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  1. #1

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

    I got my copy yesterday of "Perfumes: The Guide" and my immediate thoughts were that it is a great resource book and I enjoyed the pithy, blunt commentary (so different to "Countess" Jan Moran's "Fabulous Fragrances I and II") but I just have to ask, what is his obsession with Calice Becker??? I mean, come on! He seems to think her "Tommy Girl" and EL "Beyond Paradise" were each some kind of incredible opus. Turin is like a star-struck kid, gushing and oohing over Becker's every creation no matter how commercial or cheap-smelling it is.

    The other odd thing I noticed was that Turin seemed rather erratic regarding at least one of today's well known perfume creators. In the Caleche entry, he says of Guy Robert: "When you know this has been composed by Guy Robert, all it takes is one sniff... to know they've grieviously messed with it." But, under the Amouage Gold entry, Turin states "Robert is perhaps the most symphonic of the old-school perfumers still working today". Come on, Luca, make up your mind!

    Overall, I enjoyed the take-no-prisoners approach. Le Labo, and to a lesser degree Creed, must be seething.
    Last edited by Jemimagold; 11th April 2008 at 04:18 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2

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

    Jemimagold - He is being complimentary to Guy Robert in that what Robert originally composed as Caleche could in no way be the watered down, banal substance that it currently is. Turin is apparently quite a fan of Guy Robert (the Amouge Gold, Dia).

    Interestingly, he seems to not be a fan of Fraysse, Caron's current perfumer.

    There does seem to be a strong thread of industry cronyism throughout the book, but that's probably the nature of the fragrance industry to begin with.

    I expected the writing to be more sophisticated and I expected the quide to be more complete. Many perfumes I'd like to read his/her opinions on are not listed. So, on the one hand, I love reading the reviews, on the other hand, I wish there were more of them to read!

    While I agree with some opinions, I agree for different reasons than are listed. I disagree mightily with some other opinions, which is probably a result of experiences in the fragrance industry, cultural nuances, and chemistry.

    Overall, I'm glad I purchased it because it's a jumping off point for discussion and evaluation.

  3. #3

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

    I must wait another 14 days before I can plow through this book myself. I sort of know where Turin's preferences have been in the past, but with 1500 perfumes now covered, I hope to find the most important fragrances for men (or virile uniscents) covered from the following houses:

    Caraceni, Divine, Dominguez, Editions Malle, Etro , Montale, and Villoresi

    Are such hopes justified ?

    '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.

  4. #4

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

    Quote Originally Posted by seattlelight View Post
    There does seem to be a strong thread of industry cronyism throughout the book, but that's probably the nature of the fragrance industry to begin with.
    Just curious as to what you mean by that

  5. #5

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

    Quote Originally Posted by seattlelight View Post

    There does seem to be a strong thread of industry cronyism throughout the book, but that's probably the nature of the fragrance industry to begin with.
    Really? If anything Luca Turin comes off rather independently to me. It reminds me of Parker and his red wine reviews.
    ===
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  6. #6

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

    I picked up a copy yesterday and will share detailed impressions later. At the very least, its an interesting and informative read and a great reference guide.
    -

  7. #7
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    The only problem have with it is that it doesn't keep going.
    Last edited by pluran; 20th April 2008 at 01:21 PM.

  8. #8

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

    My favorite part are the two word descriptions. It's interesting to see these perfumes that are heralded as the nectar of the gods summed up into merely two words.

  9. #9

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

    I loved it, loved it, loved it. I was also thrilled that so many fragrances I adore received 5 stars or at least 4 stars; not that that would dissuade me from wearing a favorite. I loved what he wrote about Youth-Dew and Azuree by Lauder, and gave such kudos to Lauder; proving an incredible scent does not require a second mortgage to acquire. I was sad to see some of the reviews on my old favorites; L'air du temps, Caleche, and many Caron's...just reinforced what my nose had been telling me, someone has been playing in the lab. with the classics...and not for the better.
    I really enjoyed what I have read so far, will really need to spend quality time going through it thoroughly.
    Last edited by Brielle87; 13th April 2008 at 05:25 AM. Reason: typo
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  10. #10

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

    BTW, did anyone read the review of Green Irish Tweed in the guide? GIT composed by Bourdon? What the deuce is Turin talking about? Luca Turin, if you are reading this, can you back this claim up with a legit source? Or maybe its better to ask Pierre Bourdon himself.

    I find it interesting that his reviews, of Creeds especially, vary widely between the 1994 guide and this new one. For example, Erolfa was given a positive review 1994 guide, but is trashed with a harsh 1 star rating in the new one.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by luca turin View Post
    Just curious as to what you mean by that
    She's probably referring to the 4 star rating handed out to the incredible Zegna Z..
    Last edited by zztopp; 13th April 2008 at 06:45 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  11. #11

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

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    GIT composed by Bourdon? What the deuce is Turin talking about? Luca Turin, if you are reading this, can you back this claim up with a legit source? Or maybe its better to ask Pierre Bourdon himself.

