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  1. #1

    Default Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I'd like to hear about the mistakes BNers have found in this book. One is Montana for men (blue box) being confused with the red box version, when a look at the BN directory would have fixed that quickly.

    Another is Azzaro Silver Black vs. Onyx, which are described very differently, but are just about identical (Turin comes to the opposite conclusion of the BN consensus on the slight difference).

    The most glaring problem for me is calling it definitive when so many important frags are not included. Turin himself notes the important of Pino Silvestre but then does not review it ! Fine, but then don't call this book "definitive."

    There seem to be some "e for effort" reviews, but then that just makes the rating system misleading.

    Valentino pour Homme is called "not bad," and the review makes it sound nice, yet it's given two stars, which is supposed to mean "disappointing." Can't you follow your own guidelines, authors?

    Lastly (for now) is that there are no symbols that could be very useful, referencing things like whether it is male, female, or unisex, the sillage, the longevity, etc.

  2. #2
    dpak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    ...police have yet to find any trace of Bigsly's body.

    Can't wait to read the flames on this post!

    I will contribute something of substance, though (which has been mentioned before): An index of any kind - and especially by houses - would have been nice. And only one Burberry scent? Given their popularity, I was surprised more were not included.

    BTW, I'm enjoying the book.
    Last edited by dpak; 1st May 2008 at 12:57 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Yes, there are errors in the text: Jacques Guerlain is mentioned as Jean-Paul's father when he was actually his grandfather, "Inhale" and "Exhale" are attibuted to Parfums d'Empire while they are both manufactured by a subsidiary of Lush. This is nitpicking, however. Sanchez and Turin have created the definitive text of the current state of perfumery, both the negative and positive. I am sure that fragrance-fanatics will be talking about this for a long, long time. If nothing more, I hope that the book shakes up the owners of Coty, Caron and Guerlain. Sure, I have lots of arguements with some of their judgements but It's great to see someone put into print what a lot of us have been thinking for quite some time.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I just want to know the mistakes so I can learn more - I acknowledge that it's better having the book than not having it. If you didn't know some of what's been posted so far, aren't you glad I started the post? I've found that the reviews on BN are very helpful, especially when there is disagreement !

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I think it's an amazing book. I can only imagine the work that went into it. 1200 reviews! That's a lot of ground to cover in one book. So, there were three immediately identifiable minor errors, but I think given the scope and ambition of the project, that these are imminently forgivable.

    Bigsly, are you absolutely sure you're not letting slights to one of your favorite houses or fragrances color your perception of the entire book? You're not that guy from "HOUSEOFCREED" who called when they were on WBUR, are you?

    I'll say to you the same thing I said to the rock critic who gave my last CD one star out of five in a local music rag, "I can't wait to write the review for the next project YOU pour your heart's blood into." Before you go and declare Turin and Sanchez frauds and hucksters, you might want to share your Guide to Perfumes with the rest of the class.

    As far as whether it's "definitive" or not, two things:

    One: Authors rarely have any say whatsoever in the design, marketing, and jacket copy of their books. I would say that the D-Word is probably a contribution from the publisher, who saw in advance the problems inherent in calling your blockbuster new release, "A PRETTY GOOD GUIDE TO THE WORLD OF PERFUME" or "AS MUCH ABOUT PERFUME AS WE COULD WRING FROM THESE TWO WRITERS BEFORE THEY COLLAPSED".

    Two: "Definitive" or not, they get points for being first.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Well ... only issue I have is that the name of the scent is the method of listing. I would love it cross indexed 5-6 ways!

    Other than that, great addition to our obsession and I look forward to Edition #2!!!
    ===
    “… [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

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I haven't read the entire book yet, but read some of it. The only complaint I have as of now is that he talks highly of the house of Guerlain with a lot of 5 star ratings. Which is fine and now I want to try a bunch of them, but what concentration is he talking about? I know most of them come in EDT, EDP and parfum, so I don't know which one he's talking about (I heard they greatly vary in smell depending on concentration) or what's the best to try.
    Last edited by nsamadi; 1st May 2008 at 01:38 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Oy...don't read the book if the inconsistencies bother you so much. There's been SO MUCH bitching about this book...its as if Turin re-write the Bible or something. Its just a book...and believe it or not, the authors are people, and people make mistakes. Get over it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by sofresh View Post
    Oy...don't read the book if the inconsistencies bother you so much. There's been SO MUCH bitching about this book...its as if Turin re-write the Bible or something. Its just a book...and believe it or not, the authors are people, and people make mistakes. Get over it.
    Well said!
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  10. #10
    dpak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Of course, one could write "Don't read this thread if you don't like the bitching about the book." I would never write that, but someone could . And I don't necessarily see it as bitching, either.

