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Perfumes: The A-Z Guide par [Turin, Luca, Sanchez, Tania]
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3.8 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client

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Longueur : 624 pages Composition améliorée: Activé Page Flip: Activé
Langue : Anglais
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Descriptions du produit

Book Description

The first book of its kind: a definitive guide to the world of perfume

Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez are experts in the world of scent. Turin, a renowned scientist, and Sanchez, a longtime perfume critic, have spent years sniffing the world's most elegant and beautiful--as well as some truly terrible--perfumes. In Perfumes: The Guide, they combine their talents and experience to review more than twelve hundred fragrances, separating the divine from the good from the monumentally awful. Through witty, irreverent, and illuminating prose, the reviews in Perfumes not only provide consumers with an essential guide to shopping for fragrance, but also make for a unique reading experience.

Perfumes features introductions to women's and men's fragrances and an informative "frequently asked questions" section including:
• What is the difference between eau de toilette and perfume?
• How long can I keep perfume before it goes bad?
• What's better: splash bottles or spray atomizers?
• What are perfumes made of?
• Should I change my fragrance each season?

Perfumes: The Guide is an authoritative, one-of-a-kind book that will do for fragrance what Robert Parker's books have done for wine. Beautifully designed and elegantly illustrated, this book will be the perfect gift for collectors and anyone who's ever had an interest in the fascinating subject of perfume.

Picking a Perfect Perfume

For Perfumes: The Guide, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez tested nearly 1,500 fragrances--some glorious, some foul. Here they offer some humble advice on finding something worth loving among the stinkers.

1. Smell top to bottom
Perfumes usually unfold in three (often very different) stages: the sparkling first few minutes are the fragrance's top note, followed by its true personality, known as the heart note, and ending with the base note, aka the drydown, hours later. Something you love at the counter you may loathe by the parking lot. We recommend top-to-bottom tests on skin and on paper, since some scents that disappoint on the heat of skin may shine on your shirtsleeve.

2. Write it down
Bring a pen to write names on paper test strips, so you're not in anguish hours later, trying to recall which is the third scent from the left that transports you to Shangri-La. Keep a cheap, possibly extremely trashy paperback on hand, so you can store strips between pages to keep them separate.

3. Rest your nose
Noses tune out, which is why you can smell your friends' homes but not your own. Smell no more than five scents per day on paper strips and try on only the best one or two, to keep your nose reliable.

4. Check the radiance
To get a good sense of how the perfume will smell to other people as you walk past, try spraying a test strip and leaving it in the room while you step out for a bit. Come back fifteen minutes later and breathe in: that's the radiance.


Cool Water (Davidoff) * * * * * aromatic fougère
This beautiful 1988 composition made Pierre Bourdon famous and was imitated more times, I’ll wager, than any other fragrance in history save Chypre. The problem with successful masculines is that you associate them with the legion of aspirational klutzes who wore them for good luck. Trying to assess CW without conjuring up the image of some open shirted prat with hair gel is a bit like the Russian cure for hiccups: run around the house three times without thinking of the word wolf. This said, unlike Chypre, CW belongs to the category of things done right the first time, like the first Windsurfer and the Boeing 707. Countless imitations, extensions, variations, and complications failed to improve on it or add a jot of interest to this cheerful, abstract, cheap, and lethally effective formula of crab apple, woody citrus, amber, and musk. Now let women wear it for a decade or two. LT

L'Air du Désert Marocain (Tauer) ***** incense oriental
The sweet, resinous smell of amber, the smell of the classic perfume oriental, has long been weighed down with vanilla and sandalwood ballast, decorated with mulling spices, bolstered with musk, made come-hither, ready for its closeup, and we are quite used to it—but this is not amber's first life. Perfume, as has been pointed out many times, means “through smoke,” named for the fragrant materials burned to clean the air and therefore the spirit. Since the angel Metatron sees fit to deliver his messages to the world nowadays via the guitar of Carlos Santana, it only makes sense that the as yet unnamed angel of perfume chooses to speak through an unassuming Swiss chemist from Zurich with a mustache and a buttoned shirt. L'Air du Désert is talented amateur perfumer Andy Tauer's second fragrance, after the rich oriental rose of Maroc pour Elle; one hale breath of Désert's vast spaces clears the head of all the world's nonsense. There is something about the ancient smell of these resins (styrax, frankincense) that on first inhalation strikes even this suburban American Protestant with no memories of mass as entirely holy, beautiful, purifying, lit without shadow from all sides. Even without the fragrance's name to prompt me, I would still feel the same peace when smelling it that I've felt only once before, when driving across the Southwestern desert one morning: all quiet, no human habitation for miles, the upturned bowl of the heavens infinitely high above, and the sage and occasional quail clutching close and gray to the dun earth. Each solitary object stood supersaturated with itself, full to the brim, sure to spill over if subjected to the slightest nudge. Wear this fragrance and feel the cloudless sky rush far away above you. TS