    I find it interesting that his reviews, of Creeds especially, vary widely between the 1994 guide and this new one. For example, Erolfa was given a positive review 1994 guide, but is trashed with a harsh 1 star rating in the new one.
    -----------------------------------
    Bourdon is listed as creator of GIT in Michael Edwards' database, thereby officially confirming the worst-kept secret in the industry

    Erolfa: I think both my taste and the fragrance may have changed, in opposite directions, over fifteen years :-)

  12. #12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by luca turin View Post
    Bourdon is listed as creator of GIT in Michael Edwards' database, thereby officially confirming the worst-kept secret in the industry

    Erolfa: I think both my taste and the fragrance may have changed, in opposite directions, over fifteen years :-)
    So he was just plagiarizing himself with Cool Water?! The really interesting question, of course, is just how old Bourdon was when he created GIT for Cary Grant

    P.S.:does this mean he also created Orange Spice ?
    Last edited by the_good_life; 13th April 2008 at 10:03 AM.
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  13. #13

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

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    So he was just plagiarizing himself with Cool Water?! The really interesting question, of course, is just how old Bourdon was when he created GIT for Cary Grant

    P.S.:does this mean he also created Orange Spice ?
    And "Vintage" Tabarome? (gasp)
    Last edited by knightowl; 13th April 2008 at 10:23 AM.
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  14. #14

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

    Bourdon listed as creator of GIT in Michael Edwards' database? , and no doubt about this "fact" could be, like a error or something? I hope Oliver isn't reading this, cause this is ridiculous.
    Makes me wonder about this Michael Edwards database also.

  15. #15

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

    Although I've been a frag-addict for sixty some odd years, it was Burr's book on Luca Turnin that brought me to BaseNotes, a more focussed approach and all you wonderful folk. I look forward to The Guide, having loved The Secret of Scent. I adore his passion and respect his formidable intellect and excellent use of the language.

    My nose and my bod don't always coincide with his views - but so what. Lighten up, guys.
    Last edited by TaoLady; 13th April 2008 at 02:45 PM.
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  16. #16

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

    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    Bourdon listed as creator of GIT in Michael Edwards' database? , and no doubt about this "fact" could be, like a error or something? I hope Oliver isn't reading this, cause this is ridiculous.
    Makes me wonder about this Michael Edwards database also.
    If you knew Michael Edwards and how he works, you would know that a) he doesn't make attribution mistakes and b) he discussed this with Creed. OC is listed as co-creator, btw
    Last edited by luca turin; 13th April 2008 at 12:30 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taolady View Post
    Although I've been a frag-addict for sixty some odd years, it was Burr's book on Luca Turnin that brought me to BaseNotes, a more focussed approach and all you wonderful folk. I look forward to The Guide, having loved The Secret of Scent. I adore his passion and respect his formidable intellect and excellent use of the language.

    My nose and my bod don't always coincide with his views - but so what. Lighten up, guys.
    Good to see someone around here has some sense.

  18. #18

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

    Man, with all these surprises and accusations about Creed (including alot of speculation in another thread that they didn't even start making fragrances until the 1980s!) someone should write a book about them! They are after all a giant gossip factory as much as a fargrance house! If Oliver Creed was the co-creator of GIT I can guess what his contribution was - ambergris, sandalwood and musk in the base...

    But Creeds aside - why aren't any Montales covered in the book? Are they not even worth a thrashing? I'm really disappointed about that as I love to read about fragrances I already know and own as much or even more than about ones that I'm curious to try.
    Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 13th April 2008 at 03:28 PM.
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  19. #19

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

    This book is out of sight. I had heard about Luca Turin but had never read anything by him until now. I live in Beverly Hills, CA where the air is saturated with perfume. It led me seek out more information, and I must say this is the most fascinsting reads I've come across in a long time. I had no idea scents could be described so well. Not to mention that I haven't laughed so hard in weeks.

    I think this book will be of great use to some of my celebrity clients who are often drowning in the wrong perfume, among other things.

    Great stuff!
    Last edited by Grind; 13th April 2008 at 03:30 PM.

  20. #20

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

    Luca Turin, I was also wondering about some other ratings ...lets take the Caron urns for example. Tabac Blond is given a 1 star rating. Is that 1 star rating purely based on its current composition or is it relative to the original formulation ?
    -

  21. #21

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

    Quote Originally Posted by luca turin View Post
    If you knew Michael Edwards and how he works, you would know that a) he doesn't make attribution mistakes and b) he discussed this with Creed. OC is listed as co-creator, btw
    Well,everyone can make a mistake, even when your name is Michael Edwards, but actually I'm glad.
    This sheds a whole other light on the GIT, Coolwater comparison threads, cause this proofs that Pierre Bourdon was not simply plagiarizing GIT, like Goodlife said,but only himself.He just used,or sold the same, or at least a bit simpler version of GIT to the Davidoff (Coty) company. And I can live with that fact. There are more perfumers who did this. (Olivier Cresp comes to mind with his Black XS for men and D&G Light Blue)
    And I do admire some of Bourdons creations.