    As for the book being definitive, it certainly isn't. However, a "definitive" book would need to be a thousand pages and would have cost $50. It would be interesting to hear about the debates they had over what to include and why they left certain frags out. I imagine space constraints played a large role.

    Any book like this will have it's flaws and mistakes. I don't think it's necessarily mean-spirited to point them out. Any flaws or mistakes are pretty minor, though, and certainly don't detract from my enjoyment of the book. In fact, I'm hoping sales are good enough for them to write a supplement that includes even more frags! As a relative newbie, it's a great resource and a great starting point.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    As the old saying goes, "it's when they stop talking about you, that you have to worry."

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    "Oy...don't read the book if the inconsistencies bother you so much."

    You don't really have the right to tell me how to enjoy a book that I purchase, do you? As I said, I've found several inaccuracies and mistakes - there is no doubting that, and I'd like to know about others. Why? So that I can appreciate the book more, not less. If you don't understand that point, that's fine with me. I just hope others who find problems will post about them here, so that I can learn more, rather than going around with some inaccurate notion because it found its way into the book somehow.

    Another suggestion I have for any such future books: a pyramid with accords or notes that are color coded, so that if patchouli is prominent, for example, someone who hates it would know to avoid that frag. Patchouli in red might mean it is very strong, whereas if it was in blue that would mean it was weak. As the book stands now, I would never use it to make any decisions other than to get a free sample at the local Sephora or similar store, whereas I've used the BN directory to make decisions and I'm very happy with them as a whole.
    --------------------------------------
    Also, I was not bothered, but I don't want to read inaccurate information. If they want to leave a huge number of important frags out of the book, yet call it "definitive," there is no way a reasonable person won't notice that, but I'm especially concerned about the obvious major problems, and I want to know about them, rather than pretend that they do not exist for some reason.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 1st May 2008 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  13. #13

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I guess it would be too exhausting to review all concentrations of every perfume. In my view, the different concentrations of the Guerlain fragrances are just slightly different interpretations of the same theme, which shouldn't affect the overall review - at least not in the way that Turin and Sanchez make reviews.

    My "complaint" would exactly be that the reviews are not very detailed. They are "overall" reviews, poetic and impressionistic, which is understandable if there are 1200 of them! Sometimes, though, the authors seem so headlong in love with a Guerlain perfume (as if I should talk!) that they really don't give a review of it, but just a praise - see for instance the articles about Habit Rouge and Vol de Nuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by nsamadi View Post
    I haven't read the entire book yet, but read some of it. The only complaint I have as of now is that he talks highly of the house of Guerlain with a lot of 5 star ratings. Which is fine and now I want to try a bunch of them, but what concentration is he talking about? I know most of them come in EDT, EDP and parfum, so I don't know which one he's talking about (I heard they greatly vary in smell depending on concentration) or what's the best to try.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    As the book stands, it offers very little empirical information.
    Sorry gang, but I have to say this: I think Mr. Turin's reviews, which often speak with a more objective, scientific voice often over shadow Ms. Sanchez's more emotional, ego based revelations. But, perhaps, in the end, they balance each other out and it makes for a more balanced and commercial book. However, I prefer his reviews, hands down.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 1st May 2008 at 06:29 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    There's always going to be bitching about a book like this. I used to be a music critic and I got letters slagging me off from readers all the time. It didn't bother me one iota.

    Just look at the variety of opinions in the Fragrance Directory, with some people there trashing scents I personally love.