Eternity for Men (Calvin Klein) * * * mandarin lavender
An interesting twist on the perennially pleasant citrus-lavender accord using the (musically speaking) flattened note of mandarin rather than straight citrus, or the corresponding sharp of lime. This is a very skillfully composed and likable fragrance, but I wish more cash had been spent on the formula. It smells good but cheap, which would be fine if the overall structure were unpretentious as in Cool Water, whereas it is distinctly aspirational. LT

Spellbound (Estée Lauder) * medicated treacle Powerfully cloying and nauseating. Trails for miles. Frightens horses. Gets worse. TS

Tommy Girl (Tommy Hilfiger) * * * * * tea floral
No fragrance in recent memory has suffered more from being affordable than Tommy Girl. It’s as if it were deemed less desirable for being promiscuous. Despite all the historical evidence to the contrary (Brut, Canoe, Habanita, and the first J-Lo), the world is still crawling with naïve snobs who’d rather believe their wallet’s loss than their nose’s gain. Tommy Girl’s origins were explained to me by creator Calice Becker, who was brought up in a Russian household, with a samovar always on the boil and a mother with a passion for strange teas. At Becker’s instigation, the legendary chemist Roman Kaiser of Givaudan sampled the air in the Mariage Frères tea store in Paris to figure out what gave it its unique fragrance. From this a tea base was evolved, in which no one showed much interest. The idea waited several years until Elléna’s excellent but only remotely tea-like Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert (Bulgari) came out in 1993. Its success made it possible for Becker to submit a tea composition for the Hilfiger brief. She won it, eleven hundred formulations later the perfume was finalized, in collaboration with a brilliant evaluator who went on to study philosophy. Tea makes excellent sense as a perfumery base, since it can be declined in dozens of ways, as flavored teas will attest: Soochong, Earl Grey, jasmine, and so on. In that respect it could serve as a modern chypre, a mannequin to be dressed at will. Tommy Girl clothed it in a torero’s trafe de luces, a fresh floral accord so exhilaratingly bright that it could be used to set the white point for all future fragrances. Remarkably, late in the project, Hilfiger’s PR firm asked Becker to give them so e reason to label the fragrance as typically American. Quest’s resident botany expert was called in, and to everyone’s surprise found that the composition fell neatly into several blocks, each apparently typical of a native American botanical. So it goes with projects whose sails are filled by the breath of angels. LT

The composition miraculously turned out to fall into accords typical of native American botanicals? Put me on record as skeptical. Tommy Girl smells great, though, and has been copied relentlessly. TS

Beauty Rush Appletini (Victoria's Secret) * Jolly Rancher
Victoria's Secret has determined that its customers need (1) cleavage and (2) to smell precisely like dime-store candy. You may discern an implicit insult to the male mind in this pair of facts. TS

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 14040 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 624 pages
  • Editeur : Profile Books (6 août 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.8 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires client
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3.8 étoiles sur 5
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Pas tout à fait aussi complet et pertinent que j'avais pensé. Il manque des détails de classification comme la liste de notes, si c'est féminin ou masculin. Un index efficace et intelligent serait approprié ainsi que l'utilisation d'une sémantique et d'un vocabulaire adaptés pour une description olfactive claire et précise (c'est trop subjectif et basé sur l'impression à mon goût). Éviter des critiques au sujet de parfums qui ont été retirés du marché, ajouter quelques faits culturels. Davantage de conseils pour instruire le nez et le comportement des testeurs, même si les conseils de la page 13 sur la façon de choisir un parfum sont tout à fait à propos, terre à terre et intelligents. Ils nous parlent aussi très peu des tendances olfactives et des matières premières. Bref, il ne suffit pas d'appeler un livre "guide", pour qu'il en devienne un.

Les critiques ne sont pas toujours bien développées et construites, c'est souvent juste une impression. Comme pour un parfum dont ils justifient la note en disant "il est excessivement affreux" ... Ils pourraient tout aussi bien utiliser des onomatopées en guise d'analyses ! Leur ligne de conduite n'est pas toujours très claire. Parfois, c'est une « top » critique tout à fait structurée et objective, parfois une opinion personnelle... c'est dommage, ça décrédibilise un peu tout le travail qu'ils ont fait.