    And I promise I will lighten up when this mystery is cleared. Maybe not important for most,(although numerous threads tell otherwise) but to me it is one of those things I always wondered about. I remember an interview with Bourdon about Coolwater where he said that in the early '80s he had trouble selling his formula to companies, untill Coty decided to bring it out. He never thought it would be a worldwide succes. If I only could find back that interview

    P.S. I mailed the Creed website with the same question, I wonder what they have to say about this all. I don't think they would admit that Bourdon created GIT.

    Anyway, mr.Turin, all the best wishes with your book selling.
    Last edited by eric; 14th April 2008 at 07:26 PM.

  22. #22

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

    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    P.S. I mailed the Creed website with the same question, I wonder what they have to say about this all. I don't think they would admit that Bourdon created GIT.
    If its really true, and if they have allowed Edwards to list it on a public website, it doesn't make sense not to admit it. So I guess there's also a connection between Mugler Cologne and Original Vetiver (except ofcourse one gets 4 stars and the other 1 star) ?
    -

  23. #23

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Taolady View Post
    Although I've been a frag-addict for sixty some odd years, it was Burr's book on Luca Turnin that brought me to BaseNotes, a more focussed approach and all you wonderful folk. I look forward to The Guide, having loved The Secret of Scent. I adore his passion and respect his formidable intellect and excellent use of the language.

    My nose and my bod don't always coincide with his views - but so what. Lighten up, guys.
    Thank you, Taolady! I, for one, am very much enjoying the book and LT and TS's reviews, even when my "take" on a particular fragrance doesn't agree with theirs. The obvious care, knowledge, delight and extremely hearty dose of irreverence they 've put into the book makes it a great deal in my, um, book.
    It’s thought that people who hope too much will just waste their life away and never get down to doing any real work. They’re confusing Hope with Wish, its lazy cousin... When Wish whispers, “Something is just around the corner,” what comes or not is never what was wished for. When Hope whispers “Something is just around the corner,” something always is. -- Charlie Elberson

    My sale thread has some of my underappreciated fragrances looking for a good, new home...

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

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    Luca Turin, I was also wondering about some other ratings ...lets take the Caron urns for example. Tabac Blond is given a 1 star rating. Is that 1 star rating purely based on its current composition or is it relative to the original formulation ?
    The Tabac Blond review couldn't be any clearer, and it was done by Tania Sanchez.

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    If its really true, and if they have allowed Edwards to list it on a public website, it doesn't make sense not to admit it. So I guess there's also a connection between Mugler Cologne and Original Vetiver (except ofcourse one gets 4 stars and the other 1 star) ?
    One of the main reasons could be the fact that Mugler Cologne doesn't claim to be a vetiver fragrance. But I'm sure luca turin will be able to answer that more effectively.

    I'm sure he'll give you more details on Tabac Blond also, even though it's already crystal clear in the first place.
    Last edited by pluran; 13th April 2008 at 04:28 PM.

  25. #25

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

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    The Tabac Blond review couldn't have been any clearer, and it was done by Tania Sanchez.
    Its clear in the nearly half page review that a comparison is being made with the original formulation. But what I am asking is whether the current juice is 1 star quality compared to similar tobacco/leather fragrances on the market today, or just relative to the original? There are some mediocre leather fragrances which got 2 star ratings and I don't think the current formulation of Tabac Blond is worse than them (but then LT and TS might think it is!). This is the reviewing policy discrepancy I am trying to clear up.
    -

  26. #26

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

    Quote Originally Posted by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR View Post
    Man, with all these surprises and accusations about Creed (including alot of speculation in another thread that they didn't even start making fragrances until the 1980s!) someone should write a book about them! They are after all a giant gossip factory as much as a fargrance house! If Oliver Creed was the co-creator of GIT I can guess what his contribution was - ambergris, sandalwood and musk in the base...
    Look out for the follow-up volume: Perfume - The Gossip
    While I was only half-serious, I think this supports my hypothesis that Olivier Creed dreamt up the fragrance house of Creed on a stoned night in the Sixties .
    My Wardrobe
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  27. #27

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

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    Its clear in the nearly half page review that a comparison is being made with the original formulation. But what I am asking is whether the current juice is 1 star quality compared to similar tobacco/leather fragrances on the market today, or just relative to the original? There are some mediocre leather fragrances which got 2 star ratings and I don't think the current formulation of Tabac Blond is worse than them (but then LT and TS might think it is!). This is the reviewing policy discrepancy I am trying to clear up.

    One-star reviews are reserved for those fragrances we felt were not only incompetent but actually insulting.