    Fragrances are ultimately subjective and organic things which change on different skins. It think they're brave for venturing to take on such a massive project in the first place!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Mr. Guerlain is spot on, and it's something I mentioned about Turin's reviews (before the book was available) in a thread a while back here on BN. For a scientist, he has an awfully "artistic" or "poetic" approach. He could've kept the molecular discussion for the end of the review, if he wanted to include it at all. But many of these reviews require that the reader know about as much as Turin, and so would be able to read between the lines. I can't offer any defense for his very short reviews, which I would have excluded from the book, because again they make a mockery of the notion of a "definitive" guide.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I just love Basenotes...it does provide entertainment..I love the members interaction...

    Best,

    Otto
    Last edited by Otto; 1st May 2008 at 06:23 PM.
    Giving Life My All And Improving Every Day

  18. #18
    smeller
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    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I believe any honest author would be thankful to this kind of constructive criticism. So, they can correct them and make the book even better next edition. Of course they're human, so they need feedback to improve, not just praises. That's simple.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by smeller View Post
    I believe any honest author would be thankful to this kind of constructive criticism. So, they can correct them and make the book even better next edition. Of course they're human, so they need feedback to improve, not just praises. That's simple.
    Absolutely. Constructive criticism will improve a second edition. It's not about nitpicking or trashing the authors. Some fans seem to be more sensitive than the authors. I will contribute an extensive review after studying the book in detail, but I can already second the observation that the index is extremely user-unfriendly and needs some loving attention (as it is it looks like it was thrown together 5 minutes before the deadline). Not referencing the concentration is also a minor but irritating issue (the Habit Rouges, the Jickys, the Jaipurs etc. are very different animals IMO)

    As a guide I feel this is the Yang to the Yin of the fabulous H&R guides of the 1980s and early 90s (no, Turin&Sanchez are not the first). The H&R guides classed the fragrances according to modernized oriental-chypre-fougere-citrus-lavender scheme, provided a color photo for each fragrance and a highly detailed pyramid giving the general characteristic of top middle and bottom and then listing primary and secondary notes of each. They gave a far-ranging introduction to the history and technology of perfume making and contained a good little dictionary of key natural and synthetic ingredients. All this provided the "hardware" I find lacking in Turin/Sanchez, which is, but for the introductory part, not so much a guide as collection of brilliant mini-essays and aphorisms. The combination of these two types of perspective on perfume makes for a sum greater than its parts. Don't get me wrong - I love the book and the reviews are a pleasure to read. I just think it takes considerable knowledge of perfume to put them into perspective. And while they may inspire neopyhtes to explore the world of perfume, which is wonderful, I don't feel they will generally be much use as actual shopping guides. They provide little of the kind of information that would help you form an independent opinion of what awaits you. Thus, I think the book would have profited most from a different title (e.g. Which perfume to get laid? ).
    Last edited by the_good_life; 1st May 2008 at 07:01 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I wonder also how the book would have been different if it were written for the basenotes crowd instead of the general public, which it seems to be. It would be nice to have some more detailed and technical reviews, but overall I think they did an admirable job balancing the tone, so that there is some detail and chemistry while still being approachable enough for novices.

    Maybe we could commission them to write a basenotes version. Perhaps twenty or thirty thousand would be enough to tempt them? I'll gladly pitch in a few bucks.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Lastly (for now) is that there are no symbols that could be very useful, referencing things like whether it is male, female, or unisex, the sillage, the longevity, etc.
    In read the preface/intro, LT and TS say there's no such thing as masculine or feminine fragrances.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    I will contribute an extensive review after studying the book in detail, but I can already second the observation that the index is extremely user-unfriendly and needs some loving attention (as it is it looks like it was thrown together 5 minutes before the deadline).

    They provide little of the kind of information that would help you form an independent opinion of what awaits you.
    The index is an interesting problem. With Dr. Turin being a scientist, I would expect the drafting of The Guide to be a fairly high-tech affair. I would probably create a database, with each fragrance being a record. Sorting, indexing, and creating interesting statistics would be a snap. Or did they write The Guide on the walls of their house, like Faulkner?

