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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/
    Anya McCoy - http://anyasgarden.com/
    Best of the Best awards - Perfume: MoonDance, StarFlower, Amberess, Light, Royal Lotus and as
    Project Leader: Outlaw Perfume and Mystery of Musk
    Basic Perfumery Course with lifetime access to the website - http://perfumeclasses.com
    America's First Natural Perfume Line 1991
    First Artisan Perfumer Voted in as member of the American Society of Perfumery 2013

  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

    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.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  6. #6

    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

    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
    - Pierre Bourdon

  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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.
    The Bark Bites Back.

  22. #22

    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

    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

    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.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  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."

    Egon Schiele - Self-Potrait


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

    http://www.basenotes.net/wardrobe/2976

  28. #28

    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

    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

    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..
    -

  31. #31

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    I guess the real reason Turin is not updating the guide is that he's working on some potentially exciting stuff at MIT on his vibration theory and may have gotten some internal or external funding (NSF, etc) which must be keeping him busy. A chance to win a Nobel prize vs. review some potentially exciting Maison Kurkdjian perfumes? The choice is easy.
    -

  32. #32

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    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..
    Very good post. The thing that baffles me is that some of the people who dismiss the modern fragrance industry at large as containing nothing worthwhile quite often have a large number of modern fragrances in their wardrobes.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    "Which makes 100-200 worth commenting on. Enough to fill a book if your comments stretch more than 2 lines."

    Bingo! What's funny is that you also have to wade through a lot of "stuff" in his book in order to appreciate the fine reviews there. Moreover, it's possible that this endeavor isn't worth the time, money-wise. We don't know the finances of the situation, after all.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    Very good post. The thing that baffles me is that some of the people who dismiss the modern fragrance industry at large as containing nothing worthwhile quite often have a large number of modern fragrances in their wardrobes.
    Yeah. I think hating on modernity is commonplace no matter what the hobby is, movies, music, perfume, etc. It's really easy to romanticize the past either through nostalgia or selective memory while discounting the merits of the present.

    I think it's healthy to occasionally put even your most passionate hobbies on the backburner and let the love re-ignite.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    Very good post. The thing that baffles me is that some of the people who dismiss the modern fragrance industry at large as containing nothing worthwhile quite often have a large number of modern fragrances in their wardrobes.
    There's still good stuff out there but you must be eclectic.

    I paid good money for frags that I just gave away later on. My wardrobe still carries the remnants of those impulsive buys of modern releases, and my credit balance suffered as well. Expensive lessons indeed. Gems are few and far between. The whole industry gets tainted because 9/10 new releases are predictably underwhelming. It seems that products built to satisfy a focus group are just rushed out the door as soon as the add campaign is ready.

    There I've had my whinge I feel better now
    Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Sounds like some post-Beyond Paradise regret...

    Hey, not just any artistic endeavor now but throughout history. In Shakespeare's time, they weren't hitting them all out of the park...

    With respect to capitalism. I can't think of any great socialist, communist great frags...and not many offerings commisioned by monarchs...(or by celebrities)...

    But I do agree with his broad sense of the "shampoo statement" and have come to consider particular cheapos for the masses better than "new release scents." It's arguable from a certain standpoint that Gilette Cool Wave After Shave or Axe Fever Body Spray amd shower gel ARE actually better than Givenchy Play.

    And now, let's all find that part in the film Amadeus...."the mediocrities...."

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Luca Turin just needs a break like everyone else. At least he's self aware enough to step back before he turns into a cynical critic who has nothing nice to say about any fragrance. Besides, there are many out there willing to fill the void.

    And if you're really sick of the industry offerings, quit whining and invest in some bespoke fragrance. More power to you.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    The plethora of cheap dross being hoisted on the marketing departments in hope that one or two will snag a niche among the fervent youth is the goal of Corporatism today! It has created this methodology as its business model, not just in the cosmetics industry; it has seeped, like a pernicious plague into boardroom platforms of almost every business, degrading standards once based on expertise, skill, refinement and yes, even honor! It’s no longer about refining an art form, improving an industry, or having pride in a product; it’s simply distilled (pun intended!!) business down to profit-margins.

