luca turin: 6 posts

Favorite Perfume Books to learn about history, science, and techniques

Whenever I’m asked about my favorite books, two parallel thoughts flash through my mind–how much time do you have to listen to me and which are my favorite books. As someone who reads in all genres and on all topics, I have difficulty pairing down my favorites to to a small-talk appropriate list. However, when it comes to perfume books, I have no difficulty answering the question; my most read books are always within reach. Today, I will start with a list of books that I use for reference. I read them cover to cover and dip into chapters at random to learn about perfumery techniques, styles, or the fragrance industry.

Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells by Harold McGee

I first talked to Harold McGee about this book project more than ten years ago, but I believe that it took him even longer to research it. The wait has been worth it. McGee’s erudition sparkles on every page, and you can open the book on any chapter and find something new about aromas, molecules, emotions — and your own nose. It’s a study of olfaction as well as the world as we experience it through our senses. McGee weaves his personal experiences throughout his discussions, which gives Nose Dive its rich, layered quality. If you’re familiar with McGee’s writings on food and the science of cooking, you don’t need me to advertise this book further. Highly recommended.

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Perfumes The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez

Every year brings us a few thousand new perfumes. When I stand in front of a perfume counter, I’m reminded of something I learned in my university psychology course – too much choice leads to anxiety. Thankfully, there are people who work tirelessly to make sense of the fragrance market and save us from experiencing choice overload. One such individual is Michael Edwards, whose Fragrances of the World, aka The Fragrance Bible, has been cataloguing and classifying perfumes since 1983. Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez are the other brave souls. Their Perfumes: The Guide 2018 includes more than 1,200 reviews of fragrances, along with tips on navigating that overwhelming perfume counter.

I’ve reviewed Perfumes: The Guide 2018 for my FT Magazine column (please click here to read it), but after I finished the piece, I had more to share from my interview with Tania Sanchez. Such as what were the authors’ favorite fragrances as they were working on the Guide, what perfumers do some of the best work today, what would Tania & Luca recommend to someone new to fragrance as well as some of their own favorite reviews.

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The Secret of Scent : Luberon 2016

When: October 2o-24, 2016. Where: Luberon, France. What: The Secret of Scent, a three day perfume course that I will be co-authoring with Luca Turin. The organizers tell me that we can still accommodate a couple of spots, so this is just a reminder. More details can be found via Science and Vacation and my previous post.

coty chypre

Those who have already emailed me about attending, I look forward to meeting you later this fall.

Whether you’re attending or not, I’d love to hear what fragrances you would most like to try in their original formulations?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, my vintage Coty Chypre is part of the plan!

“Secret of Scent” Course with Me and Luca Turin

SOLD OUT

On October 20-24 I  will be giving a glimpse inside the world of perfumery during a 3-day science & art event in France. I will be joined by Luca Turin and together we will explain various aspects of smell, from the chemistry and neuroscience of olfaction to the art and culture of perfume.

perfume-lab2

The event is part of the Science & Vacation program, and it’s designed to give you as rich and multifaceted an experience as possible. You will learn about the anatomy and physiology of the sense of smell, study the perfumer’s palette, smell rare vintage fragrances–and by rare, I mean Coty Chypre, original versions of Guerlain Mitsouko and other Osmothèque worthy treasures, and even learn about the basics of fragrance composition. The course will take place in the Lubéron region famous for its lavender fields, and there will be lots of good food, wine and interesting discussions.

Reservations can be made via Science & Vacation. For all of the logistical details, accommodation and prices, please contact Science & Vacation directly.

Also, on October 6-10th, Science & Vacation will have a food related course presented by Guelia Pevzner. “Over the course of a long weekend in October, we are presenting a series of lectures and discussions on the subject of food and its future. We also plan to indulge in sampling a variety of regional French cuisines.” It’s worth taking a look.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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.

folio

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
ASIN: B016A53RMG

Available via Amazon.

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