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  1. #1

    Question Emperor of Scent

    As a newby trying to educate myself, I got the subject book. There were some interesting bits in it, but I hardly understood any of it because I did no science at all. One particular aspect that interested me was the use of a particular molecule (big word for me) that smelled of "Ca sent la femme qui se neglige" or "it smells like a woman who neglects herself".

    How Napoleon didn't want Josephine to wash, how my hubby 'likes' me better when I've just been to the gym (I don't shower before I come home). Is this what some of the older perfumes had?

    In trying to wean myself off Guerlain, I purchased some samples. Two have lost their labels so I tried both today and tried to guess which they were. Caron's Cancan and Mono di Oro's Carnation, one of each wrist. There was what I could describe as animalic in one of them, which was more 'deep' and lasted longer. I thought this would be cancan because dancers would sweat etc etc but looking at the reviews online, I believe I got it totally wrong.

    I can still smell a little of both but my nose is in a knot now.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    I read The Emperor of Scent last year and enjoyed it. I hate science too, but I found the book incredibly enlightening. I think Burr, the author, was basically trying to comment on the popular culture trends that tend to be geared towards 'clean' and 'fresh' scents - and he was comparing these modern scents to older scents that were not this way at all. So, yes, some older fragrances are 'dirty' smelling. But that's a sweeping generalization - there are many fresh, uplifting, bright fragrances from years ago also. I love both.

    You do have a lot of Guerlain fragrances in your wardrobe - wow! I am not familiar with Carnation or Cancan - but maybe somebody who does will respond to this thread.

    One word of advice: Just because a fragrance is from Guerlain, does not mean it will smell like all other fragrances from the line. I think Guerlain makes many different types of fragrances. Conversely, looking at other fragrances outside of the Guerlain line, I think you will find a few fragrances that have a very Guerlain 'feel' (for better or worse).
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 15th July 2009 at 09:24 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Maybe the book was a bit too advanced for me. Probably Luca Turin's own book would make more sense.

    I'm in Paris at the end of this month and feel that I should explore the Caron shop as well as Guerlain. My wish is to buy a perfume that isn't widely available and sort of 'mine'. it will be magic to buy from the urns and I think they may be less expensive than Guerlain which is getting outrageous.

  4. #4
    andylama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    No! Burr's book, while containing a lot of science talk, is mainly a work of journalism, whereas Turin's own book is much more scientific and dispassionate in tone.

    Turin's book is interesting, but if you didn't take any science in school, I can guarantee it's going to be a tough read.

    If you're interested in a light, fun read on the topic of smell, with some perfume talk (but more generally about the sense of smell), I can recommend this book.

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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by andylama View Post
    No! Burr's book, while containing a lot of science talk, is mainly a work of journalism, whereas Turin's own book is much more scientific and dispassionate in tone.

    Turin's book is interesting, but if you didn't take any science in school, I can guarantee it's going to be a tough read.

    If you're interested in a light, fun read on the topic of smell, with some perfume talk (but more generally about the sense of smell), I can recommend this book.
    I agree.

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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by andylama View Post
    No! Burr's book, while containing a lot of science talk, is mainly a work of journalism, whereas Turin's own book is much more scientific and dispassionate in tone.

    Turin's book is interesting, but if you didn't take any science in school, I can guarantee it's going to be a tough read.

    If you're interested in a light, fun read on the topic of smell, with some perfume talk (but more generally about the sense of smell), I can recommend this book.
    Third that - nice writing style. I learnt a lot from Burr's 'A Perfect Scent' - JCE's asides in conversation with the author and Burr's own various insights into the industry from other perfumers and so brought it all to life for me. I read 'Emperor of Scent' and Turin's book - I can grasp the vibrational idea, in theory, but both are pretty technical.
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 16th July 2009 at 04:45 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Most of this book by Dr. Turin was over my head, but I do highly recommend the book by Chandler Burr. As well, if you can find it, National Geographic has a book called Perfume : The Art and Science of Smell. Very interesting.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    I agree: I'm reading "The Secret of Scent" right now, and yikes is it technical! Much more so than "The Emperor of Scent". I was hoping he would talk more about perfumes instead of molecules; "scent" as in perfume, not "scent" the sense! Well, he is a scientist and all.