    As an aside, why would I want to form an independent opinion of a fragrance before I smell it? I find it much easier to form my independent opinion of a fragrance after I smell it.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post

    As an aside, why would I want to form an independent opinion of a fragrance before I smell it? I find it much easier to form my independent opinion of a fragrance after I smell it.
    What I meant is this: the point of any guide is to help you make a preselection of things to try/do/look at etc. from amongst too many possible options. To do this reliably there have to be certain intersubjective standards by which I can judge whether object x is potentially of interest - a reasonably reliable fragrance pyramid can be quite useful (the two word summaries are helpful, but the H&R system is just so much more useful, at least to me). Or I have to be very well informed on the subject already as well as being acquainted with the critics' set of criteria for evaluation, personal biases etc. Obviously, in the end the proof lies in the smelling and all words are sound and fury signifying, perhaps not nothing, but something else .

    In other news, after the publication of the Perfumes. The Guide, independent nose Mona di Orio has closed her perfume house and "gotten herself to a nunnery."
    --------------------------------------
    As to actual editorial oversights: In Tania's review of Visa she confuses SL Chene with Daim Blond (apricot-suede).
    Last edited by the_good_life; 4th May 2008 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    What I meant is this: the point of any guide is to help you make a preselection of things to try/do/look at etc. from amongst too many possible options. To do this reliably there have to be certain intersubjective standards by which I can judge whether object x is potentially of interest - a reasonably reliable fragrance pyramid can be quite useful (the two word summaries are helpful, but the H&R system is just so much more useful, at least to me). Or I have to be very well informed on the subject already as well as being acquainted with the critics' set of criteria for evaluation, personal biases etc. Obviously, in the end the proof lies in the smelling and all words are sound and fury signifying, perhaps not nothing, but something else .

    In other news, after the publication of the Perfumes. The Guide, independent nose Mona di Orio has closed her perfume house and "gotten herself to a nunnery."
    --------------------------------------
    As to actual editorial oversights: In Tania's review of Visa she confuses SL Chene with Daim Blond (apricot-suede).
    I have been thinking about the issue of the purpose of this book. As I stated before in another thread, if it is intended to help with buying/wearing decisions I think it fares quite poorly. If its purpose is rather to establish perfume as a subject worthy of serious writing and an "artform" (a concept with which I have considerable difficulty) then I would rate it as succesful. As a funny read with some intelligent writing, also quite succesful.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    In short - an entertaining, great read for 15 bucks, and the authors should be applauded.

    In detail - I'd prefer a more structured approach to reviews, akin to most wine writers, where the individual notes are identified, then other attributes - balance, integration, longevity, sillage, temporal development -are discussed. All of this could be integrated with the more prosaic and the more scientific stuff to make a more complete review.

    The main reason I say this is that I'd like to sit down with a gragrance and study it while reading the book, paying attention to the notes I can pick up, what they pick up, so that I can use it as a "learning from the experts" experience. For reviews like Beyond Paradise, Habit Rouge and others, this is not possible.

    Lucky I have Basenotes!

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    Summer Rotation: GIT, Aventus, Erolfa, Vetiver 1948, Guerlain Vetiver, Malle VE, Terre d'Hermes, Bvlgari PH, Bvlgari Acqua, Habit Rouge EDC and Sport, ADP Colonia Assoluta, Chanel PMC, Dunhill Edition, Eau Sauvage, TF Azure Lime

  26. #26

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by sofresh View Post
    Oy...don't read the book if the inconsistencies bother you so much. There's been SO MUCH bitching about this book...its as if Turin re-write the Bible or something. Its just a book...and believe it or not, the authors are people, and people make mistakes. Get over it.
    Very well said, you don't have to continue reading the book if it is so terrible...

  27. #27

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I've learned more about fragrance and gotten better ideas for fragrance from a day reading this book than from the last 6 months reading basenotes. It's hard to find fault with a resource that is so informative.

    BUT, all praise aside . . . my major objection is that the authors do not offer more tecnhnical reasons for their negative opnions. What are the specific flaws and reasons for their 1 and 2 star opinions? To dismiss really great fragrances, that many people enjoy and that even they have previously reviewed positively, with caustic, cute and witty one liners is entertaining, but not quite fair to those who care.
    Last edited by Buzzlepuff; 5th May 2008 at 03:21 PM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    If you want to buy a perfume book with lots of errors in it, buy The Scent Trail by Celia Lyttelton. It's full of crazy mistakes which shouldn't have got through to the final publication.
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  29. #29

