The Little Book Of Perfumes by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez
|The Little Book Of Perfumes by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: A beautiful book about beautiful scents, with indepth analyses and personal critiques|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 128||Date: November 2011|
|Publisher: Profile Books|
I have always admired people who seem to know about scent, those whose dressing tables are littered with bottles none of which flaunt the name of a major (or increasingly, minor) celebrity. Some of the bottles might be works of art in themselves, but the general understanding is that they’ve been bought not for their vessels, nor for their exclusive advertising campaigns, special offers or celeb endorsement, but for their evocative scent. Perfumery is clearly an art and a science and if your skills aren’t as honed as they might be, this is a wonderful little book to sink your teeth into as you’re guided through the field by two people very much in the know.
The Little Book Of Perfumes is essentially a distilled version of the previously successful title, Perfumes: The A - Z Guide. This time they’ve settled on an even 100 scents to critique, chosen for their quality, inventiveness and straightforward beauty, and many of the classics are double reviewed with comments from both Turin and Sanchez. The reviews aren’t long but they are punchy, and each is as much of a work of art as the scent it describes. It’s a bit like reading a cookery book or a restaurant review – you don’t have to be planning to eat there (or wear the scent) to appreciate the pictures so clearly painted by the language used. The fact that these are the stand-out scents from the original edition is just a bonus but a bonus worth having as there’s nothing nicer than reading happy, positive reviews (AA Gill take note).
As in the previous title, the perfumes are presented in an alphabetical list, but following the final entry there are also some bonus lists: Top Tens that are feminine or masculine, or top masculine scents for women or feminine scents for men and so on which helps sign post the reader if the reviews have overwhelmed you somewhat. The lists include some obscure scents, a few now discontinued, certainly, but they’re also not afraid to go mainstream with things like Davidoff’s Cool Water which even I am familiar with.
The book itself looks luxurious in the way only miniature hardbacks can, with accents of gold shining out of jet black, and one of those ultra helpful built in bookmarks. It should look like a Ladybird book, but it really, really doesn’t, and it’s a perfect title to tote around with you, both for its portable, hand-bag ready size and its style which you can enjoy in bite-sized pieces if you don’t have the time to sit and savour it for long. I would have liked an additional index of entries but it’s not a glaring omission, even if you can’t be sure whether Chanel No 5 will be filed under the numbers (like 31 Rue Cambon), C for Chanel or N for No (it’s the latter, to save you searching). Price ranges are indicated based on US dollar averages but this wasn’t something I paid much attention to during reading. At the end there’s a glossary section that was surprisingly interesting and enlightening
It’s a book for those who enjoy a good piece of writing as much as those who are looking for scent suggestions. It’s a true pleasure to read, and the only thing that could make it better would be if it they had a scratch and sniff edition.
Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book which is the perfect size for a stocking filler.
If you live (or just dream of) a life full of fine things, Luxury Fashion Branding: Trends, Tactics, Techniques by Uche Okonkwo is full of inspiration.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Little Book Of Perfumes by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Little Book Of Perfumes by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez at Amazon.com.
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