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  1. #1

    Default Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    A glimpse into the current state of affairs from perfumer Salaam Attar, who spoke with him:
    http://www.profumo.it/blog/index.php...-to-the-guide/
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Isn't that sad! The truth is that most perfumistas will eventually realise that most of what is produced is underwhelming.

    I rarely go out of my way to test new releases these days. It would kill me to have to sniff through every new Hugo or Kalvin release
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    A sad state of affairs that this wonderful industry is in. They are not creating Masterpieces, just creating money.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    He can do as he likes in this context, whatever the reason, but I don't see why a perfume company needs to create "masterpieces" while a shampoo company does not. Is this an unwritten law of capitalism? Really, what in the world is he talking about? Does a film reviewer quit because most films are garbage or mediocre? I totally understand that he does not want to sample and then write up reviews for frags he dislikes, but what I object to is the notion that frag companies should do what he says. Let them do what they want and I'll consider buying the ones I think are worth it, if any (or perhaps I'll make my own). No need to make it into some sort of epic struggle between good and evil (this isn't something like basic health care). The force is strong in Luca Turin! LOL.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 17th September 2009 at 02:34 AM.

  5. #5
    Brielle87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    It is true, how he feels. When we chatted about fragrance, the only thing that was newer and really worth speaking of was 31 rue Cambon, besides that we were waxing poetic over Vivre by Molyneux and vintage No 5 extrait. Pretty sad state of affairs for parfumeurs n'est ce pas?
    I had seen the trend in parfumery cheapening over the past 20 years while in the industry. It really is at a new low these days. I would not even want to insult the makers of shampoo and detergents with comparisons to most fragrances coming to market; the shampoos and detergents at least smell pleasant.
    Shame on an industry that has become so comfortable that it will pump out swill and just wait for the dollars to roll in.
    Touché for M Turin for not even allotting these peddlers of swill the time of day to even give them an insulting truth that may cause someone to purchase 'out of curiosity'.

    I do hope it does not arrive at the point where will will not be able to perceive a masterpiece because we have become so jaded by muck, this could be what happens if the 'chefs' of these companies do not wise up.
    Last edited by Brielle87; 17th September 2009 at 02:34 AM.
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  6. #6
    KMF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Considering most of the latest offerings I've tried (designer & niche), I don't blame him...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Blick. Reminds me of Bob Dylan saying all new music is rubbish.. sounds like he's just burnt out. There's plenty of great new stuff out there imo.

    What's odd is the article says of 2000 fragrances he smells a year, 1500 are rubbish. That means 1 in 4 are good? That's nothing to scoff at! Heck, that's a better ratio than I find -- besides, searching out the fragrances you like amidst all the others is part of the pleasure.

    I like Luca Turin, but this is kind of silly.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    90% of anything in a large enough sample is rubbish anyway. Or to quote an episode of Seinfeld, the parallel of this is, "95% of people are un-dateable."

    What's the point of Turin saying 90% of what's produced today is crap anyway? Hello, 90% of all perfumes produced since the beginning of modern commercial perfumery have been crap. It is notable that despite Turin's own likes for the ancient Guerlains and Chanels, he still managed to give quite a few 4/5 stars to many recent creations. And the ones he panned, I even have 3-4 full bottles of them.
    Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
    A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Good point. If I thought 500 of 2000 were great, I'd be quite satisfied.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    I agree with you guys, 95% of pretty much everything is crap. I couldn't even imagine a world where one in every four movies is worth watching. Or one in every four new albums is worth listening to. Still, I can't really blame him... if he's not inspired by any of the new releases, what's the point in bothering to put out a new issue. If all he does is rip on the crap new fragrances, people will just criticize him for being too negative...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Good point. If I thought 500 of 2000 were great, I'd be quite satisfied.
    Actually, he says that 1500 out of 2000 are completely inept, not that 500 out of 2000 are great. Very big difference.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by monsieur_sparkle View Post
    Actually, he says that 1500 out of 2000 are completely inept, not that 500 out of 2000 are great. Very big difference.
    He's just being kind

    Does that mean that it's only crap that sells these days?
    Why do you think we are heading towards such a disaster?
    Obviously we are in the minority here is why new releases don't move us a bit.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Okay, I didn't go back for the exact quotation, so point taken. Thinking it over, though, I'm surprised he isn't excited about finding those "masterpieces" among the dreck. I've got a bunch of "hobbies," and for the most part it's rare for me to come across something exceptional in any of them. In a sense, what happens when you become an "expert" is that you realize how much garbage is out there, but you also really appreciate the few great ones. His attitude seems more about punishing the frag companies, but do they care? They will be happy not to have him around criticizing their lousy frags. Live life to the fullest, Luca. Don't let the "madding crowd" get you down !