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Sorry, but hearing about the low rating for Guerlains SdV, while praising Estee Lauders Beyond Paradise for men (which smells horribly synthetic and boring to me) and the mentioning of Pierre Bourdon as the creator of Green Irish Tweed , doesn't sound like I can take this "guide" seriously, as something I need to buy. Maybe as a fun read , ok. Just my opinion.
    Last edited by eric; 5th May 2008 at 07:30 PM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Absolutely. Constructive criticism will improve a second edition. It's not about nitpicking or trashing the authors. Some fans seem to be more sensitive than the authors. I will contribute an extensive review after studying the book in detail, but I can already second the observation that the index is extremely user-unfriendly and needs some loving attention (as it is it looks like it was thrown together 5 minutes before the deadline). Not referencing the concentration is also a minor but irritating issue (the Habit Rouges, the Jickys, the Jaipurs etc. are very different animals IMO)

    As a guide I feel this is the Yang to the Yin of the fabulous H&R guides of the 1980s and early 90s (no, Turin&Sanchez are not the first). The H&R guides classed the fragrances according to modernized oriental-chypre-fougere-citrus-lavender scheme, provided a color photo for each fragrance and a highly detailed pyramid giving the general characteristic of top middle and bottom and then listing primary and secondary notes of each. They gave a far-ranging introduction to the history and technology of perfume making and contained a good little dictionary of key natural and synthetic ingredients. All this provided the "hardware" I find lacking in Turin/Sanchez, which is, but for the introductory part, not so much a guide as collection of brilliant mini-essays and aphorisms. The combination of these two types of perspective on perfume makes for a sum greater than its parts. Don't get me wrong - I love the book and the reviews are a pleasure to read. I just think it takes considerable knowledge of perfume to put them into perspective. And while they may inspire neopyhtes to explore the world of perfume, which is wonderful, I don't feel they will generally be much use as actual shopping guides. They provide little of the kind of information that would help you form an independent opinion of what awaits you. Thus, I think the book would have profited most from a different title (e.g. Which perfume to get laid? ).
    1. for my own information: Are you talking of H&R Duftatlas /H&R Efition/Glöss Verlag Hamburg/ISBN 3-87261-075-9 ? I have the second edition and can only confirm its excellence, particularly their pyramids separately tagged at all levels. It is quite objective, but not at all critical. They made a big mistake not making at least two other language versions of it. The book has therefore been unduly ignored. It could have been the No.1 guide during the past 20 years even though it didn't engage in rating perfumes. The Edwards Annuals have more perfumes and cost a lot when you would expect them being supported by perfume brands. But I doubt if the Edwards system is any better. ME does not differentiate between technical information and industry press releases, and I don't think I want to pay for that.
    H&R books are sometimes referred to as Leffingwell's. Is that correct, or are there English versions of the Atlas, or additional books even? The Fragrance Charts only have been updated until 2001 ( PDF downloads). Hoping for a newer one would be wishful thinking, I suppose.

    2. Did you look at the perfume note tags in 'The Guide' yet? I actually found a few quite fitting. But I have no idea whether they are a sign of a systematic approach to yet another fragrance classification, or if they are just improvised. Maybe I haven't found the key to them yet.

    With all the problems involved in fragrance pyramids (flowers/ fruits/ roots & grasses, and actually just chemistry behind them) I might not even want a guide to include this information in the traditional ways, particularly not if the author is Luca Turin, who did so well without any of that in his French Guide. And again, without detailing notes he is still writing his best English and German reviews in the Scent Notes Column in Zurich's Folio (Duftnote). A lot of the original material has fortunately been used in the new guide. An aesthetic himself, and probably some kind of an elitist, he seems to be best at writing about those perfumes he loves - old an newer ones! His selections have been five star fragrances anyway, and there was no need to spell that out. - But the facts of life sometimes require a book to conform to the market too, and this one has enough elements to make it truly successful in the US.