  28. #28

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

    I can't wait to get my copy! Reading the work of both authors has always been a treat for me.

    Guess I'll finally have to try Beyond Paradise.

  29. #29

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

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCtbone View Post
    One-star reviews are reserved for those fragrances we felt were not only incompetent but actually insulting.
    oh the cans of worms, wrenched open across cyberspace. the torches brandished through the streets of basenotes.
    But my thoughts are with those who say, vive le difference. I CAN'T WAIT to read the reviews in this book, but something tells me I will agree with some, be puzzled by others (poor Mechant Loup... ), and most likely laugh heartily at many.

  30. #30

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

    I still need to get this book. Please tell me he reviewed Kouros.
    Oriscent, AgarAura Pure Ouds, Creed, LIDGE, Patou Pour Homme, tons of niche and rare stuff for sale!
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/253...er-100-items!!

  31. #31

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

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Look out for the follow-up volume: Perfume - The Gossip
    While I was only half-serious, I think this supports my hypothesis that Olivier Creed dreamt up the fragrance house of Creed on a stoned night in the Sixties .
    Ha! Bourdon has never claimed credit for GIT, and all this intertwined perfume mystery is ridiculous. All I know is GIT is one of the best things I have smelled in my life, its part of the Creed line, its a true 5 star fragrance in my book, and I will always have a 4 Oz. bottle and shower gel to savour its intoxicatingly beautiful aroma.
    Last edited by zztopp; 14th April 2008 at 12:15 AM.
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  32. #32

    Default Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    There's already a long thread about the preview of this book's release. I think it's in its 8th page as I write this, and members are energetically posting their initial thoughts since the book is now available.

    In the interests of breaking up such a long thread (and very extended idea) I thought I'd start a new thread to see if I could encourage any more reviews out of members.

    How about your thoughts on the book? You've looked it over, time to read and tell.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Of course Turin and Sanchez judge the houses, sometimes negatively; case in point, Caron:
    p.248: "Caron has the reformulation bug bad...." LT
    p.332: "Can't Fraysse instead go ruin some perfumes that weren't interesting in the first place?" TS
    And sometimes positively, as in his continuous praise for all things Estee Lauder.
    The book is good, and in fact it's hugely entertaining, and that truly is something. But it, perhaps too often, veers towards the flippant more often than it needs to. A more balanced mix of facts, release dates, manufacturers, etc. and opinions would have helped it fit more comfortably on my reference shelf between The Penguin Guide to Classical CDs and Pauline Kael's I Lost It at the Movies. In the meantime, I'm having a good time reading it.
    As far as Lorenzo Villoresi goes, along with Mona di Orio for that matter, I get the feeling that Turin sees them as hobbyists that can't play their "grand and traditional perfumery roles" very well.
    I must admit that I find his balanced response to the numerous Creed offerings to be quite refreshing.
    Turin has said that Italians tend to often ruin things with too much good taste. Which reminds me of an episode of my life in the late 90's. I ran a well known Italian fashion house's US operations. The owner of the company loved lace, when we would visit her house in Cortina we would always have a good laugh - she loved lace so much that she covered everything in it. In Italian, the word for lace is pizzo; the knick name for the house instantly became Pizzo Hut.
    Cheers!
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th April 2008 at 05:30 AM.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post

    Turin has said that Italians tend to often ruin things with too much good taste. Which reminds me of an episode of my life in the late 90's. I ran a well known Italian fashion house's US operations. The owner of the company loved lace, when we would visit her house in Cortina we would alway have a good laugh as she loved lace so much that she covered everything in it. In Italian, the word for lace is pizzo; the knick name for her house became the Pizzo Hut.

    Very interesting Ruggles! I had a good time reading this!

  35. #35

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    There's already a long thread about the preview of this book's release. I think it's in its 8th page as I write this, and members are energetically posting their initial thoughts since the book is now available.

    In the interests of breaking up such a long thread (and very extended idea) I thought I'd start a new thread to see if I could encourage any more reviews out of members.

    How about your thoughts on the book? You've looked it over, time to read and tell.
    --Chris

    New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine. ( 1 2)


    "...a long thread about the preview of this book's release. I think it's in its 8th page..." Wow! But where is it, please? I do not seem to be able to find it.
    Last edited by narcus; 14th April 2008 at 07:41 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.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post

    New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine. ( 1 2)


    "...a long thread about the preview of this book's release. I think it's in its 8th page..." Wow! But where is it, please? I do not seem to be able to find it.
    He must mean http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=207941
    My Wardrobe
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  37. #37

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

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCtbone View Post
    One-star reviews are reserved for those fragrances we felt were not only incompetent but actually insulting.
    I have to wait for my book, and cannot really comment yet. But maybe you will accept a few questions on the rating system, NYCtbone. I picked up the following star definitions from a preview of your book, and please correct me if these should be wrong:

    1- so vile they insult the smeller
    2- disappointing
    3- solid, yet uninspiring
    4- excellent
    5- masterpiece

    As I consider 'uninspiring' as something negative, it seems that you created three negative categories. Unfortunately, that only leaves two for good perfumes: 'excellent' or 'masterpiece'. My personal experience has been that people perceive a majority of fragrances as better than uninspiring. I do too, and yet I couldn't call a lot of these 'excellent' or better. So, where is the place for simply good fragrances, things we consider worth buying for our own pleasure or as gifts?

