From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Less a guide in the sense of helping people choose the perfect fragrance than a wide-ranging, critical review of some 1,200 perfumes, both famous and obscure, this comprehensive book is unfailingly entertaining. A collaboration between Turin, a well-known olfactory scientist, and Sanchez, a perfume collector and critic, the book brings their exquisite connoisseurship to life in a contagious manner. Their passion for a few scents and their outrage at the others' failings make for entry after entry of hilarious, catty comments interspersed with occasional erudite, eloquent disquisitions. French perfumery Guerlain is subject to both: Jicky is an object lesson in perfumery... a towering masterpiece, while Aqua Allegoria Pivoine Magnifica is like chewing tin foil while staring at a welding arc. Other startlingly evocative metaphors abound, especially those comparing perfumes to people, whether someone real (Amy Winehouse, Paris Hilton) or a general type (socialites, someone ill with bronchitis). This will be a must-have for anyone who already loves perfumes, though many of the reviews will cause violent disagreement, and those who aren't utterly perfume-obsessed will still appreciate the opening essays on olfactory science, the history of perfume, general types of fragrances and how to choose perfumes. (Apr.)
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As scintillating as it is comprehensive...this pungent, entrancing book is a wake up call for the nostrils. The Independent An unexpected classic of criticism -- Philip Hensher Spectator (Books of the Year) If you are at all interested in perfume, one of life's greatest sensual pleasures, this is an essential possession -- David Sexton Evening Standard This husband-and-wife team has produced a work of perfume criticism that is as gripping as any thriller. -- Jan Moir Daily Mail I loved it and bought it for all my friends. I have to say that this is certainly my favourite non-fiction book ever and is very likely my favourite book of all time! If I had to take only one book with me onto a desert island for an indefinite time, it would be this one. Joanne Harris - author of 'Chocolat' The perfect gift for the scent addict in your life...witty and informative - and, occasionally, deliciously bitchy. The Times Brilliant writing... I shall now spray on my favourite scents in quite a different frame of mind! -- Joanna Trollope By email hugely engrossing...the writing is brilliant...gorgeous. Evening Standard Lyrical and acerbically witty compendium. The Times From riotous one-liners to elaborate reviews, fragrance experts Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez have written an authoritative guide to the best and worst scents. Daily Express It's a great book because it brilliantly combines technical knowledge with evocative, poetic and often laugh-out-loud-funny prose to provide incisive, vivid and honest criticism of all perfumes - from the 'staggeringly bad' to the 'deeply divine'. If you want to open your mind to the intricacies of scent - and enjoy a brilliant, entertaining read along the way - I can't recommend it enough. Elle consistently entertaining...scathingly inventive bitchiness. Sunday Business Post astonishingly brilliant and witty companion to all things fragrant. Spectator dazzlingly comprehensive compendium...the writing is the olfactory equivalent of mouthwatering. Observer genuinely wonderful...the authors's sense of smell is amazing. Daily Telegraph I was fascinated... a description of every perfume known to man, which sounds peculiar, but is mesmeric. -- William Leith Evening Standard (Books of the year) a staggeringly complete compilation of perfume reviews...ridiculously entertaining. Daily Mail For any fragrance fanatic...an indispensable beauty bible. Norwich Evening News Highly entertaining critique which had me both fascinated and laughing out loud in equal measure... addictive and informative. -- Phyl Clarke Irish Times It's scents-sational! -- Rochelle Warner Fabulous.co.uk A wise investment and an addictive read. -- Gillian Nelis Sunday Business Post The authors' evocative and vivid writing style convinces us that perfume isn't a science but an art. Never again will you be able to walk past a perfume counter with quite the same nonchalance... if you have a nose for a good book, buy this one. -- Anita Sethi Independent on Sunday They're funny, bizarre, weird, hilarious writers. -- Alex Heminsley BBC Radio 2 It's an eau-de-must-have. If it came in a bottle we'd wear it. The City Weekly Magazine (Australia) As riveting as a novel and as therapeutic as a recipe book. -- Jan Masters Reader's Digest
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