    I suppose it’s an inevitable evolution in a world of escalating competition and exhausting resources, but it’s still very painful to watch a thing of beauty distort into a pool of slime!

    Does more pleasure lie in indulging in one delicious, well-prepared dessert, or being submerged in a huge vat of gummy bears? If I had developed as sophisticated a palette as Luca Turin has, I’m sure I would feel as defeated as he probably does with the state of things at the moment. It’s not pessimism as much as refined discrimination, and it’s not whining, it’s observable truth.

  39. #39

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    "Which makes 100-200 worth commenting on. Enough to fill a book if your comments stretch more than 2 lines."

    Bingo! What's funny is that you also have to wade through a lot of "stuff" in his book in order to appreciate the fine reviews there. Moreover, it's possible that this endeavor isn't worth the time, money-wise. We don't know the finances of the situation, after all.

    Double Bingo.

    With the ease of obtaining reviews online of just about anything...

    Also, while grateful for his (and Tania Sanchez') contribution, let's not get carried away. While I can say I agree about 75-80 percent with the reviews, he is not infallible, nor am I or anyone, and people's tastes change.

    What might be useful is to consider the pursuit of a "masterpiece"....the meaning of that.

    Frankly, I think most people including many BN members go with the 3's and 4's for most days...with infrequency of use or provisos most connected to "masterpieces" as well as awareness of reformulations. Is it meaningful to call the reformulated Eau Savage a "masterpiece?"

    This doesn't make anyone out there or here "swine."

    And it might be also useful to review his take on Cool Water (which I like) as well as the aforementioned Beyond Paradise...to balance our perspective.

    Bigsly is on to something: why not just a small book/posting starting with 3's and 4's....

    In the tradition of Arthur Rimbaud, we bid Luca adieu...with a merci....
    Last edited by ortho123; 17th September 2009 at 11:34 AM.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Well, if Turin and Sanchez are really obliged to smell nearly everything released and review mostly new stuff, that does sound boring. I wish they'd review more niche stuff, more old stuff, more well composed but unremarkable stuff. Plenty of untapped goodness that they haven't considered in print yet. The other thing this makes me think is that the idea of 'rating' a frag is limiting. An apt description of a frag from someone with a great nose, lots of experience with perfume, and skill and daring with words can open up so much for a relative newcomer. We're all very interested here on Basenotes and much of us have incomparably more experience with perfume than nearly anyone we'll pass on the street on an average day. And we, most of us, can't tell you more than a few ingredients in any given frag. The other thing that a good critic does is make a work of art better by making it in some way more comprehensible without dumbing it down. A good critic gives us words for what we're experiencing so that we can hold the experience on the tips of our synapses for a fraction longer, so that we can experience a moment more fully.

    Perfume writing is already, in the hands of the best bloggers and reviews, something more than a ratings game. And perfume writing, because perfume has connections to social history and to the natural world, can be anything that literary or film criticism is. So if a resourceful person is bored of perfume writing, nothing prevents him or her from reinventing the form. Go, boy!

  41. #41

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    He is fundementally correct about mainstream releases, in my opinion. I haven't smelled one which I really liked for years, they all seem to be made of very similar cheap ingredients. In addition to the omnipresent budget restraints, IFRA restrictions make it even more difficult to produce quality. It is a shame, however, that Turin misses out on certain areas which are still producing quality fragrances due to his predisposition to a certain classical french style.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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  42. #42

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by flouris View Post
    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.

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

    In that article Turin sounds like an old elitist snob who is tired of his job. Or, like my parents who said "all the music you kids listen to is such garbage compared to what we did". Or my friends who disparage "that rap music" that our kids listen to.

    To accuse everyone who buys perfumes we don't like as being "dumbed down" is a bit dangerous. People buy what they like. If they are being presented with generic perfume that perfumistas (who sniff a ridiculous amount of perfume) cannot abide, how does that dumb them down?