    As a European I can do well without any rating system. Luca's reviews in the French Guide of 1992 say so much in a short paragraph even today! No stars were needed then. I also enjoy reading his Duftnotes (Scent Notes) column tremendously, and am grateful for the fragrances selected for discussion there (no stars). Not wanting to speculate any longer, I would appreciate if you could kindly tell us who had the idea of a categorical rating? I am afraid stars will be exploited commercially in a long period to come, and not all people will be happy about that. Stars might even be in the way when people want to discuss perfume as a form of art seriously.
    Last edited by narcus; 14th April 2008 at 09:47 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.

  38. #38
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Luca Turin book - your thoughts? Here are mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azsmells View Post
    I still need to get this book. Please tell me he reviewed Kouros.
    Yes.

    --------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    I have to wait for my book, and cannot really comment yet. But maybe you will accept a few questions on the rating system, NYCtbone. I picked up the following star definitions from a preview of your book, and please correct me if these should be wrong:

    1- so vile they insult the smeller
    2- disappointing
    3- solid, yet uninspiring
    4- excellent
    5- masterpiece

    As I consider 'uninspiring' as something negative, it seems that you created three negative categories. Unfortunately, that only leaves two for good perfumes: 'excellent' or 'masterpiece'. My personal experience has been that people perceive a majority of fragrances as better than uninspiring. I do too, and yet I couldn't call a lot of these 'excellent' or better. So, where is the place for simply good fragrances, things we consider worth buying for our own pleasure or as gifts? ..
    I'll clarify some of it.

    The ratings are as follows:

    ***** Masterpiece
    **** Recommended
    *** Adequate
    ** Disappointing
    * Awful
    Last edited by pluran; 15th April 2008 at 02:42 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  39. #39

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    But it, perhaps too often, veers towards the flippant more often than it needs to. A more balanced mix of facts, release dates, manufacturers, etc. and opinions would have helped it fit more comfortably on my reference shelf between The Penguin Guide to Classical CDs and Pauline Kael's I Lost It at the Movies. In the meantime, I'm having a good time reading it.
    Ruggles - seems to me that, given time and space constraints, the general strategy was to include as much useful information as feasible, while devoting serious attention (along reference book lines) to serious fragrances, and being flippant where flippant was called for. I doubt that the typical reader of this book is longing to know anything more about Paris Hilton.

    No one admires Pauline Kael more than I do, but if there was ever a critic who was notoriously given to flippant dismissals of films for which she had no use, it was she - though maybe less so in I Lost It. . .than later in her career. (Though now that you mention it, Perfumes seems more along the lines of 5001 Nights at the Movies.) For its part The Penguin Guide has always has serious music lovers' knickers in a twist for its own idiosyncrasies - e.g. its adulation of all things Karajan.
    "Oh, my Lolita, I have only words to play with!"
    - Vladimir Nabokov,
    Lolita

  40. #40

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

    Narcus, I think a lot of your questions will be cleared up if you read the actual book, but let me briefly explain the rating system.

    Per the book (not Allure):
    5 - masterpiece
    4 - recommended
    3 - adequate
    2 - disappointing
    1 - awful

    Here is the same information in a longwinded way: we urge everyone interested in the art of perfume to smell the 5-stars as landmark achievements in various genres; we highly recommend people smell the 4-stars in the styles they like; we find the 3-stars perfectly fine, though they contribute nothing new or extraordinary to the art (i.e., to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, if you like that sort of thing, you'll like that sort of thing); we consider the 2-stars to have missed their aesthetic aims; and we fault the 1-star scents as bad beyond mere failure—sometimes because they achieved their nefarious aims all too well. So your characterization of 3 stars as a negative rating is incorrect. These are the "simply good" fragrances you ask about.

    A guide of under 300 fragrances with no ratings, as was Luca's guide in French, is enjoyable to read but difficult to scale up usefully. Among other reasons, sometimes people enthralled with LT's poetic description failed to understand he thought a scent was vile.

    I am not sure what being European has to do with the need for a rating system; LT is, as everyone knows, as European as it gets, and he proposed ratings from the start. We both appreciate star ratings for restaurants, movies and music, and we wanted to do the same for perfume.

    We hope that, for instance, people shopping for a new scent for Mother's Day will use the 5- and 4-star reviews as a starting point. Someone with more time may spread the search to the 3-stars, or someone who realizes her taste is in exact opposition to ours may gravitate to the one-stars and mark up her margins with cheerful vitriol. At any rate, we've saved them time.

