trouble believing it's a "so-so" thing, as the star rating would imply. And if Cuba is so "strongly recommended," couldn't it merit, oh, I don't know, maybe a fourth star? Arpège gets four stars, but it's only "Recommended." The book has many such confusing appraisals, suggestive either of carelessness or a rating system so idiosyncratic as to be useless.

    Again, these are problems that could have been sorted out with more time and/or a smaller number of reviews. The '92 guide in French only had a couple hundred, and I would have preferred two hundred really thoughtful reviews (even something just like a "Greatest Hits") to this hodgepodge of sublime poetry and embarrassing self-indulgence.
    How consoling to learn that there is at least one person out there who had the same thoughts when he stumbled over the same stones. I happen to love Jasmine and the night sky over Moorish towns saturated with J. Lutens A La Nuit reminds me of that. There are perfumes I love so much that I want to own them even though they will never be part of 'my wardrobe'. To expand it a little: arguments like 'who wants to smell like ..a sweet little flower, rose, tomato...ashtray' aren't good arguments to trash perfumes when we look at them as objets d'art.

    I still hold Turin's first guide as a treasure, and that includes the absence mediocre perfumes and ratings. It is my hope that NZZ will publish 5 years of Turins scent notes (Duftnote, since 2003) as a book by the end of the year. But Turin wanted a different one for now. I am hoping for a few signs of wrath from the industry, or a few responses from their end. All I notice so far: star ratings for perfumes are on the rise.
    Last edited by narcus; 10th June 2008 at 08:31 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.

  24. #264
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    I can guarantee you Turin and Sanchez will do it however they feel like (that's the only way for anyone to do anything), and I look forward to the next one.

  25. #265

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    somehow I will continue to collect fragrances without the benefit of Lola Turnblad's guide!

  26. #266

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by chasefairfax View Post
    somehow I will continue to collect fragrances without the benefit of Lola Turnblad's guide!
    He did tell me about Azzaro, which is pretty sweet.

    He likes vetivers, where Chandler Burr doesn't, so I agree there too.

    I was looking through Michael Edwards book at Nordstrom yesterday. If you have access to it, check it out. It's almost too good. There's no editorial content, so you have to have some access to a fragrance counter, but that's a given anyway, right?
    Last edited by Manos, The Hands of Fate; 16th June 2008 at 03:45 PM. Reason: unclear
    Current frags (in order of preference):

    1) GIT
    2) GV
    3) MR

  27. #267

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Don't know whether this has been posted but here is TS's blog entry @ Penguin USA on how the book came about:

    http://us.penguingroup.com/static/ht...-tania-sanchez
    http://us.penguingroup.com/static/ht...-tania-sanchez
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  28. #268

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Been reading a lot about them these days, found the Excel sheet: I think Turin & Sanchez, together with Burr, are an asset to anyone's fragrance hobby, regardless whether you agree with them or not. They are the cherry on the cake, that some people eat and some people throw away, but they still are the cherry.
    Wanted: a cap of Bvlgari Thé Vert

    Wanted: L' Artisan Timbuktu or Fragonard Concerto

    Feel free to visit Polderposh - a young up & coming Dutch fragrance blog!

  29. #269

    narcus's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Don't know whether this has been posted but here is TS's blog entry @ Penguin USA on how the book came about:

    http://us.penguingroup.com/static/ht...-tania-sanchez
    http://us.penguingroup.com/static/ht...-tania-sanchez
    Thank you. Each sentence has a smile. I cherished that! I do hope they'll open a reader's forum soon. I'm sure, getting fragrances to sample was not easy sometimes. And who wouldn't want to know all about the lost battle with Montale ?!
    Last edited by narcus; 19th June 2008 at 04:45 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.

  30. #270

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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Read through it today. Kinda humorous. Kinda scary.

