Good Read... The Little Book of Perfumes (Cologne too.)

paul cram smile
Wandering the shelves of the library this morning I glimpse Luca Turin's latest addition to his series of perfume review books. The Little Book of Perfumes: The Hundred Classics. I've read some of Luca's work before and always bust out laughing from his sometimes snarky words. Not that it's all acid, there's some very beautiful imagery as well.

I nab it along with some cook books for my Saturday afternoon reading.

Good Timing

An envelope is waiting in my mail box. Inside, the three scent samples I ordered from New York perfumer Neil Morris. Whom I've heard a lot about from my fire red-haired chum, as she's been drooling over his fragrance descriptions for weeks. Going as far as to read them aloud to me during late night phoning. Which in turn, makes my nose drool too. (Somehow the "nose drooling" reference sounded better in my mind while typing than it does as I just reread it.)

I'll include pictures of the the three scent samples I received from Neil Morris. Gotham, Cafe, and Dark Season at the foot of this entry.

little book of perfumes

Black, White, & Hyper Pink

I enjoy the it when opening the black & white cover of Luca's book to get hit in the face with the hyper-pink paper color used for the interior paste down page and free end page. Being that I didn't know what a paste down page or free end page were before jotting this review, I had to look up a  book anatomy diagram while writing this.

Size Matters

As the title suggests, this is a small book. This is certainly a slimmed down version of Luca's earlier penned piece Perfumes, The A-Z Guide which hefted 640 pages. This title comes in at 107 pages. Which is not very many when you consider getting past the dedication pages, the author's note pages, the foreword; the glossary in the back & index of terms.  Maybe size truly doesn't matter? We'll see.

How The Book Works

Husband/wife author duo Luca Turin & Tania Sanchez put together the catalog of perfume reviews in an easy-to-digest format. The 100 perfume/colognes are organized by name alphabetically. Along with the perfume house that created the scent, a two word description of the scent, and include a one-to-four dollar sign as a price guide. One dollar sign $ means 5-50 dollars, $$ means from 51-100, $$$ from 101-200, $$$$ over 200. All based on standard U.S. retail rates.

Example Review

Derby (Guerlain) smoky wood $$$
Derby is an oddity, the only case of a Guerlain masterpiece gone unnoticed. Released in 1985, it had very little impact, probably because of poor advertising and an ugly bottle. It was then repackaged and sold only at the Paris store, then briefly deleted, then reissued and now part of their lineup, one hope permanently. Guerlain's gush and guff would have us believe that every one of Jean-Paul Guerlain's best fragrances is a paean to the eternal feminin. The truth is he's always been rather better at composing things for his own use, exhibits being Vetiver and habit Rouge. Derby sits halfway between the confident swagger of HR and the dry restraint of Vetiver, on what might be described as the center of gravity of male fragrance. In structure, it is woody-balsamic with a touch of smoke. In radiance, it is like a Kirlian photograph of a healthy leaf, projecting a deep-green aura no farther than an inch, but surprisingly intense and durable up close. One of the best masculines of all time. LT
-From page 29 of The Little Book Of Perfumes, The Hundred Classics

Nice Touches

Two Word Fragrance Description Atop Each Review

In two words, size up the aroma. "Chocolate rose, Hot rubber, Butter tuberose, & Godzilla floral." Apt descriptions like these brings a smile to my face. If brevity is a virtue, these are almost holy.
So far, of the scents I've whiffed, I agree with the two-worded tag from Luca & Tania.
Date Of Their Sample Bottle

I appreciate the inclusion of the date on some of the samples they are smelling for their review.
This is great considering so many colognes and perfumes are being reformulated by strict (sometimes silly, sometimes not so funny) guidelines.

luca turin
Top Ten Lists

Some great lists. I've used the Best Masculines list to test out new fragrances. There's a lot of fun one's:
Best feminines
Best masculines for women
Best feminines for men
Best big ticket splurges
Desert island (This list is funny to me, answering the question of which ten fragrances Luca and Tania would choose if they were marooned on a desert island.)

All In All

This is a great book if you don't want to stray too far from commercialized fragrance. (I've been finding some amazing scents by going off the beaten path. See On My Quest for a Good Cologne Had To Stop & Ask for Directions. This also is a great read if you are looking to stay on the positive side of things. But if you are anything like me, and enjoy some sarcastic jabs and mockery, then take a look at Perfumes: The A-Z Guide in which Luca & Tania include scents they give one star ratings. Verbally shredding celebrity fragrances brought about by the likes of Paris Hilton and The Olson Twins.

Looking Forward To Trying These Fragrance Samples

neil morris fragrance

Neil Morris, Gotham

Neil Morris, Cafe

Neil Morris, Dark Season