Une chose sympathique et utile, la liste à télécharger sur leur site. Elle n'est pas à jour, mais peut servir de base pour votre parcours « parfumistique ».
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Remarque sur ce commentaire 6 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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Format: Broché
Un gros livre de poche contenant : des passages introductifs sur les parfums en général, des réponses à des questions fréquemment posées aux auteurs, et surtout des commentaires savoureux, pleins d'humour ou parfois lapidaires sur des parfums nouveaux, anciens, parfums de niche, de grande distribution, parfums "mainstream", parfums "rares" ou exclusifs ... un régal en anglais !
Remarque sur ce commentaire 2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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Format: Relié
Même écrit en Anglais, ce livre est une référence pour les passionnés de parfums. On peut être en désaccord avec certains de ses avis, mais globalement ceux-ci sont justifiés et de bon conseil.
Remarque sur ce commentaire 2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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Ce livre est un gros pavé, plein de critiques (très personnelles), de parfums. Malheureusement, je trouve que les auteurs n'arrivent pas à dépasser le 100% subjectif et se donnent rarement la peine de détailler leur avis dès qu'ils sont mauvais (et c'est également assez souvent le cas même si l'avis est bon!).
Globalement, on peut trouver des critiques de parfums bien mieux construites et détaillées sur le net. En livre, le "Guide du Parfum" de Rebe Veuillet-Gallot (Le Guide du parfum) est nettement plus intéressant, même s'il commence à dater (début 2005).
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9a88d4c8) étoiles sur 5 203 commentaires
336 internautes sur 356 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a8c4198) étoiles sur 5 Worth Buying, But Beware 9 mai 2008
Par spheremusic - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Turin argues in his earlier book, _The Secret of Scent_, that smell is not so much about memory and biology, as is widely believed, as it is about beauty and imagination. He believes, furthermore, that one of the highest achievements in perfumery is what he terms "abstraction," that is to say, the creation of olfactory accords that, while perhaps alluding to natural smells, are novel and resistant to definition. These aesthetic axioms (which he presumably shares with co-author/wife Tania Sanchez) are the basis of the evaluations in this book, and we, as readers, have no choice but to take them or leave them. These axioms lead the authors to prefer complex fragrances over simple ones, fragrances that develop over time to linear ones, original and/or unique fragrances over skillful executions of old ideas, "interesting" (even if vaguely unpleasant) fragrances over boring (even if pleasant) ones, etc. In a nutshell, they apply the same standards to perfume that other critics usually apply to other arts. They want perfumery to be taken seriously as an art form, and say as much.

This is a legitimate view, and one to which I am highly sympathetic. That said, I think the authors overlook (or deliberately ignore) some of the factors that render the purely aesthetic appreciation of perfume difficult at best. First of all, perfumes are made to be worn. The final aesthetic effect of a fragrance is inseparable from the time, place, and person(s) involved. Of course this "framing" or contextualization effect is at work in all art forms, but it is arguably more important for perfumery than for others. Given the fact that perfumes are mixtures of chemicals, factors such as temperature, humidity, skin pH, decomposition, underlying body odor, age-related hyposmia, differing olfactory thresholds, etc., make this state-dependence even more crucial. And, regardless of what Turin might say, it is simply impossible to separate a fragrance from the associations (read: memories) it may evoke. Perhaps it's possible to "see" the Platonic form of a perfume behind all of these contingencies, but I highly doubt it. Our reactions to smells are visceral before they're intellectual or aesthetic, no doubt because our sense of smell is our primary sentinel against many toxins and pathogens. Individual differences in sensitivity to certain aromatic chemicals are highly significant and render any kind of objective discussion of fragrances impossible. We're not even working with the same equipment--it's like a society of people who are all partially blind to different colors trying to discuss color coordination. The fundamental variability of our olfactory apparatus, even before differences in taste are taken into account, makes the arrogance of some of the pronouncements in this book a bit galling.

People *wear* fragrances (as opposed to sniffing them on strips--decidedly a minority pastime) for a variety of reasons: to make a statement, to find comfort or stimulation, to complement a particular ensemble, to seduce (and here the tastes of the quarry count far more than Apollonian meditations on beauty), and even, in some parts of the world, to mask the fact that they haven't bathed (it's no wonder that perfumery reached its pinnacle in Europe, where people didn't--and sometimes still don't--bathe regularly). Most people simply want a fragrance to make the day a little more pleasant for themselves and for those around them, not because they want to wear a work of "art" whose complexity and depth are going to make heads turn or spark a discussion about the relative merits of gourmand chypres and aromatic fougeres. Hence the incomprehension and hurt feelings that have greeted some of the harsher reviews in this book.

