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Perfumes: The A-Z Guide Paperback – Oct 27 2009
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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
aWhile the authors embrace point systems and science, they also offer vivid, funny, evocative descriptions of the smells they write abouta]To enjoy "Perfumes," you donat need to know, or even to like, perfumes, such is the brio of Turinas and Sanchezas prosea]This is fun to read a and a rare pleasure, tooa]The joy of Turin and Sanchezas book, however, is their ability to write about smell in a way that manages to combine the science of the subject with the vocabulary of scent in witty, vivid descriptions of what these smells are like. Their work is, quite simply, ravishingly entertaining, and it passes the high test that their praise is even more compelling than their criticisma]Its blend of technical knowledge and evocative writing is exemplary in the strict sense: people who write about smell and taste in any context should use it as an example.a
-"The New Yorker"
aThis comprehensive book is unfailingly entertaininga]Their passion for a few scents and their outrage at the othersa failings make for entry after entry of hilarious, catty comments interspersed with occasional erudite, eloquent disquisitionsa]This will be a must-have for anyone who already loves perfumesa]and those who arenat 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.a
-"Publishers Weekly," starred review
aAfter spending the better part of a weekend reading a galley a often aloud to anyone willing to listen a I'm convinced Turin and Sanchez offer some of the most stylish, erudite and hilarious criticism in any subject field.a
-"Dallas Morning News"
"Ravishingly entertaining. . . . Its blend of technical knowledge and evocative writing is exemplary in the strict sense: people who write about smell and taste should use it as an example."
-"The New Yorker"
"As vivid as any criticism I've come across in the last few years, and what's more a revelation: part history, part swoon, part plaint."
-Jim Lewis, "Slate"
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Does make you want to go out and buy though!
Most recent customer reviews
I loved the book. Funny, intelligent, instructive. It would be nice if this guide have been updated to include new perfumes, but also other earlier perfumes that are not reviewed.Published 20 months ago by bb