    Naturally, if you have all the time in the world and have been reading about perfume for years, you may not need the ratings for guidance and may prefer to read for enjoyment or another point of view. We're thrilled if so. Carry on!

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    I have to wait for my book, and cannot really comment yet. But maybe you will accept a few questions on the rating system, NYCtbone. I picked up the following star definitions from a preview of your book, and please correct me if these should be wrong:

    1- so vile they insult the smeller
    2- disappointing
    3- solid, yet uninspiring
    4- excellent
    5- masterpiece

    As I consider 'uninspiring' as something negative, it seems that you created three negative categories. Unfortunately, that only leaves two for good perfumes: 'excellent' or 'masterpiece'. My personal experience has been that people perceive a majority of fragrances as better than uninspiring. I do too, and yet I couldn't call a lot of these 'excellent' or better. So, where is the place for simply good fragrances, things we consider worth buying for our own pleasure or as gifts?

    As a European I can do well without any rating system. Luca's reviews in the French Guide of 1992 say so much in a short paragraph even today! No stars were needed then. I also enjoy reading his Duftnotes (Scent Notes) column tremendously, and am grateful for the fragrances selected for discussion there (no stars). Not wanting to speculate any longer, I would appreciate if you could kindly tell us who had the idea of a categorical rating? I am afraid stars will be exploited commercially in a long period to come, and not all people will be happy about that. Stars might even be in the way when people want to discuss perfume as a form of art seriously.

  41. #41

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

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    As a European I can do well without any rating system.
    Tell that to Michelin, whom one might hold largely responsible for the popularity of star ratings.
    "Oh, my Lolita, I have only words to play with!"
    - Vladimir Nabokov,
    Lolita

  42. #42

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    All guidebooks with reviews have opinions - and there will be disagreement in proportion to the strength of the opinion. For instance, the Tabac Blond that Luca Turin loves has changed and went from 5 stars to one. He killed it in the book, but despite that it does not mean that others will not like it.
    Last edited by Bromo33333; 14th April 2008 at 01:40 PM.
    ===
    “… [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me naïve, but I seemed to have underestimated the universal desire to sit in a hard plastic chair and stare at a screen until your eyes cross.” ~ David Sedaris

  43. #43

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Creek View Post
    For its part The Penguin Guide has always has serious music lovers' knickers in a twist for its own idiosyncrasies - e.g. its adulation of all things Karajan.
    And what's wrong with Karajan????
    Not including the release date of each fragrance within its respective review is, IMHO, a shortcoming. But what do I know.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    And what's wrong with Karajan????
    Not including the release date of each fragrance within its respective review is, IMHO, a shortcoming. But what do I know.
    By about the seventh Beethoven cycle or so, the magic was wearing a little thin?

    Release dates are a good idea, for historical context - some of the entries do contain them.
    "Oh, my Lolita, I have only words to play with!"
    - Vladimir Nabokov,
    Lolita

  45. #45

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

    I wouldn't be asking this if the book we out yet in Canada, as I'm eager to take a look at it and I'd just go check it out in the store, but are the Nasomatto covered?

    And, why no Montales? Are they not popular enough, not deemed interesting enough, or is it just a fluke oversight? Or is the number of scents you wanted to cover limited and therefore you only covered those that interested you the most, or that you found most relevant to the fragrance fanatic community?

    I was basically going to order it online until I heard there were no Montale. Now I want to look at it first, though I imagine there's enough in there to make it worth while. That's a real disappointment for me - praise or rants, I love to read informed opinions about them. There's been alot of good back and forth about the line here which I've found really interesting.
    Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 14th April 2008 at 02:43 PM.
    CAESAR SEEKS:
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  46. #46
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    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    I enjoy Mr. Turin's and Ms. Sanchez's approach in the book. Suggesting that perhaps we shouldn't take scents so seriously. But, as someone new to fragrances, it seems more of a guide to the fragrance aisle at Neiman Marcus or Saks and somewhat deflates that pretension. In its way, it makes the fragrance counter much more approachable. (Not counting the SAs.)

    I would have liked (in fact expected) more of a guide - here's how we approach a frag and here's how you can, too; more history; and more perspective.

    I appreciate that they appear to have been honest about their feelings and, if nothing else, it has shown me that fragrance is both deeply personal, sometimes speculative, and often contentious.

    At least we have such a wonderful group of products to choose from. And I'm glad they didn't cover my favorite houses.

    Nicely done and a big thank you to both of them.
    Brent

    Catherine Deneuve: "You should put scent where you like to be kissed."