    I guess wine critics can keep tasting and reviewing wine because there is no crappy wine out there? "Good old days"? Come on guys, throw away the canes and dust off the cobwebs.

    I find Turin amusing, bright, & I enjoy his writing, but I don't know if I would/ could like him. He sounds like a pompous self important boor. There are way too many a@@holes out there for me to meet any new people anyways. Like, 1 out of the 4 people I like are un-friendable.

    Hold on, I'm going to go call Whine--1-1 for him.
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  43. #43

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    While Turin is right I don't get the argument. As the authors stated themselves, they were never concerned with actually producing a guide proper, but freely stated their entirely subjective opinions on fragrances, dismissing many after a brief strip sniff (which explains a number of major olfactory misperceptions in the guide). On that philosophy I do not see the problem of simply focussing on the brands they find interesting in the first place and just casting the swill aside. You may no longer be able to call it "The Guide" then, but that was a misnomer in the first place. I suppose the publisher wouldn't go for that, but who needs a publisher in the digital age? I'll miss the newsletter. I do think Turin has other things to do as well with his new job and all, so there will be other factors involved besides sheer disillusionment.
    Last edited by the_good_life; 17th September 2009 at 02:17 PM.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  44. #44

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Perhaps the New York Review of Books should stop publishing because most of the books published nowadays are crap. Or then again, they should continue doing what they have done with unsurpassed distinction: reviewing quality books that help us think critically about issues. Viewed in this light, Turin's position doesn't make much sense.
    Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter. (Keats)


  45. #45

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Could it be that he just doesn't have enough subscribers?

  46. #46

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by 3xasif View Post
    True.

    In that article Turin sounds like an old elitist snob who is tired of his job. Or, like my parents who said "all the music you kids listen to is such garbage compared to what we did". Or my friends who disparage "that rap music" that our kids listen to.

    To accuse everyone who buys perfumes we don't like as being "dumbed down" is a bit dangerous. People buy what they like. If they are being presented with generic perfume that perfumistas (who sniff a ridiculous amount of perfume) cannot abide, how does that dumb them down?

    I guess wine critics can keep tasting and reviewing wine because there is no crappy wine out there? "Good old days"? Come on guys, throw away the canes and dust off the cobwebs.

    I find Turin amusing, bright, & I enjoy his writing, but I don't know if I would/ could like him. He sounds like a pompous self important boor. There are way too many a@@holes out there for me to meet any new people anyways. Like, 1 out of the 4 people I like are un-friendable.

    Hold on, I'm going to go call Whine--1-1 for him.
    Haha, I wish everybody in all industries shared the same attitude and beliefs, but sadly, they don't. My perspective, as an aspiring writer, is this doesn't necessarily come from a critic's point of view, but rather the industry's itself.

    Let me explain: Each year, there are 50,000 screenplays registered to the WGAw, with probably another 50,000 that have been written without the authors bothering to register them. Out of all these, perhaps a couple of hundred movies get made. Out of all these, even a smaller percentage make it to the big screen. Out of all of those, a smaller percent actually make money and are deemed a critical success. Out of everything, at least in the past, 5 movies would be considered Oscar-worthy (this year it will be 10).

    Now, the industry folks themselves tell you how dreadful most of the work they see is. Because of this, it's near impossible to actually get your material read. They won't accept anything unsolicited, and it's becoming the norm that, if they even accept a query letter, it needs to come with a referral attached.

    Their reasoning for this is because there's just so much crap out there. I literally had a reader write in my coverage about how overworked they were. I would love to pull the whine-11 on him (very funny, by the way ), but it's not going to cut it. It's so ridiculous that you now read where agents don't even bother to read an entire query! It used to be if the script didn't catch them by page 10, it went into the trash. Now if your query letter doesn't catch them in the first few sentences, it's rubbish, and you're considered unworthy of their time.

    Then of course, one drives by the local cineplex and sees what's playing, and just rolls their eyes.