  14. #14
    KMF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by monsieur_sparkle View Post
    Actually, he says that 1500 out of 2000 are completely inept, not that 500 out of 2000 are great. Very big difference.
    Exactly...

    I didn't read that as 1 in 4 are good... I think it's the actual act of sampling 1500 horrendous fragrances over the course of a year... At least we get to choose the stuff we sample, he literally has to sample everything he gets his hands on for better or worse...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    I know others have said it before, but I'll reiterate it - before you rail away at the industry, think first of when you first became interested in perfume. Chances are that what you consider to be a quality perfume is one that measures up, in your mind, to what you smelled way back when you first developed an interest in perfume. Most of us automatically compare today's new offerings to what we remember smelling from an earlier time, and if it doesn't smell like we first remember it smelling like, we automatically say it's inferior. I don't think that's fair or an accurate description of the current state of affairs at all. For example, I may remember Monsieur de Givenchy 14 years ago smelling a certain way. Just because now it doesn't smell exactly the way I remember it, does that mean it's crap?! Of course not. Another criticism you hear today is that everything smells the same - too many acquatics, too many sports frags, too many "fruity florals", etc.. So what? Does that mean there's not a lot of great stuff still being released in spite of that? Of course not.

    If you go back in any point in time during the past 50 years, I'm sure people were complaining about the state of the perfume industry the same way people are now: 1970s - too many aromatic fougeres, 1980s - too many powerhouses, 1990s - too many "quiet" fragrances, etc., etc., etc.

    All I'm saying is that one should always step back first and put things in perspective. Not every new release can be a classic.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Honestly though, who could even do that? 2000 fragrances a year? That's something like 6 new perfumes per day -- how can you give 6 perfumes a real chance, every day, for a year (or multiple years)? Some fragrances take time and several applications.. I can't imagine coming to 6 conclusive opinions per day for an entire year on such a wide spectrum of scents.

    Sometimes, having fewer options makes you really appreciate and love what you have. If I had to run through 2000 fragrances per year I'd become jaded too.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Perhaps he should use my sampling technique (whenever I fear that a frag is lousy). Just spray once on the ankle, and every once in a while cross your legs and use your hand to wave a waft up to your nose. Doing this means you can do two on your legs each day (or two in the morning and two later in the day), while still appreciating the frag you'd like to wear. Also, regarding flouris' point, if you read his guide book, it's clear he spent little time on certain frags. Polo Double Black, for instance, was not described in terms of its actual smell, but instead he apparently smelled it on youth in his neighborhood and for some reason he did not explain decided that it was not a good frag.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 17th September 2009 at 03:40 AM.

  18. #18
    KMF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post

    If you go back in any point in time during the past 50 years, I'm sure people were complaining about the state of the perfume industry the same way people are now: 1970s - too many aromatic fougeres, 1980s - too many powerhouses, 1990s - too many "quiet" fragrances, etc., etc., etc.

    All I'm saying is that one should always step back first and put things in perspective. Not every new release can be a classic.
    The difference is that 50 years ago there weren't anywhere near the same amount of releases as there are today.... Finding that jewel 50 years ago was a lot easier because there was less to sniff... While there are good things being released today, they can easily get lost in the shuffle just due to the ridiculous number of releases that come out each year...

  19. #19
    KMF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by flouris View Post

    Sometimes, having fewer options makes you really appreciate and love what you have. If I had to run through 2000 fragrances per year I'd become jaded too.
    Bingo...

    I'd run for the hills....

  20. #20

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Well, the man has a lot of things to do - isn't the perfume guide essentially an adjunct to what's primarily a scientific career? Given that, and given the amount of time that it would take to obtain and properly sample two thousand perfumes a year, most of which are lousy, some of which are adequate, and a miniscule percentage of which may be great, I'm not surprised that he has better things to do.

    I hope that he does continue to publish on perfume one way or another, because surely no one that perfume-obsessed can completely stop sniffing? But I can certainly see why he'd abandon any effort to cover the entire market.

    Crayfish

  21. #21

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    One can substitute almost any artistic endeavor with "perfume" and it would still hold true. I feel the same exact same way about movies, music, books... I've long stopped blaming the makers-they're out to make a buck. It's the people who buy into it, excepting pure mediocrity, or less, that I'm passionately pissed at now-a-days. Sorry, but when somebody on a web-board tells me how much better Rob Zombie's Halloween is than the original, my faith in society drops significantly. Same thing with politics. I told my boss before the last election that I wasn't worried about what McCain had to say, or Obama... What worried me was the vast majority of voters are the same people who make Transformers 2 one of the highest grossing films of all time.
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  22. #22
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Turin may be controversial, but I found his enthusiasm for perfume to be contagious. Before reading "Perfumes The Guide", I just looked at perfume as something that smelled nice and that you just bought and wore, that's it. That book increased my interest in this subject tenfold. I'll miss his reviews.

