As most of you already know, Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez is due out in a couple weeks (current Amazon ship date: 4/10). For those of you who missed that news entirely, here is a little taste of what is to come:
Stupid name, pink perfume, heart shaped bottle, little crown on top. I half expected it to be really great just to spite me. But no, it’s probably the most repulsively cloying thing on the market today.
That's their take on Vera Wang Princess, reprinted from the wonderful review in the New Yorker. The authors have graciously agreed to answer our questions, so come back on Monday to post your question, then I'll post their answers the following week.
And might I point out that I posted a preview-review of their book myself?
Hope it's not considered inappropriate that I mention it.
Thanks! I am looking forward to your interview.
HA! I feel the same way about “Princess.”
Really looking forward to this book! Happy Friday, everyone.
that is such a wonderful excerpt – whether you like Princess or not (I don't), one must appreciate his elegantly funny turn of phrase!
Can't wait for the Q&A! Have a wonderful weekend….and as always, thanks! for all the wonderful news and reviews,etc you bring to this blog. It's just great!
Ooh, I can't wait to read this next week, Robin. I can't wait for the book…Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!
Have a wonderful weekend, darling.
I'm looking forward to it too — have a great weekend!
You have a great weekend too, and thanks for the nice words
Hey, you have a great weekend too — are you going to Scent Bar to meet Andy Tauer??
Wish I was coming too — have a great time, R!
I wish you were joining us, too, darling!
So funny, I'm still laughing at the review of Princess. A crown broke off one of the tester bottles, and I wore it as a ring so I wouldn't lose it. I had little girls complimenting me. lol lol
I'm sure you did!
Really looking forward to the book. Have to admit I'll probably look up the “monumentally awful” first. I love me some good snark *wry grin*
LOL — guessing we'll all look those up first!
I have to say, I'm turned off by Turin's snarkiness and smug know-it-all-ness, and assigning point scores — as a wine writer and judge very familiar with Parkers's wine reviews and their impact — is full of problems. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Hmmm. 2 people brought up the impact of Parker's wine reviews today on the Q&A, but I can't say I see that happening in perfume. No doubt getting a good review in the guide will help sell some perfume, but you know, most fragrance companies are marketing to a VERY young audience that probably doesn't care if Turin & Sanchez don't like Britney Spears Curious. And in general, I don't think people rely on expert advice for perfume as they do for wine — wine does not have “testers”, so you NEED expert advice. We'll see how it all turns out, I guess.
On the snarky, you know, what can I say. If you don't like seeing your favorite perfume ripped to shreds, you ought not read The Guide. It does not mince words. The flip side is that it's massively entertaining, and I have to say, very well written. I am finding it massively fun to read even when I strenuously disagree with it.
I am one of those who ask the question. I love to read LT even if I disagree with some part of his judgement.
But I prefer the LT vintage. With only description and no mark. What is fun is not the mark but how he uses words to describe his feeling.
Concerning the comparison between LT and Parker, I still beleive that the majority of people doesnt have make effort to educate their nose. I mean when I see a Kid playing with shape, color, sound … I always thing .. “Why not smell” … we are quite all blind at the beginning of our perfumista journey.
When you are blind you need guide. And I still beleive that for the moment LT is a good guide. But when the guide became the judge by assigning marks … it is a different person.
When I look at Music or Movies critics … they give mark but I have a solid background to counter what is written.
Nobody see it happening in wine also. Parker at the beginning was one expert amoung others. There is a lot of testers for wine also.
But the economical system of wine market is quite different than the perfume one. Wine can rarely make ad, and 50% of the market is in fact a “Vintage” market and you dont have mainstream houses.
When friends of mine are making a CellRoom, they search new cheap wine than can take value. It is a kind of speculation.
When there is speculation, the expert advice is always taken “too much” into account.
For Chanel, Guerlain, Shisiedo .. LT is unimportant. There is no real effect if he loves or hates a perfume.
But for small niche house, a good review by LT can save you.
I am quite sure that hundreds of more sells are making the difference for Nicolai or for Rosine for exemple.
LT with the Websphere has now an economical impact on niche house. You perhaps dont buy blindly what he likes … but I am quite sure you are ready to “Test”.
Thanks, R. What it is is that I'm questioning, though, the thing that I find problematic, is not related to the question of sales. I question the validity of assigning point scores, period. Fundamentally.
Just looking at the scores I've seen so far, I'd have to say I don't find them consistent with anything I'd call an objective assessment of quality — if that could, in fact, be possible. Verrrry interesting. Of couse, subjectivity is to be expected — which is precisely where the point scores become pretty much completely useless. Interesting maybe, but useless. Hey — guess I'll read the book to find out what their criteria is, and take it from there — with a grain of salt, natch!!
I'm sure the book will be a wild romp and generate oodles of happy/snarky controversy. Which is great. I guess.
Snarkiness-wise, I guess I find that snarky wears thin fast. Maybe it's the Canadian in me? We're a quiet, live-and-let-live, respectful bunch up here, generally. I mean, that's just why I like NST: you guys keep snarkiness down to a dull roar. Snarky blogs get pretty tedious pretty quick.
More importantly, I associate fragrance with the love of beauty, with positive stuff in general, and snarkiness is that kind of negativity that just isn't beautiful in the least. There's so much of that in the world already. Fragrance is my sanctuary from that, so this book seems to be about everything I don't want fragrance to be about: ego and know-it-all-ism and put-downs.
For what it's worth.
Sorry, criteria ARE!! Whoops!
You know, I'm pretty much live & let live too. But have to say the book is a joy to read, and while I agree that snarky can wear thin fast, it holds up better when you know what you're talking about. I don't agree w/ all their assessments, but they know their stuff, and that matters. Snarky w/o knowledge is just annoying. And, will also say that if you love beauty, you'll find that here too…it is very obvious that they LOVE perfume. I can't say the same of all snarky perfume critics.
I hear you, Robin. It's so reassuring to hear your. . .reasonableness. That's what I love about you and your contributors.
Good, intellient, well-placed snarkiness plus deep knowledge, respect and passion for fragrance will no doubt equal one heckuva satisfying page-turner. I just know I'm going spend many nights up far past my bedtime reading it.
I think you'll enjoy it. And I had just as much fun clucking with disapproval over the nasty things they said about my beloved Hiris as I did nodding my head in agreement with what they said about…oh, I don't know, all the brands I don't like, LOL…
They DARED to diss Hiris???? ;-D
I quote: 'Orrible.
LOL! It really is great fun to read.