    At the end of the day, a critic can only critique things that have made it through this process. They're not responsible for it, nor the outcome. And while it does come across as uppity-nose-man-like for them to make vast generalizations, from the example I've given, it starts way before they're ever involved, and with those responsible for producing the product.

    When it comes to people settling for mediocrity, I've got a funny example. I previously worked on a government project where the average age was mid-fifties. It was a predominately male work force, but there obviously were some females, and a handful of younger people here and there out of nearly 2,000 employees.

    One day, a younger guy who started as an intern while in high school, was looking out the window of an office he shared with a few other people on the second floor overlooking an intersection. From a distance, he saw this female approaching, and made a comment something along the lines of "woah, she looks pretty good".

    I looked at the other guys in the office and started laughing. As she grew nearer, he kept making positive comments. The other guys and myself knew who was approaching. Finally, I said "Chris, I think you've been working here too long. You need to find another job".

    Confused, he asked what I meant.

    "Well, it's become apparent that you've lost all sense of what an attractive female looks like. I mean, it's understandable, working with a bunch of old men... It's bound to make you get all excited with the first female that crosses your path... Even if she turns out to be... a man".

    DOAH!
    The Bark Bites Back.

  47. #47

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Thebark: Excellent post! I agree, it's just catering to the lowest common denominator (sadly)... throwing out the widest net to yield the greatest catch. Gordon Gecko lied, greed is not good. It's actually one of the most poisonous things out there. Well, after mercury ;p -- Yet, isn't it sad that these days mediocrity=financial success? Every summer when tv is bombarded with ads for all the summer blockbuster movies I scratch my head and wonder who these movies could possibly appeal to? Who wants to watch CGI effects for 2.5 hours?

    I honestly think advertising numbs people.. so many times people will like something because the ads told them they should like it.

  48. #48

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    I wish they'd review more niche stuff, more old stuff, more well composed but unremarkable stuff. Plenty of untapped goodness that they haven't considered in print yet.
    Agreed, there's plenty of older frags that they missed that should've been reviewed. Case in point, Rochas Lui. I couldn't see how Lui could get less than 4 stars but we'll never know until pen hits paper. I can list about 50 off the top of my head.

    They should also clarify the strength they are reviewing. Habit Rouge EdT is completely different than the EdP. Same as with Opium PH EdT vs. the EdP. There's plenty of great frags yet to write about so I don't buy the excuse that there is nothing good left. Sounds like the man is just too busy with his other endeavors.
    "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."

    Egon Schiele - Self-Potrait


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

    http://www.basenotes.net/wardrobe/2976

  49. #49

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    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
    Would have helped if I spelled accepting right, hahaha. My brain has been on vacation for too long now.
    The Bark Bites Back.

  50. #50
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    "you get what you deserve" <---- this is soo true.

    Do not blame the industry only but the consumers as well . I do not remember who say that 95% of men and women are not datable, and I agree. Most people are uneducated in the sense of understanding art and beauty. People in general behave like a herd of sheep , utterly shallow and boring. I am sick and tired of conventional people, materialistic and predictable.
    Give them "One Million" by Paco Rabanne and most of them will have an erection by looking at the gold bottle. Give them "The Da vinci code" book, movie, video game and action figures.
    (maybe I am having a bad day )
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  51. #51

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Thebark View Post
    When it comes to people settling for mediocrity, I've got a funny example. I previously worked on a government project where the average age was mid-fifties. It was a predominately male work force, but there obviously were some females, and a handful of younger people here and there out of nearly 2,000 employees.

    One day, a younger guy who started as an intern while in high school, was looking out the window of an office he shared with a few other people on the second floor overlooking an intersection. From a distance, he saw this female approaching, and made a comment something along the lines of "woah, she looks pretty good".

    I looked at the other guys in the office and started laughing. As she grew nearer, he kept making positive comments. The other guys and myself knew who was approaching. Finally, I said "Chris, I think you've been working here too long. You need to find another job".

    Confused, he asked what I meant.

    "Well, it's become apparent that you've lost all sense of what an attractive female looks like. I mean, it's understandable, working with a bunch of old men... It's bound to make you get all excited with the first female that crosses your path... Even if she turns out to be... a man".