    Luca and I have similar tastes a lot of the time. We both are fans of Yohji, Hot Always, and Dior Homme. A lot of other likes/dislikes were also present. The one GLARING difference was our polar opposite feelings on Creed and Lutens scents. My biggest problem with Lucas review of Creed is his omission of many of the Vintage line. Those are the true Creed hallmarks NOT the Millesime line which are poor cousins of the family. Yet Luca reviews New Tabarome and marks it as Tabarome not alluing to its more full bodied ancestor. Luca rips up the Killians which made me happy since I find them to be as interesting as whats on the Sears fragrance counter. Killians also may well be the most pretentious line next to Lutens but at least Lutens has style and flair and one can't deny that Lutens is ANYTHING but boring.

    Luca does go a little crazy though:

    Beyond Paradise Men (5 stars) one of the best scents ever made he says on par with Grey Flannel? HUH??? Neither one is something to write home about.

    Silver Mountain Water 1 star Aqua Velva 3 stars??? Sex Appeal 4 Stars????????????? WTF x 100000!!!

    He must have taken a break done copious amounts of acid then wrote the rest.

    Cheers,
    Al

    I do like ONE Killians scent, the rum and patchouli one.

  31. #271
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by anak View Post

    Luca does go a little crazy though:

    Beyond Paradise Men (5 stars) one of the best scents ever made he says on par with Grey Flannel? HUH??? Neither one is something to write home about.

    Silver Mountain Water 1 star Aqua Velva 3 stars??? Sex Appeal 4 Stars????????????? WTF x 100000!!!

    He must have taken a break done copious amounts of acid then wrote the rest.

    Cheers,
    Al
    .
    Hi Al,
    Good point about Beyond Paradise Men. I knew I'd tested it when it came out, but had no memory of it. After reading his review I searched it out last week, sprayed some on my hand, and thought "This is 5 stars?"

    As of today, I have no memory of it again.

    Contrast that to the one star SMW - even if you don't like it, you'll remember it.

    I also don't understand some of his classifications - A*men is a female scent to him, whereas the women's Arpege is unisex (I wouldn't wear it in a fit).

    Renato
    Last edited by Renato; 4th July 2008 at 10:56 AM.

  32. #272

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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by anak View Post
    Silver Mountain Water 1 star Aqua Velva 3 stars??? Sex Appeal 4 Stars????????????? WTF x 100000!!!
    That is one of the many reasons this book has zero credibility with me.

    The bias demonstrated is unconscionable.

  33. #273

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    I'd like to hear what the authors have to say about these kinds of ratings. Is Jovan Sex Appeal rated so highly because it's so inexpensive to make and yet smells great (relative to this cost factor), or is there another reason? I think if they would have taken a moment to explain the ratings, the book would have been not only more consistent, but also a lot more informative, because we would have gotten more of an insight into the way they think about frags.

  34. #274
    pomander's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    I find the book very enjoyable to read due to the authors' witty writing, and refer to it on a routine basis to find new scents I've never heard of.

  35. #275
    Wordbird's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    I'm not going to comment on the authors' opinions of particular fragrances - it is, after all, subjective - but there is one annoying element I hope they will rectify with their next edition (there's bound to be one in a few years' time - this one has been such a success). I find it frustrating that while they don't review discontinued perfumes such as Shiseido's Femininite du Bois (still available here in Europe), they refer to them and their influence on current perfumes. I hope that in future editions, a select range of these influencial perfumes will be reviewed in a separate chapter - they are considered important and are often decanted, shared or traded between perfume fans, so it would be interesting to have LT and TS' thoughts on them.

    A second frustration is that while the perfumes reviewed are the formulations now in the shops, these perfumes are often not reviewed for what they are but in comparison to earlier versions. It feels unfair. (And I know that comment is itself subjective!)

