Sunday, 23 November 2008

Perfumes: The Guide

Perfumes: The Guide, a new book by husband and wife team fragrance experts Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, sounds like the sort of unwanted Christmas present you might get, but in actual fact it’s super super, and we really recommend it. Look up over a thousand different perfumes and find a short review (often hilariously harsh, but always spot-on) of each, in addition to some introduction stuff about fragrances in general. It’s great fun, and you’ll spend hours looking up every fragrance you and your partner, friends, family, pets (yes, it happens) etc. have ever worn. What’s more, it looks stylish enough to have on the coffee table (the UK cover we’re talking: the USA one looks more commercial), even though the authors are totally non-elitist about the fragrances they’ll review: they’ll dip down to the level of the celebrity fragrances, which surprisingly aren't always the ones with the lowest ratings.

Some priceless extracts (all these got just one or two stars):

Almost Bare (Bobbi Brown) “Hissy bleached-bones fresh floral, likely just what the brief asked for. Smells like the latex backing on new carpet.”

Beat (Rimmel) “At last, we have commercially available in the West the powerful passionfruit odor of which all clean bathrooms in Southeast Asia reek, I assume because it encourages visitors to leave quickly. Exceptionally repulsive, even considered solely against other airheaded fruity florals.”

Amazing Grace (Philosophy) “A dull, generic, cutesy-pie, pink, frilly, itsy-bitsy floral thing, mysteriously accompanied by the words “how you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you climb down the mountain.” The effect of that gnomic pronouncement is somewhat blunted by the nearby list of ingredients: “benzyl salicylate, benzophenone, hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, amyl cinnamal, benzyl alcohol, butylphenylmethylpropional, citronellol, geraniol, hexylcinnamal, hydroxycitronellal, hydroxy methylpentyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, limonene.” In short, a muguet.”

Rouge (Christian Lacroix) “Remember the scene in the movie Heathers in which Winona Ryder’s character proposes making another character vomit by serving her a mixture of milk and orange juice? That’s the top note here: a small, sad, grapefruit-flavored version of the grand Gucci Rush. Resolves into a mild woody rose of no great distinction.”

More info here.

And while we're on perfumes, how cool is the new limited-edition Issey Miyake fragrance bottle, originally designed 20 years ago by Shiro Kuramata, a design partner of Miyake, who has since died - it's a sphere contained within a glass cube, and only recently has the technology become available to produce it.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, the guide may have to be a Christmas present to myself if I can't spring for some l'eau d'issey