    DOAH!
    LOL!!!! Allegory of the Cave, anyone?

  52. #52

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Playing Devil's Advocate here.....what if some of the new releases were released 30 years ago. Would they now be known as classic because of the numbers game. That has always been my deal. I don't think alot of the new releases are bad. In fact most can be pleasant in their own way. I just think there are ALOT that are the same so with boredom comes bitterness at nothing new to sniff. I mean as a kid I had Polo, Drakkar, Obssession, Eternity etc. EVERYONE wore a wordrobe of those through the years. I stopped coming here and sniffing for 7-8 months and found 6-7 new ones I'd never smelled when I went back to Macys. That would never have happened before. So overall, I don't think things are bad, just boring. I mean D & G s The One may have been the classic 70s-80s smell of working men but now it is one of many that reminds people of something else. I still love going to the store and trying the new ones. They are redeeming in their own way. It's just once a Cool Water locks into a generation then every company is trying to copy its success and there are 100s of other offerings and variations. I guess my point is that maybe its not always the scent but the "been there, done that."
    Last edited by ToughCool; 17th September 2009 at 07:10 PM.
    "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
    --Ben Hogan

  53. #53

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post
    I don't think alot of the new releases are bad. In fact most can be pleasant in their own way.
    I would agree with this, in that I don't dislike too many. Off the top of my head, there's only one fragrance out of several hundred in the past 10 years I bought that I truly despised. There is, however, a sense of cynicism that comes about having smelled so many things. While I often use the analogy of pizza-if all one ever ate was Dominos, then they wouldn't have anything else to judge it against-it also its downside with having tried sooo many, fewer and fewer tend to stand out from the mass.

    Artistic merit will almost always succumb to business needs, no matter what. In the automobile industry, Honda/Acura nixed the new NSX super sports car because it was too expensive with a small available market. The bottom line is, what people actually want, and can afford, are often two different things.

    The artist is one who rarely "green-lights" a project. It's the business side that makes those decisions. And I think in today's economy, there are fewer and fewer chances being taken on original ideas because they cost more money to develop and promote. Producers are relying on what's sold before; that's why you see the return of the Camaro, Mazda working on a new RX-7; the 370z. Or why you see sooo many remakes/reboots at the theaters, not to mention sequels (If people only knew how many remakes/reboots were coming down the pipe in the next two years... ).

    And it's true for the perfume industry. Witness the birth of "flankers". They're just variations of a once original idea, meant to cash in on its success. By making them "limited editions", they're marketed as exclusives that won't be around long. Some of them may actually be pretty good, but ultimately, the notion is they're not unique/new-rather, playing off a successful formula of what's been done before in an effort to make more money.

    It's all about the bottom line, and the bottom line is, given the choice between something new, and yet unknown, and something familiar, most people on either side of the fence (consumer or producer) don't stray too far from the beaten path.
    The Bark Bites Back.

  54. #54

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by monsieur_sparkle View Post
    LOL!!!! Allegory of the Cave, anyone?
    Yeah, it was one of those hippie-scientist from Berkeley type; long hair in a pony-tail, wearing sandals... I still laugh hard thinking about it. Once he found out it was a guy, his face turned beat red. We teased him good. "What? Let me guess... The sun was in your eyes?" and "yeah, she's kind of cute... in a penis sort of way".
    The Bark Bites Back.

  55. #55

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Basteri View Post
    "you get what you deserve" <---- this is soo true.

    Do not blame the industry only but the consumers as well . I do not remember who say that 95% of men and women are not datable, and I agree. Most people are uneducated in the sense of understanding art and beauty. People in general behave like a herd of sheep , utterly shallow and boring. I am sick and tired of conventional people, materialistic and predictable.
    Give them "One Million" by Paco Rabanne and most of them will have an erection by looking at the gold bottle. Give them "The Da vinci code" book, movie, video game and action figures.
    (maybe I am having a bad day )
    Yes, you are having a bad day.

