Luca Turin’s NZZ Folio Columns

From 2003 to 2014, perfume critic and scientist Luca Turin wrote columns for the Swiss magazine NZZ Folio on all things scent related. The topics ranged from the beauty of Jean Patou Sublime and Guerlain Mitsouko to the reflections on science and culture, and the columns had a wide following. This month the articles have been released in an e-book form, titled simply The Folio Columns. The foreword is written by Tania Sanchez, Turin’s co-author on Perfumes: the A-Z Guide.


Turin is also the author of The Secret of Scent, a book that the perfume lovers with a penchant for chemistry will find fascinating. Like all of Turin’s writings, it’s witty, erudite and full of surprises.

The Folio Columns: 2003-2014 by Luca Turin, Tania Sanchez (Foreword)
Print Length: 310 pages
Language: English

Available via Amazon.



  • spe: These are nice to have available. Thank you. Unfortunately I don’t usually agree with his fragrance reviews. They are fun to read, however. October 8, 2015 at 10:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Reviews are just one’s person opinion, anyway. His and Tania’s are well-written and thought-provoking, so that’s why I read them. I enjoyed Luca’s NZZ Folio columns very much, so to have them all together would be great. October 8, 2015 at 10:26am Reply

  • Erin T: I’d happily buy a hardcover – wish it wasn’t only available for Kindle. October 8, 2015 at 11:38am Reply

    • Domestic Goblin: I agree! Let’s hope it will be available to buy in hard copy format I soon… October 8, 2015 at 2:11pm Reply

      • Victoria: That’s my hope too. I’m ok with books on Kindle, but this is the sort of book I want on my bookshelf. October 8, 2015 at 4:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’d love a hardcover too, or a paperback. It’s nice to have the Kindle version, all in one place, but this is the sort of book I’d enjoy in a paper format. October 8, 2015 at 4:07pm Reply

  • irem: I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed Turin’s Folio columns when they were publicly available online. Last time I’ve checked NZZ Folio was open to subscribers only, so collecting the columns in a book does make sense. I agree with Erin T., though, I would prefer a paper book to kindle too. And while I certainly do not agree with all of Turin’s perfume reviews, he is certainly a quite entertaining storyteller. October 8, 2015 at 12:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: I saved some of my favorites in a Word document. I liked how his pieces were about so much more than just perfume. October 8, 2015 at 4:17pm Reply

  • Austenfan: This means I will have to get a kindle. I love Luca’s reviews even though I do not always agree with them. I especially like the ones where he has a strong liking for the fragrance in question. His review of Sacrebleu is very nearly as beautiful as the scent itself. October 8, 2015 at 4:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: I liked Sacrebleu review very much. It must be one of my favorites. I wish I loved perfume as much I enjoy that review. October 8, 2015 at 4:19pm Reply

      • Austenfan: It prompted me to buy unsniffed, and no regrets about it either.

        Another favourite of mine was the original review of Eau de Guerlain. The one that was on the Flexitral website:
        “It is often hard to notice when something has gone missing. After years of wearingit every day, and even more years of not giving it a thought, I came upon
        Eau de Guerlain (born 1974) sitting forlorn at the back of a shelf populated by younger heavies, I had forgotten how good it is…”

        I just adore that opening sentence (and Eau de Guerlain) October 8, 2015 at 4:37pm Reply

        • Victoria: I also like that review. October 9, 2015 at 11:44am Reply

    • Carla: I don’t have a kindle. I was able to start a 30 day free trial of kindle for iPad with Amazon to read this. But I am skimming! This is why I don’t read e-books: I skim. I enjoy his alignment of scent and music. I’d love to have Luca Turin and Nigella Lawson at my dinner party. Imagine the banter! October 13, 2015 at 9:42am Reply

  • Ann: Just bought the text for my kindle… Turin and Sanchez’s supreme confidence in their own opinions is a delight to read, even when I (dare) to disagree. And they make it fun for the ride as well. October 9, 2015 at 3:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: Opinion delivered without a dose of confidence would be kind of bland, and yes, I agree with you. I can’t wait to read Tania’s introduction to this volume. October 9, 2015 at 5:07pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

    I’m excited to hear about this book. Like you, I very much enjoy reading Luca Turin’s opinions on perfume and other things, even though I don’t always agree with him. I think his writing is brilliant, and I like Tania Sanchez’ as well.

    Much as I’d like a hard copy of the book, I’m going to shout myself the Kindle version for my birthday tomorrow! One advantage of these editions is that they’re always much less expensive than the paper versions. October 9, 2015 at 9:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a good point about Kindle. I mostly like it for the instant gratification when I want to read a particular book right away and for the convenience when traveling. October 11, 2015 at 12:52pm Reply

  • nozknoz: I bought this as soon as I read about it. I had read them online more than once, which was cumbersome, so I’m delighted to have them on Kindle. They are beautiful essays! October 9, 2015 at 9:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: I just got mine, and I look forward to the evening of reading. October 11, 2015 at 12:54pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: Must have, must have! I often disagree with Luca Turin but I love his reviews. They are so funny. He love Bond No. 9’s Chinatown and I most definitely do not, October 10, 2015 at 4:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: He entertains me and I learn a lot from reading his (and Tania Sanchez’s) articles. October 11, 2015 at 1:12pm Reply

      • SilverMoon: Ditto! Some of those Perfume Guide reviews are simply hilarious, others really heart-felt. Always fun to read, even when one disagrees.

        I heard about this publication here and ordered it right away. The great convenience of kindle, especially if one travels a lot. Look forward to reading it. October 11, 2015 at 5:08pm Reply

        • Victoria: As long as someone is passionate, and it comes through in their writing, it’s more important. Plus, best critics make you see something different in whatever they describe. That’s how I feel about those two. October 12, 2015 at 2:54pm Reply

  • Jane: Thought some of you with access to BBC i-player might like to know that Luca Turin hosted an edition of ‘Saturday Classics’ on BBC radio 3 Saturday 31 Oct in which he paired music with favourite scents…an idea for a thread? November 3, 2015 at 5:09am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for this tip, Jane! November 3, 2015 at 7:48am Reply

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