  47. #47

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    And what's wrong with Karajan????
    Not including the release date of each fragrance within its respective review is, IMHO, a shortcoming. But what do I know.
    I was thinking that, too, but considering fragrances are regularly, secretly, reformulated, I was wondering if that really meant anything. Though I would like to see it anyway.
    ===
    “… [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me naïve, but I seemed to have underestimated the universal desire to sit in a hard plastic chair and stare at a screen until your eyes cross.” ~ David Sedaris

  48. #48

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

    I've read through it now and have to admit that it is a considerable volume of reviews and information about fragrances. Impressive! For most of the rviews I am in agreement with the direction of the opinions, but some I strongly disagree with. I'm sure all basenoters will find these occasional conflicts with their opinions - opinions of quality are somewhat subjective anyway. It is very obvious that both Turin and Sanchez have their special preferences and disappointments and feel free to offer their opinions in their book.

    I think that emotion and bias plays too big a role in most of the reviews - both those done by Turin and Sanchez, but for different emotional reasons. Generally, fragrances that have historical importance and are from Guerlain, Chanel, Givenchy, Dior or any other old french house get an extra star for who they are from Luca. Also, it seems that the emoltional response that Turin has towards mistakes of what could have been have an extra star deleted for the crime of failing to achieve potential. Add a star if the fragrance is a historical icon irregardless of its quality of scent. Another quirk seems to be if the frag has an ingredient stated in its title and the formula is not all about that ingredient (rose, vetiver, iris, etc) he often calls it "not rose" or "not vetiver" and then deducts another star for violatintg a truth in labelling unwritten rule that seems to exist. Both seem to give extra high marks to perfumers and fragrance houses they know personally - probably a normal bias that anyone would have.

    For the most part I agree with the direction of the reviews and I know we all will find this to be an incredible resource of new information about the fragrances that are here today.
    Last edited by Buzzlepuff; 14th April 2008 at 03:40 PM.

  49. #49

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    I have paged through The Guide at the bookstore, and I was immensely entertained. How does it compare to Michael Edwards' book?

    By the way, NowSmellThis has an interview with them today.

  50. #50

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

    [QUOTE=GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR;1203349]I wouldn't be asking this if the book we out yet in Canada, as I'm eager to take a look at it and I'd just go check it out in the store, but are the Nasomatto covered?

    And, why no Montales? QUOTE]


    The Nasomattos arrived late (next edition). Montale refused to send us fragrances.

  51. #51

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

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCtbone View Post
    Narcus, I think a lot of your questions will be cleared up if you read the actual book, but let me briefly explain the rating system.

    Per the book (not Allure):
    5 - masterpiece
    4 - recommended
    3 - adequate
    2 - disappointing
    1 - awful

    Here is the same information in a longwinded way: we urge everyone interested in the art of perfume to smell the 5-stars as landmark achievements in various genres; we highly recommend people smell the 4-stars in the styles they like; we find the 3-stars perfectly fine, though they contribute nothing new or extraordinary to the art (i.e., to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, if you like that sort of thing, you'll like that sort of thing); we consider the 2-stars to have missed their aesthetic aims; and we fault the 1-star scents as bad beyond mere failure—sometimes because they achieved their nefarious aims all too well. So your characterization of 3 stars as a negative rating is incorrect. These are the "simply good" fragrances you ask about.

    A guide of under 300 fragrances with no ratings, as was Luca's guide in French, is enjoyable to read but difficult to scale up usefully. Among other reasons, sometimes people enthralled with LT's poetic description failed to understand he thought a scent was vile.

    I am not sure what being European has to do with the need for a rating system; LT is, as everyone knows, as European as it gets, and he proposed ratings from the start. We both appreciate star ratings for restaurants, movies and music, and we wanted to do the same for perfume.

    We hope that, for instance, people shopping for a new scent for Mother's Day will use the 5- and 4-star reviews as a starting point. Someone with more time may spread the search to the 3-stars, or someone who realizes her taste is in exact opposition to ours may gravitate to the one-stars and mark up her margins with cheerful vitriol. At any rate, we've saved them time.

    Naturally, if you have all the time in the world and have been reading about perfume for years, you may not need the ratings for guidance and may prefer to read for enjoyment or another point of view. We're thrilled if so. Carry on!
    Thank you for taking the time to give us such a detailed reply. That certainly helped. I had obviously been badly informed and should base my thoughts on the original, not previews of it. I like the key interpretation of 1-5 much better than what I had seen first (less negative, a heavy stone off my chest). And I really love the ‘longwinded’ interpretation of it!

    I tried to take a shortcut by saying: as a European I need no rating system. I should have added"...for perfume", sorry. The North American market is so much bigger, that’s probably why ratings are more popular or important there. Europe has many different small markets and societies with different habits concerning food, drinks, and smells. When booking hotels or looking for restaurants in a foreign city, I also appreciate knowing their ratings, of course. The same holds true if I want to buy a camera, new tires or video equipment. But in all these cases I have a good idea what those ratings are based upon: measurable qualities. On the other hand, I would not gain much if I had a list of Beethoven and Mozart Symphonies rated from 1 to x, or if I owned a book that listed ‘best’ interpretations of these symphonies on CD. Reason: There are zero or too few essential qualities in music, paintings, etc. that we can measure and compare. All we can determine is their popularity at any point in time, or estimate their monetary value by virtue of Sotheby's.