    Step back and look at history. Who were the deserving masses surrounding the creation of great works of art? If anything, much of Shakespeare accomodates also low-class humor, innuendo...and what "well-educated " numbers inspired something like the Sistine Chapel? What was the literacy level at that time?

    As for scents, a fair degree of materialism has inspired some of the best scents? Is consumerism really the culprit?

    Is it arguable that with scents more available and more widely used (along with all the other restrictions IFRA, desire for profits, scents made with less expensive materials, etc) that perfumery is more populist with certain enclaves for the elite (niche, vintage)? Fine. Why can't some guy with a family just be happy that he feels good and smells good? Does that make him one of the "swine?"

    It is also arguable that seeking deep satisfaction in scents is itself a shallow aspiration, even in "fine scents" when compared to love, enduring sufferings, and sacrifices on behalf of others.

    As a class of people, artists, read their biographies are among the most self-centered unhappy people, and the most self-promoting. While we can enjoy Picasso, would we really enjoy being Picasso or treating people the way he did?

    BTW, in my experience, and this is not meant to target you, but people who are easily bored and make a point of that are among the most boring people I meet. Yes, you are having a bad day, and don't succumb to the demon that causes all of us to look down on others. But let me agree with you: people watch too much television.

    When did the scent industry suddenly push Luca Turin into despair? Before or after he spoke to his publisher?

    It might be useful to review all the scents that came out in the seventies and eighties to see also the percentage of them that were derivative, crappy and loathsome and now only held in higher regard because of new sameish stuff...

  56. #56
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    When I realized he does the majority of his testing on paper, I became significantly less interested in his opinion. How can you tell anything about the character of a scent that never touches your skin? Also, does he even wait for drydown? I am doubtful. Some of his reviews are too far out to be believed. Beyond Paradise & Giorgio, for instance. Did he even smell those for more than 30 seconds?
    Last edited by kumquat; 17th September 2009 at 09:05 PM.

  57. #57

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by 3xasif View Post
    True.

    To accuse everyone who buys perfumes we don't like as being "dumbed down" is a bit dangerous. People buy what they like. If they are being presented with generic perfume that perfumistas (who sniff a ridiculous amount of perfume) cannot abide, how does that dumb them down?
    I totally agree, I don't think people should be made to feel ashamed for what they like. I own a few scents he gave one star to in the Guide and yes, some were recent releases at the time the book was published. I wasn't offended at all when I read his reviews of them, nor was I overcome with shame and a sudden urge to throw them out the window just because someone else didn't like them. I don't really differentiate between "high-" and "low-brow," what I like is just what I like: I work in a pricey restaurant and cook with expensive ingredients on a daily basis, but you know what? I admit I enjoy McDonald's once in awhile. I actually like quite a bit of my parent's music (and I've inherited my dad's vinyl collectionl) but I'll happily dance and sing along to Womanizer when I hear it a club (hey, if it's good enough for Franz Ferdinand to cover live...), and perfume is no exception to me. I agree there is so much mediocrity in our culture (not just in the perfume industry, also in movies, music, fashion...just about everything, really), but that doesn't make me want to give up and stop enjoying it altogether. I just explore what, to me, is worth exploring and ignore what doesn't interest me.
    Last edited by Anna_P; 17th September 2009 at 10:27 PM.

  58. #58

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Thebark View Post
    Haha, I wish everybody in all industries shared the same attitude and beliefs, but sadly, they don't. My perspective, as an aspiring writer, is this doesn't necessarily come from a critic's point of view, but rather the industry's itself.

    Let me explain: Each year, there are 50,000 screenplays registered to the WGAw, with probably another 50,000 that have been written without the authors bothering to register them. Out of all these, perhaps a couple of hundred movies get made. Out of all these, even a smaller percentage make it to the big screen. Out of all of those, a smaller percent actually make money and are deemed a critical success. Out of everything, at least in the past, 5 movies would be considered Oscar-worthy (this year it will be 10).