    However, something I was delighted to read in the book is the opening essays. I was particularly caught by the section on why we smell things in the way we do and why different people respond differently to the same perfume. I'd love to read more and hope the authors write more such essays for the next edition. Yes, I know that if they add the bits I'd like and keep the bits I currently enjoy the book will end up weighing several kilos, but think how good it would be for the biceps.
    Last edited by Wordbird; 1st August 2008 at 04:24 PM.
    "A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Coco Chanel

    I'm streamlining my collection http://community.basenotes.net/showt...29#post1219729

  36. #276

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbird View Post
    I'm not going to comment on the authors' opinions of particular fragrances - it is, after all, subjective - but there is one annoying element I hope they will rectify with their next edition (there's bound to be one in a few years' time - this one has been such a success). I find it frustrating that while they don't review discontinued perfumes such as Shiseido's Femininite du Bois (still available here in Europe), they refer to them and their influence on current perfumes. I hope that in future editions, a select range of these influencial perfumes will be reviewed in a separate chapter - they are considered important and are often decanted, shared or traded between perfume fans, so it would be interesting to have LT and TS' thoughts on them.

    A second frustration is that while the perfumes reviewed are the formulations now in the shops, these perfumes are often not reviewed for what they are but in comparison to earlier versions. It feels unfair. (And I know that comment is itself subjective!)

    However, something I was delighted to read in the book is the opening essays. I was particularly caught by the section on why we smell things in the way we do and why different people respond differently to the same perfume. I'd love to read more and hope the authors write more such essays for the next edition. Yes, I know that if they add the bits I'd like and keep the bits I currently enjoy the book will end up weighing several kilos, but think how good it would be for the biceps.
    I'm in total agreement with you. I just got the book and have the same frustrations you do. However, I am truly enjoying it for what it is, and I think it is novel in so many ways. I just wish there was MORE. I love the beginning essays too.

  37. #277

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    I've been having a great time reading all this thread, which I hadn't discovered before. I bought the book in April, and have kept it on my bedsite table. It makes a relaxing night reading, probably because I don't get irritated by his comments (though the first time I read it I did) and have discovered that I can learn a lot of things from their comments. And, above all, I loved his review of Timbuktu. I was a bit amazed as he considers it a "masculine", as it was love at first sniff for me, Not many people share this love, and so it was comforting to find someone who did and wrote about it.
    Anyway, it's just a book. We're not as used as reading perfume reviews as wine, restaurant, hotel and film reviews, but it's the same. Let's enjoy their opinion, as it's brilliantly written. If you don't, just put the book away and turn the light off.