    Taking my time to read well considered reviews or colorful perfume descriptions by authors who are dedicated to the subject and whom I trust - that is indeed a pleasure I will never cease to enjoy.
    Last edited by narcus; 15th April 2008 at 11:14 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.

  52. #52

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

    Hey Luca- Why no review of the JAR's? Also, you reviewed other YSL frag's but why not Yvresse (although there was at least one mention of it in the book)? Surely you could get a sample of that.

  53. #53

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

    I've been thoroughly enjoying my copy all weekend. I especially enjoying reading passages like this...

    “A good cologne is the perfumery equivalent of a post-concert encore: brief; familiar to the entire audience, which sighs with pleasure when hearing the first notes; and completely devoid of any ambition beyond transient joy. It is also one of life’s absolute necessities, perfume for when you don’t feel like perfume, before going to bed, to splash on your kids after the bath and introduce them to life’s finer pleasures, etc. In short, cologne is a cleanser for the soul.”

    LT on Cologne à la Française (p. 127).

    It's a fun and often funny read. I don't care as much about nailing TS and LT on the details. I just wish they had reviewed 2400 fragrances, rather than 1200.

  54. #54

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

    Quote Originally Posted by luca turin View Post
    Montale refused to send us fragrances.
    Tragic failure !
    They have been very generous with some of us lately!
    '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.

  55. #55

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    And what's wrong with Karajan????
    May I offer? Form over content - not really the worst fault a musician can have. But almost tragic:
    four different issues of the same 9 Beethoven symphonies in a conductor's life without audible differences of concept.
    Last edited by narcus; 14th April 2008 at 05:00 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.

  56. #56

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    May I offer? Form over content - not really the worst fault a musician can have. But almost tragic:
    four different issues of the same 9 Beethoven symphonies in a conductor's life without audible differences of concept.
    Doesn't consistency count for anything? He's the original Kraftwerk!

  57. #57

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Doesn't consistency count for anything? He's the original Kraftwerk!
    Yes, consistency counts, but you would think that different phases of life open new perspectives, even for great, independent minds.
    '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.

  58. #58

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    [QUOTE=DustB;1203143]There's already a long thread about the preview of this book's release. I think it's in its 8th page as I write this, and members are energetically posting their initial thoughts since the book is now available.

    "DustB"- My thread was not about the "preview" the book's release. I started the thread on Friday April 11th after I got the book from Amazon on Thursday as a regular (non-insider) customer. It is a shame to divert people from my thread especially as both LT and TS posted on it over the weekend and today, and I think Basenotes members might have been interested to see what they wrote. I don't know how having multiple threads on the same topic helps anything.
    Last edited by Jemimagold; 14th April 2008 at 08:02 PM.

  59. #59

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    [QUOTE=Jemimagold;1203583]
    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    There's already a long thread about the preview of this book's release. I think it's in its 8th page as I write this, and members are energetically posting their initial thoughts since the book is now available.

    "DustB"- My thread was not about the "preview" the book's release. I started the thread on Friday April 11th after I got the book from Amazon on Thursday as a regular (non-insider) customer. It is a shame to divert people from my thread especially as both LT and TS posted on it over the weekend and today, and I think Basenotes members might have been interested to see what they wrote. I don't know how having multiple threads on the same topic helps anything.
    You can always merge the two.

  60. #60

    Default Re: Perfume the Guide: your thoughts and review

    [QUOTE=Jemimagold;1203583]
    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    There's already a long thread about the preview of this book's release. I think it's in its 8th page as I write this, and members are energetically posting their initial thoughts since the book is now available.

    "DustB"- My thread was not about the "preview" the book's release. I started the thread on Friday April 11th after I got the book from Amazon on Thursday as a regular (non-insider) customer. It is a shame to divert people from my thread especially as both LT and TS posted on it over the weekend and today, and I think Basenotes members might have been interested to see what they wrote. I don't know how having multiple threads on the same topic helps anything.
    I'm sorry Jemimagold,
    The preview thread I was refering to was on the Male Fragrance Discussion board, and, while I had seen your thread here, it somehow didn't register in my mind when I thought that the preview thread might need some relief. That was on the MFD, of course, and when the two threads were together moved over here, you're right, it certainly conflicts with the fine one you started. Sorry about that, I created this one simply thinking it would be on the MFD and as a "chapter two" for the preview thread.

    Now that they're all here on this board I'll follow Ruggles's advice and merge this one into yours.

    Thanks, and I'm sorry for my misunderstanding.
    --Chris
    Last edited by DustB; 14th April 2008 at 10:55 PM.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

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