    Now, the industry folks themselves tell you how dreadful most of the work they see is. Because of this, it's near impossible to actually get your material read. They won't accept anything unsolicited, and it's becoming the norm that, if they even accept a query letter, it needs to come with a referral attached.

    Their reasoning for this is because there's just so much crap out there. I literally had a reader write in my coverage about how overworked they were. I would love to pull the whine-11 on him (very funny, by the way ), but it's not going to cut it. It's so ridiculous that you now read where agents don't even bother to read an entire query! It used to be if the script didn't catch them by page 10, it went into the trash. Now if your query letter doesn't catch them in the first few sentences, it's rubbish, and you're considered unworthy of their time.

    Then of course, one drives by the local cineplex and sees what's playing, and just rolls their eyes.

    At the end of the day, a critic can only critique things that have made it through this process. They're not responsible for it, nor the outcome. And while it does come across as uppity-nose-man-like for them to make vast generalizations, from the example I've given, it starts way before they're ever involved, and with those responsible for producing the product.

    When it comes to people settling for mediocrity, I've got a funny example. I previously worked on a government project where the average age was mid-fifties. It was a predominately male work force, but there obviously were some females, and a handful of younger people here and there out of nearly 2,000 employees.

    One day, a younger guy who started as an intern while in high school, was looking out the window of an office he shared with a few other people on the second floor overlooking an intersection. From a distance, he saw this female approaching, and made a comment something along the lines of "woah, she looks pretty good".

    I looked at the other guys in the office and started laughing. As she grew nearer, he kept making positive comments. The other guys and myself knew who was approaching. Finally, I said "Chris, I think you've been working here too long. You need to find another job".

    Confused, he asked what I meant.

    "Well, it's become apparent that you've lost all sense of what an attractive female looks like. I mean, it's understandable, working with a bunch of old men... It's bound to make you get all excited with the first female that crosses your path... Even if she turns out to be... a man".

    DOAH!
    Quote Originally Posted by Thebark View Post
    Yeah, it was one of those hippie-scientist from Berkeley type; long hair in a pony-tail, wearing sandals... I still laugh hard thinking about it. Once he found out it was a guy, his face turned beat red. We teased him good. "What? Let me guess... The sun was in your eyes?" and "yeah, she's kind of cute... in a penis sort of way".
    Bark, I had to stop "quoting" you but I was laughing too hard. I, for one, am enjoying your writing


    ( Whine-1-1 should have been credited to my 13 year old daughter. That and Waaaahmbulance )
    beauty guru & perfume whisperer
    dalybeauty.ca
    twitter @daly_beauty

  59. #59

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    The problem with a perfume is not because something is "2007 new release" or "1921 vintage extrait version" or whatever. Or because a lot of them use more synthetic cheaper material or reformulated. "Tocade" is a completely synthetic perfume, yet it smells good.

    Anyway, I see the problem with a lot of new perfumes is the same problem with a lot of older perfumes: most of them simply "DO NOT SMELL GOOD." There's just more of them new perfumes that don't smell good now than they are then due to the sheer number of launches.
    Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
    A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
    - Pierre Bourdon

  60. #60

    Default Re: Why Turin isn't updating the Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by GourmandHomme View Post
    The problem with a perfume is not because something is "2007 new release" or "1921 vintage extrait version" or whatever. Or because a lot of them use more synthetic cheaper material or reformulated. "Tocade" is a completely synthetic perfume, yet it smells good.

    Anyway, I see the problem with a lot of new perfumes is the same problem with a lot of older perfumes: most of them simply "DO NOT SMELL GOOD." There's just more of them new perfumes that don't smell good now than they are then due to the sheer number of launches.
    True. Let's not over think this. I'm sure the 30s, 40s etc were full of all kinds of shite releases that just disappeared.

    Perfume snobbery is kind of tedious. And I'd think a perfume snob would be as boring to hang out with as a wine snob.

    Wear what you like and like what you wear. Maybe Luca can think of another outlet for his witty writing if he is bored of perfume
    beauty guru & perfume whisperer
    dalybeauty.ca
    twitter @daly_beauty

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