    However, I found Burr's "The Perfect Scent" is very readable and gives some interesting insights into the fragrance and aromachemicals industries. And of course "Perfumes: the Guide" is a fun read, which you probably already have!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    The easiest way to educate yourself is to get a copy of the H&R Chart for female perfumes, and check 5 or 6 perfumes every time you go near a shop (one spray top of hand, top of wrist, and under wrist for each hand) come home and compare them to your chart.

    You can get the feminine chart here,
    http://rapidshare.com/files/25708461...ie_feminin.pdf
    and the masculine one here,
    http://rapidshare.com/files/25708448..._Genealogy.pdf

    That way you get a feel for what you're smelling, and you get an idea from the charts whether they're classic (by the size of the writing).

    The problem with educating yourself with Burr and Turin is that, quite frankly, some of their reviews are nonsense as far as I and many others here are concerned. They nearly fall over themselves praising some scents which few like, and love rubbishing the more popular scents that are much purchased by the supposedly uninformed public.
    Regards,
    Renato
    Last edited by Renato; 18th July 2009 at 05:44 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Thanks for the links Renato!! I look forward to checking out some of the reading material too. Good info for a newbie like me. Y'all are so helpful.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    The H&R charts are great-- are there any like that for niche perfumes?

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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    Thanks for the links Renato!! I look forward to checking out some of the reading material too. Good info for a newbie like me. Y'all are so helpful.
    Glad you found them of use. I don't make much use of the women's one, but have always found the male one very handy. Particularly its Ambery Fougere category. I found I was particularly addicted to a lot of scents that had a certain similarity, but which others were calling fresh oriental, oriental fougere or something else. But when I got the H&R chart, they were all to be found in the Ambery Fougere Column.

    Hopefully you may form similar insights for the feminine ones.
    Renato

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by 30 Roses View Post
    The H&R charts are great-- are there any like that for niche perfumes?
    Not that I know of. But do you really need one?

    I think 80% of niche scents fall into the category of - Add roughly half the mid and basenotes notes typically used in females scents to the other half which are mid and base notes typically used in male scents, and call the result "unisex".

    If my supposition is accurate, I guess it would require a melding of the male and female charts.
    Renato

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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    The web site is "too busy" to download the files to a non-premium customer. And I'm not going to pay money for charts I haven't seen. Renato or 30Roses, can you PM them to me?

    Thanks.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by ECaruthers View Post
    The web site is "too busy" to download the files to a non-premium customer. And I'm not going to pay money for charts I haven't seen. Renato or 30Roses, can you PM them to me?

    Thanks.
    That's unusual - they must be having trouble with one of their servers for that message to appear.
    I've had a look and can't see how to PM the PDF files to you.
    Either PM me your email address, or wait a bit longer and Rapidshare should work for free for you.
    Renato
    Last edited by Renato; 22nd July 2009 at 05:48 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Check your local library. There are some older books that are more basic and yet fairly comprehensive.

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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    I got them. Thanks. They are pretty interesting.

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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    Quote Originally Posted by ECaruthers View Post
    I got them. Thanks. They are pretty interesting.
    Good to hear.
    While I like the charts, I dislike reading the PDF files. So I printed them out on A3 paper, which made them easier to digest mentally.
    Renato

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    Default Re: Emperor of Scent

    I agree with the importance of big print out. I did the same. Unfortunately the index of perfume names ruinning down the sides of the charts is still too small.

    Who is H&R, anyway? And are the charts for sale anywhere in a true poster format, say 20"x30"?

    On a related note, Mandy Aftel offers a perfume wheel for $10 at aftelier.com. I don't see what size it is. Does anyone have experience with this?

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