    As an aside, it's hard to buy his statement that most of the stuff he smelled was crap. I don't remember a majority of his ratings being one or two stars. Unless he only reviewed a fraction of the total number he sampled.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Thebark View Post
    One can substitute almost any artistic endeavor with "perfume" and it would still hold true. I feel the same exact same way about movies, music, books... I've long stopped blaming the makers-they're out to make a buck. It's the people who buy into it, excepting pure mediocrity, or less, that I'm passionately pissed at now-a-days. Sorry, but when somebody on a web-board tells me how much better Rob Zombie's Halloween is than the original, my faith in society drops significantly. Same thing with politics. I told my boss before the last election that I wasn't worried about what McCain had to say, or Obama... What worried me was the vast majority of voters are the same people who make Transformers 2 one of the highest grossing films of all time.
    I agree 100% with every word in your post.

  24. #24
    shamu1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Thebark View Post
    I've long stopped blaming the makers-they're out to make a buck. It's the people who buy into it,
    Now THIS is the core of the problem. You hit it right on the head. What angers me are the major fashion magazines like GQ, Cosmopolitan, etc., which are nothing but shills for the firms that pay advertising dollars, just blindly printing rave reviews about whatever new fragrance crosses their desks. That's why I'm going to miss Luca Turin's reviews, which are honest (most of the time).

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Thebark View Post
    It's the people who buy into it, excepting pure mediocrity, or less, that I'm passionately pissed at now-a-days.

    You have spoken words from above. This is the core of it all.

    I have been saying it for years and people have tut tutted me; this country is not only accepting, but fervently embracing "mediocrity". This is the market every capitalist is trying to win over, why would they ever create anything above mediocre, they would be 'casting pearls before swine'.

    Bravo to you Thebark
    Last edited by Brielle87; 17th September 2009 at 04:07 AM.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    .......fervently embracing "mediocrity". This is the market every capitalist is trying to win over, why would they ever create anything above mediocre, they would be 'casting pearls before swine'.

    Bravo to you Thebark
    I agree 100 % too. Casting pearls before swine is accurate ! There are very few new commercial releases I will bother with . I smell them to keep up to date but I will never buy them . I like to hope this downward spiral with crap perfume releases will eventually lessen ,in the mean time I will keep with the classic ,tried ,tested and timeless .
    Last edited by Mimi Gardenia; 17th September 2009 at 04:19 AM.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Maybe Turin should read the "I've lost interest in cologne" thread. Sure, there's a lot of crap polluting the air these days and there always has been. Me, I no longer get excited about new releases like I used to. Right now, I'm focusing on vintage versions and frags from yesteryear. For the most part, I'm happy with what I already have and am slightly pleased that I'm not buying many frags these days.
    "I exist for myself, and for those to whom my unquenchable thirst for freedom gives everything, but also for everyone, since insofar as I am able to love - I love everyone. Of noble hearts, I am the noblest - and the most generous of those that yearn to give love in return. - I am a human being, I love death and I love life."

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    My classics: Dior Homme EdT, YSL Rive Gauche PH, Helmut Lang Cuiron, L'Occitane Neroli (vintage), Davidoff Zino, L'Occitane Eau des Baux

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    My success rate is a lot less than Turin's and yet, I continually find new and original fragrances to love. Yes, there's a lot of forgettables out there, but I seem to find new fragrances to love every year - far more than I could ever afford to buy.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Also, two thousand a year? That's five fragrances a day, every day, all year. Even if I liked every one I'd get pretty sick of fragrance after a while.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    The number of frag launches has increased to what, a 1000 per year? Ofcourse 80-90% of these are mediocre-to-crap. Which makes 100-200 worth commenting on. Enough to fill a book if your comments stretch more than 2 lines.

    Ofcourse in the 'good ol days', probably around 80-90% of the fragrances launched were worth fawning upon. But the total number of fragrances launched was also dramatically less...I am guessing what, 300-400? Which makes 100-200 worth commenting on. Enough to fill a book if your comments stretch more than 2 lines.

    See...nothing has changed much. You just need to wade through a lot more crap to find (almost) the same quantity of jewels. This ofcourse ignoring the broken hearts and heart attacks over the reformulations of beloved classics, which often plays into 'tHe FrAGRanZe InDUstrYz iZ nOWs CrAPzz!" sentiments bandied about so much..
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