    3. Taking this Guide as is: will it make a difference for consumers and thus also have an effect on the industry? I think it has the potential to make buyers more critical and aware, and make marketers not just think of buyers as willing subjects of their manipulations. Then it all depends on how this book will sell. If it sells very well in the first year, maybe thereis hope for different language versions of it. After all, there is a perfume market outside America. Whats your guess: assuming that every third perfume freak will wish to own the only critical reference book in existence how many copies can they sell to active bloggers world wide? - Price matters, of course. While some can buy ihe Guide for as low as $ 15, I had to pay double as much (in Swiss Franks) which was ok for me, but perhaps too much for the book to become a bestseller.
    Last edited by narcus; 7th May 2008 at 12:19 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.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by smeller View Post
    I believe any honest author would be thankful to this kind of constructive criticism. So, they can correct them and make the book even better next edition. Of course they're human, so they need feedback to improve, not just praises. That's simple.
    There's things he can add, key omissions of important houses. However, I don't think he needs to "correct" his views. He is entitled to his own opinion, just like everybody else, and can share his opinion, just as we do in the fragrance reviews here. It's a good read until page 49. After that, I don't put any stock into his reviews. It's just one man's opinion. There's really need to get upset about it, who cares about the opinion of one man.
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  32. #32

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    1. for my own information: Are you talking of H&R Duftatlas /H&R Efition/Glöss Verlag Hamburg/ISBN 3-87261-075-9 ? ...
    H&R books are sometimes referred to as Leffingwell's. Is that correct, or are there English versions of the Atlas, or additional books even? The Fragrance Charts only have been updated until 2001 ( PDF downloads). Hoping for a newer one would be wishful thinking, I suppose.

    Yes. I have the last edition made, I believe (1991)

    2. Did you look at the perfume note tags in 'The Guide' yet? I actually found a few quite fitting. But I have no idea whether they are a sign of a systematic approach to yet another fragrance classification, or if they are just improvised. Maybe I haven't found the key to them yet.

    Like the full reviews, some are concise and meaningful, some are just funny dismissals that say more about his/her preferences than about the perfume.

    With all the problems involved in fragrance pyramids (flowers/ fruits/ roots & grasses, and actually just chemistry behind them) I might not even want a guide to include this information in the traditional ways, particularly not if the author is Luca Turin, who did so well without any of that in his French Guide. And again, without detailing notes he is still writing his best English and German reviews in the Scent Notes Column in Zurich's Folio (Duftnote). A lot of the original material has fortunately been used in the new guide. An aesthetic himself, and probably some kind of an elitist, he seems to be best at writing about those perfumes he loves - old an newer ones! His selections have been five star fragrances anyway, and there was no need to spell that out. - But the facts of life sometimes require a book to conform to the market too, and this one has enough elements to make it truly successful in the US.

    I would like both angles, especially where the reviews make only quips, tell nice stories but reveal little about perfume construction and about whether I would like it.

    3. Taking this Guide as is: will it make a difference for consumers and thus also have an effect on the industry? I think it has the potential to make buyers more critical and aware, and make marketers not just think of buyers as willing subjects of their manipulations. Then it all depends on how this book will sell. If it sells very well in the first year, maybe thereis hope for different language versions of it. After all, there is a perfume market outside America. Whats your guess: assuming that every third perfume freak will wish to own the only critical reference book in existence how many copies can they sell to active bloggers world wide? - It's price matters, of course. While some can buy ihe Guide for as low as $ 15, I had to pay double as much (in Swiss Franks) which was ok for me, but perhaps too much for the book to become a bestseller.
    Good question. Maybe Bond no. 9 will sue over their weak reviews . Lauder should be buying up hundreds of copies to distribute for free .
    I hope it will help people to think more independently about perfume, rather than making them blindly follow the opinions of two new scent gurus.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    I just wish his reviews were more helpful - perhaps he could've talked about the "newbie nose" versus his own, for example. If this had been published a year ago, and BN didn't exist, I would have bought some of the frags he gave great reviews to, and they would already have been all sold off on eBay and I'd have no interest in frags at this point.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    I just wish his reviews were more helpful
    Define "helpful." Is it supposed to mean "an exactly one-to-one correlation with my own tastes?"

  35. #35
    smeller
    Guest

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by somethinpositiv View Post
    There's things he can add, key omissions of important houses. However, I don't think he needs to "correct" his views. He is entitled to his own opinion, just like everybody else, and can share his opinion, just as we do in the fragrance reviews here. It's a good read until page 49. After that, I don't put any stock into his reviews. It's just one man's opinion. There's really need to get upset about it, who cares about the opinion of one man.
    I didn't mean that. When I say constructive criticism can help them to improve the book, I refer just to technical data, never subjective impressions.