Assuming that one buys into the premise that perfume is a pure art, the authors, in general, seem to have excellent (i.e., informed, refined, and considered) taste--except when it comes to reviewing the work of their friends. Turin, for example, rates Calice Becker's Beyond Paradise Men as one of the top ten masculines currently in production. Since it isn't very expensive I decided to take a chance and buy it blind on his recommendation. The highly synthetic headache-in-a-bottle I got stuck with isn't terrible, I suppose, but if it's one of the top ten masculines that money can buy in early 2008, then I'm Jacques Guerlain. In a different part of the book I discovered that Turin is good friends with Becker. Ah ha... I don't mean to suggest that Turin was cynically shilling for a friend, but rare is the man who is immune to the tender, insidious persuasions of friendship. I'm certain no one else on the planet would rate that fragrance quite so highly. Such are the dangers inherent in taking the word of a consummate industry insider without a huge grain of salt. Turin also awards points for historical importance to fragrances he can't even stand to be around--Opium, for example. This, I think, is taking the "perfume as art" shtick a little too far. When reviewing fragrances that knock their socks off (especially a fragrance saturated with some deep personal significance) both authors (but Sanchez in particular) tend to wax poetic and come off the rails in terms of actually describing the fragrance. Some of this lyricism is quite affecting, but alas too much of it sounds like an exercise for a creative writing workshop, and the straining for effect turns tiresome. The humor, too, is witty in spots but tends consistently towards juvenile mockery and inane plays on perfumes' names.

All of these caveats aside, this is a very informative and often entertaining book. If you love fragrances, it is clearly a must-buy because it offers an excellent idea of which to sample next. If it educates consumers to stop buying and chides producers to stop making the cheap and and often hideous potions flooding the market, it will have done its job. I've learned a lot from the book and am grateful to the authors for having written it, but in the end it's more trustworthy as a Baedeker than as a Michelin.
91 internautes sur 93 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a8c43e4) étoiles sur 5 Kindle Version Outdated 15 avril 2012
Par rob brown - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The only way to get the newer, updated edition of this book is to buy the paperbook edition.

The Kindle edition is actually taken from the older, outdated hardback edition; which is to say it does not contain the numerous updates, new reviews(~450) and new Top 10 lists.
119 internautes sur 132 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a8c43a8) étoiles sur 5 The Hunter S. Thompson Field Guide To Perfumes 15 avril 2008
Par Cologniac - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I bought this on a whim and am *very* glad I did. This book is both extraordinarily educational and deliciously funny. Along with some nice, straightforward teachings by obvious experts, the book is filled with hugely entertaining mini-reviews of fragrances. The classics are hailed but dissected for the benefit of the class. The mediocre are called on the carpet and judged for both their virtues and their sins. And the trivial and forgettable are dispatched with short but laser-like descriptions of their one failed mission. Prepare to see your guilty pleasures nailed to the cross, and your true loves frisked rudely for shoplifted items. But trust me - it's not like a single Joan Rivers gag photocopied over and over - there's tremendous variety in the reviews. Many recommend superior but lesser-known fragrances that "did it better" - extremely useful to newbies. A lot of history is woven into the reviews - right where you need it. In fact, the education factor is at least two stars of my review. There's even a too-short glossary for people who might be put off by "aldehyde", "fougère", or "woody-amber". I would have loved to have seen more.

I enjoyed the fact that fragrance classifications were toyed with - and with extreme precision. For every "woody citrus" there's something like "evil tuberose" or "sad shampoo". But the authors don't spare themselves from the microscope, either - and hilariously so. [Spoiler: Tania admits to falling in love with one of my wife's favorites while drunk in the store, only to regret her romantic mistake upon sobering up.]

I would not call the reviews mean, but compared to the faux-art BS of the PR flacks, and the generally courteous and literary treatment by fragrance blogistas, these reviews are short and honest to the point of a football tackle - American style. They demonstrate beautifully that the sense of smell is weighted differently for everybody. I found myself fist-pumping and yelling "hallelujah" in agreement with many reviews, but bewildered by others. In a few cases, the authors didn't even mention my personal "love notes", while trashing off-notes that I didn't even know were there. I think this demonstrates why one needs to view it like a trip to the comedy club. Your particular race, religion, or political party is gonna get some heat. They may even pick on your spouse a bit. But it's OK. If you keep a sense of humor, you'll have a good time.