  38. #278

    Talking Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Spy Magazine created an Index for The Andy Warhol Diaries in 1989. Perfumes/The Guide has one done by star ratings. I started an index by company. So far this is what I got for Estee Lauder. I've included Clinique, Perscriptives, Tom Ford and Tommy Hillfiger, as they are all part of the Estee Lauder world.
    The list does not include Origins, yet.
    10 Five Stars Fragrances out of the 87. The Five Star category is the smallest class and Estee Lauder owns 11.5% of the real estate. WOW!
    Alliage ****
    Azuree *****
    Beautiful ****
    Beautiful Love ***
    Beautiful Sheer ***
    Beyond Paradise *****
    Beyond Paradise Blue ****
    Beyond Paradise Men *****
    Clinique Aromatics Elixir *****
    Perscriptives Calyx *****
    Cinnabar ****
    Dazzling Gold ***
    Dazzling Silver ****
    Estee ** - Only 2 stars, WHAT HAPPENED HERE?
    Clinique Happy ***
    Clinique Happy for Men ***
    Intuition **
    Intuition for Men ***
    Knowing *****
    Pleasures *****
    Pleasures Exotic ***
    Pleasures for Men ***
    Pleasures Intense ***
    Private Collection *****
    Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia ****
    Pure White Linen ****
    Spellbound * 1 star?
    Tom Ford Black Orchid ***
    Tom Ford for Men ***
    Tommy Girl *****
    White Linen *****
    Youth Dew ****
    Youth Dew Amber Nude ****
    That's what I'd noticed too. May I add the following:
    Aramis (Aramis) ****
    Tuscany per Donna (Aramis) ****
    Be Delicious (DKNY) ***
    Cashmere Mist (Donna Karan) **
    DKNY Delicious Night (Donna Karan) ***
    Be Delicious Men (Donna Karan) ***
    Red Delicious Men (Donna Karan) ***
    Red Delicious Woman (Donna Karan) ***
    Donna Karan Gold (Donna Karan) ****
    Cinnabar Estee Lauder 4
    Intuition for Men Estee Lauder 3
    Shedonism (Origins) ***
    Cologne (Jo Malone) **
    Amber and Lavender Cologne (Jo Malone) ***
    Blue Agava & Cacao Cologne (Jo Malone) **
    French Lime Blossom Cologne (Jo Malone) ***
    Grapefruit Cologne (Jo Malone) ***
    Honeysuckle and Jasmine (Jo Malone) ***
    Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne (Jo Malone) ****
    Nectarine Blossom and Honey Cologne (Jo Malone) **
    Nutmeg and Ginger Cologne (Jo Malone) ***
    Orange Blossom Cologne (Jo Malone) ***
    Pomegranate Noir Cologne (Jo Malone) **
    Red Roses Cologne (Jo Malone) ***
    Tuberose Cologne (Jo Malone) ***
    Vetyver Cologne (Jo Malone) **
    Vintage Gardenia Cologne (Jo Malone) **
    White Jasmine and Mint (Jo Malone) ***
    Wild Fig and Cassis Cologne (Jo Malone) ***
    Island (Michael Kors) ***
    Michael (Michael Kors) *
    Unforgivable (Sean John) **
    Missoni (Missoni) *****

    From the Winter 2008 Issue... their enthusiasm for EL products seem to have waned somewhat:
    Yatra Aveda ****
    Chakra 1-7 Aveda ***
    Unforgivable Woman Sean John 2
    Happy Heart Clinique 3
    DKNY Men Donna Karan 3
    DKNY Women Donna Karan 4
    Black Cashmere Donna Karan 3
    Chaos Donna Karan 4
    Donna Karan Essence Jasmine Donna Karan 3
    Donna Karan Essence Labdanum Donna Karan 3
    Donna Karan Essence Lavender Donna Karan 3
    Donna Karan Essence Wenge Donna Karan 3
    Donna Karan Signature Donna Karan 4
    Fuel for Men Donna Karan 4
    Sensuous Estee Lauder 3
    Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang Estee Lauder 1
    Pure White Linen Light Breeze Estee Lauder 2
    Very Pretty Michael Kors 2
    Missoni Acqua Missoni 4
    Ginger Essence Origins 2
    Ginger with a Twist Origins 2
    Unforgivable Woman Sean John 2
    Unforgivable Black Sean John 2
    Unforgivable Woman Black Sean John 3
    Amber Absolute Tom Ford 3
    Black Violet Tom Ford 3
    Bois Rouge Tom Ford 2
    Japon Noir Tom Ford 3
    Moss Breeches Tom Ford 2
    Neroli Portofino Tom Ford 2
    Oud Wood Tom Ford 3
    Purple Patchouli Tom Ford 2
    Tobacco Vanille Tom Ford 3
    Tom Ford for Men Tom Ford 3
    Tuscan Leather Tom Ford 2
    Velvet Gardenia Tom Ford 4
    Black Orchid Voile de Fleur Tom Ford 4
    Noir de Noir Tom Ford 4
    Tom Ford for Men Extreme Tom Ford 3
    White Patchouli Tom Ford 2
    Tommy Tommy Hilfiger 3
    True Star Tommy Hilfiger 3
    Dreaming Tommy Hilfiger 3
    Dreaming Tommy Hilfiger 2

  39. #279

    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    I realized that the three star perfumes were the ones perfect for me. the 5 star perfumes were too complicated for my nose to really understand.

  40. #280
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    I find this to be an enjoyable read.

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