    So, I don't think he should correct his views, no matter how much I eventually disagree with them.

    Also, if they are not distinguishing EDT, EDP and EDC versions of the same item (think about any Guerlain), this is probably a strong omission they could easily fix, to improve (yes) the book.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by smeller View Post
    I didn't mean that. When I say constructive criticism can help them to improve the book, I refer just to technical data, never subjective impressions.

    So, I don't think he should correct his views, no matter how much I eventually disagree with them.

    Also, if they are not distinguishing EDT, EDP and EDC versions of the same item (think about any Guerlain), this is probably a strong omission they could easily fix, to improve (yes) the book.

    Somehow, I think the answer to the different concentrations question was answered by LT. If I recall correctly, he said it didn't matter because ultimately, each version contained the same materials.
    I wish I could recall where I read that information.
    We know that not to be the case with some companies. For instance, take Guerlain's Habit Rouge in it's EdC, Legere,EdT and EdP concentrations; how different can those be? How about Jicky? The EdT, EdP and Extrait are quite different to me.

    Anyway, I appreciate to book for what it is and I respect Dr. Turin and Ms. Sanchez and applaud their efforts. 100% better to have a book like this even if one disagrees with it's form or content than not to have it available.
    Last edited by evogel; 10th May 2008 at 01:44 AM.

  37. #37

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by evogel View Post
    Somehow, I think the answer to the different concentrations question was answered by LT. If I recall correctly, he said it didn't matter because ultimately, each version contained the same materials.
    I wish I could recall where I read that information.
    We know that not to be the case with some companies. For instance, take Guerlain's Habit Rouge in it's EdC, Legere,EdT and EdP concentrations; how different can those be? How about Jicky? The EdT, EdP and Extrait are quite different to me.
    Anyway, I appreciate to book for what it is and I respect Dr. Turin and Ms. Sanchez and applaud their efforts. 100% better to have a book like this even if one disagrees with it's form or content than not to have it available.
    This was the answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by luca turin View Post
    Most fragrances use precisely the same oil in different dilutions, and giving the dilutions separate reviews would be like giving "prescription strength" Advil a different review. When they are different, we did our best to account for different versions.
    Unfortunately, this answer wasn't precise enough to really be satisfactory. Turin himself came across the problem testing various editions of Chanel No.5 for The Guide. He wrote about it a year ago (see last quote, below). But so far, I have not found instances in the Guide where the authors 'account for different versions'. There is only a general alert in one of the introductory chapters, 'Answers to Frequently Asked Questions':

    'But beware, some houses, such as Hermes and Cartier use slightly different compositions for the parfum...' & 'Worse still, some perfumes, including Chanel's No. 5, are completely different compositions in different dilutions.... ' The Guide, pp.39-40.

    Is that all I can ask from a good guide? I am left alone when it comes to important, objective qualities of a fragrance. Which are the other perfume companies? There aren' many perfume counters in the world where all versions of one perfume are available for testing. Chanel sent those different versions to Turin's address. What if a house only sent their EDT's for testing? Tough for them and too bad for me? The quality of objective testing shouldn't depend on what material or information falls into my lap to perform those tests. Even if only one version of most perfumes has been tested it would be helpful if The Guide told me exactly which version of Chanel 5, Habit Rouge etc. they are talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    If you thought there is only one Chanel No 5.... /Luca Turin in Folio - May 2007
    http://www.nzzfolio.ch/www/21b625ad-...54cff6a1e.aspx
    I, too, still appreciate the book for what it is. I wanted a critical guide, and that's what I have 100% of. I also kind of knew what I could expect, and what not. Some of the surprises I shall be able to live with. I have always appreciated the sincerity of Turin's opinions, and I hope he will never bend. I still work on getting used to Tania Sanchez' reviews of fragrances worn by men. There are a few that don't make it easy for me.
    Last edited by narcus; 18th March 2010 at 05:58 AM.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Ok, I'll start the thread - what's wrong in Perfumes: The Guide.

    For a second addition, I'd advise a technical information area (such as in a box, after the frag's name), then the subjective review, along with the other suggestions I've made on this thread already, obviously.

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