For me, the thing which ultimately sells the book is the frank, intelligent writing. The authors open up the way the best fragrance journalists do - with 100% honesty, and allowing their points to wander into beautiful and effective analogies and sidebars. You will learn to have an effective opinion of fragrances by observing these two masters at work. These two authors have forgotten more about perfume than I will learn in the remainder of my life. And I now have literally dozens of leads on scents that I'm very likely to really enjoy. Just think how little a $10-20 investment is next to a single good bottle. People should get this for the good steers, even if they can't stand to read harsh reviews of their favorites.
129 internautes sur 148 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a8c469c) étoiles sur 5 not perfect but wonderful 11 mai 2008
Par julesinrose - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I got an e-mail from Amazon (not that it's personal) to write a review of this book. After looking over the others, I don't really see what I can add, but here's my four cents:

1. It's a bit sad to me that folks are so insecure. So what if Turin and Sachez have a different opinion than you? I have heard people say they were devastated that The Guide doesn't say "their scent" is great. It doesn't say some of my favorites are either, and I could care less.

2. Why is everyone saying it's bitchy? Yes, it's scathing, but it's not bitchy. There's a world of difference. Turin and Sanchez love scent and this comes through. They are having fun, I would imagine. And what do we do when we're having fun? Make jokes. Overstate. No, it's not bitchy, for it's never mean just for the sake of it.

3. These folks are professionals in their field. Dr. Turin designs new scent molecules. It is no wonder that they both go for the unusual and even the unwearable. The vast majority of the mid-scale department store scents smell the same: how would you like it if you had to test these on a regular basis? I'm sure your taste, too, would become more refined and gravitate to more bang than, say, yet another quiet white floral.

4. Folks, have some faith in your own opinions and just enjoy. The bottom line is this: this book is a great deal of fun. If you're looking for a list of ingrediants, google it.
40 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a8c46fc) étoiles sur 5 Use this book As An Interactive Guide to Exploring and Collecting Perfumes 7 octobre 2008
Par D. Summerfield - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I'm older now, and I have a little more disposable income (and a lot more self-confidence), so I have had great fun using this book's witty reviews to guide me in trying and purchasing perfumes. I never had more than one or two bottles of perfume on my vanity table before. Now I have several dozen because this book has made me see perfume in a whole new way.

Yes, the book is a delight to read, but I have found it much more fun to actually use. Interestingly, I discovered just how interactive this book can be because I am a book lover.

I was intrigued by the book's description of a perfume by L'Artisan Parfumeur called Dzing! The authors likened the perfume's scent to a "secondhand bookstore." I purchased a bottle on a whim when I happened across it on a trip to New York. It was only when I was browsing at my favorite used bookstore days later that it struck me. The vanilla overtones in this fabulous scent do indeed evoke the wonderful aroma of old paper. I smelled my wrist, I sniffed the terrific, familiar book-laden air around me, I felt a happy sense of discovery and I was hooked.

Since reading this book, I have stuck it into my tote whenever I plan to be in a major department store. The book's vignettes ignite my curiosity and imagination.

Take, for example, Thierry Mugler's Angel. The authors deem this scent a masterpiece. They tell the reader the history behind the scent -- that it started as a joke which combined the elements of a masculine and a feminine fragrance, but that in making that joke the perfumer came up with a truly new kind of scent. The authors point out that Angel exists in a "high energy state of contradiction. Many perfumes are beautiful or pleasant, but how many are exciting?" Then the authors deliver the zinger, which gives me a mental image for placing the perfume into my own life context. They say that Angel evokes that " woman in a film who seethes "He's so annoying!" and marries him in the end." I got that! I could then smell the contradiction and the attraction in the scent. I purchased a bottle because the scent now "speaks" to me in a way it never could have before I read this book.

Is perfume necessary to my existence? No. When my children were small and we had meager time, money or energy, perfume was simply that handy bottle of Chanel No. 5 my mother had sent me for Christmas which I sprayed on to feel pretty on those infrequent dinner/movie dates with my husband (when we could get a babysitter.) Do I agree with everything the authors say about the various perfumes? No, but that's part of the fun.

This book has opened a pleasant door for me. Perfume has become a fascinating foray into sensual exploration. I enjoy reading the metaphors and similes, the creative adjectives and backstories describing these perfumes, and then experimenting with the truth of them for myself.

The authors have done something wonderful with this book. They have taken the mystique which advertising has always made sure surrounded fragrance and swept it away. But they have replaced that mystique with something better -- little personalities, if you will, for the different scents. Now browsing at the perfume counter has become like attending a cocktail party filled with famous people. Some will speak to you immediately. Some will stand back, but become friendly if you approach. Some are dull as dishwater. Some you will dislike. But being an insider at the party is exciting. I love that I have an invitation.
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