Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez have released the second quarterly update to Perfumes: The Guide. The Winter 2008 update includes reviews of 129 fragrances plus a top 10 list for 2008, and is available for download for $9.99.
Tania Sanchez on Juicy Couture's Viva La Juicy: "I suspect that Firmenich keeps a swimming-pool-sized vat filled with a diabolically saccharine standard mixture of fruit flavor, vanilla, and musk, fixed with a tap, for perfumers to decant for clients who use pink in the packaging."
They want ten bucks for a quarterly update (so, $40/year) containing not even ten per cent of the contents of the original book for which I paid less than $20, an update which, by all evidence, is just more of the same?
Oh, I don't think so.
Your mileage may vary, of course, but they've gotten all the money from me that they're going to get.
Paid for and one-hour plus and no link to download.
Still no Bulgari Omnia or flankers. Weird.
There it is.
I think if you're in no rush to hear what they think about new scents, it makes no sense — you could presumably wait for next year's paperback edition of the book (due in Oct 09). And if you don't care what they have to say at all, obviously you don't need it.
But I'm guessing many of their readers ARE in a rush, and will happily pay it.
Have they never reviewed Omnia?? There are so many reviews now between the book & the 2 updates that I can't keep track of what's still missing.
No Omnia in book or updates. It is such a weird omission.
No Omnia review. I payed and was able to download after 5 minutes or so. Was eagerly awaiting as I find their writing always a pleasure to read, and I'd do it again, but I must confess that maybe 9 euros (with VAT) is a wee bit more than I expected for an update.
Still no Versace the dreamer and no Montales. Next time? Or never?
Does seem odd.
I honestly don't know what price I expected, but $40 a year just doesn't strike me as outrageous — perhaps I'm especially sympathetic about having to smell & review that many fragrances…
It's certainly not an *outrageous* price, but when compared to the original cost of any book or second edition — even in hardcover — it's a lot. Their writing is certainly pleasurable, but I don't think I'd pay that price for the updates (however, if it were looked at as a $4 monthly newsletter subscription, it would *seem* less pricey in my mind). From a publishing perspective, this type of digital delivery most definitely reaps more profit when you compare all the overhead and materials costs that go into producing a book — in other words, this type of product is very smart business.
The no Montales really gets me. Montale might not send them stuff, but so what? As a wine writer, we get our own samples; in fact, that's where our integrity lies. We also evaluate “blind” which LT and TS don't. They're a fun read, but I don't take them or their reviews too seriously. Basically, I like what I like and don't like what I don't like, so I'm pretty much a self-guided girl. Just the way I like it.
Being peripherally involved in the book industry these are my thoughts….
I enjoy “The Guide” even if I don't always agree. The use of “difinitive” in their cover PR was my only real problem, but that probably had more to do with the publisher…. It is not humanly possible to review all fragrances, as has been noted, even by LT and TS.
I especially enjoyed reading the first supplemental quarterly, so I'm glad their doing it. I'm a nut for reference materials, what can I say?
I don't think that $10.00 per copy of the quarterly is too much. No obnoxious ads, no BS glossy vendor crap, no extra “input” from sponsors, etc. Anyone with a problem with $10 should consider how much you spend each month on other magazines, or for the mailing cost of a US printed mag to Europe or Asia. A downloadable periodical is still just a magazine. I think most “special edition” mags like InStyle or Vogue seasonals cost about $6 – $8 so what's the difference? If you divide that $40 by 12 months, it is $3.33/month. Comparible or cheaper than a monthly magazine w/o mailing costs. Publishing is brutal so don't be too hard on their set up — I imagine they had to tweak a few noses to get the deal they did, and TS and LT admit in the first quarterly that the may be trying to get another book deal, etc. Periodicals are VERY expensive to publish.
Ann, my understanding of the comments in the first quarterly were that the book deal is done, and they'll be coming out with updates every two years “God and publisher willing”. Of course nothing is ever really done until it's out and selling, and sometimes not even then, but I do think this is part promo.
I am very curious to see how it goes for them. Personally I'm rooting for their success, as I am for the success of any writers who figure out how to make money by publishing on the web.
I also hope they are successful both on the web and in print, esp these days when all book deals except those in the works have been halted by most publishers. Those of us lucky to pick up the original guide for less than the list price – $27.95 – are happy about it (myself included), but those low sale/used book prices are what scare publishers away from book deals, and also keep other publishing prices high.
I'm more “distressed” about the price of the Michael Edwards book that I covet so much! Hello Santa!
Well, what do you know. The Omnia review was dropped in the book.
I swear nobody ever wrote to mention that.
Guess I'd better go hunting in the drafts.
I'm not upset by the price at all – I get easily $10 worth of pleasure from the reviews! I'd rather buy updates than have to keep buying the book over and over, when it will not have the number of new reviews that the quarterly updates have, as I understood the email.
Also, it is much more eco-friendly to publish on the web – subscribers can choose to print it out or store it digitally, and you are saving all the paper and chemical use that goes into publishing a book or magazine.
My 2c worth… I am very happy with the idea of paying $9.99 for the updates. I subscribe to various magazines which cost as much or more. In fact I was expecting (hoping) that this might become a subscription service, perhaps in future? And attached to the subscription service might be an online data base of ALL the reviews (plus special features etc.) accessible to subscribers…. just a thought!
Gosh, seriously — they can't cover every niche line or it would have to be a huge coffee table book. Skipping Montale doesn't bother me in the least.
But what do you mean that we evaluate “blind” and they don't? I know what I'm trying when I try it, right?
It is a lot compared to the books but still don't think it's out of line for a newsletter. I guess everybody can decide by buying it or not, LOL…
I think Robin referring to wine writers, R., and that she means they evaluate the wine without looking at the labels or reading the PR, etc. etc…
Oh, of course, sorry! I took “we” in a different way.
Didn't even realize that not all the reviews would go into the book — I'd better read the email more carefully…
Glad we've got a few happy customers weighing in, thanks. The subscription model w/ database is a great idea.
I guess I should write directly to the authors instead of obliquely on other sites!
Montale would be a quarterly newsletter by itself.
Other than the delay in the download (really pretty brief) I am a happy purchaser, too. I read it at lunch. It is barely more expensive than a magazine and all content.
LOL — very true!!
I agree with Tama – I easily got my $10 worth just from reading Magnifique likened to a “yellow risotto that talks back at you”. And four stars for my beloved Brulure de Rose is a bonus, though I would still love it if he had given it one. I am a very happy punter! Must tell my brother now…
Dear R, you've been doing it for free for many years now.
I happily paid for the download – I find Turin and Sanchez very entertaining writers. I would never have bothered if the reviews were dry and boring.
In addition to the Montales, though, I would love to their reviews of the various CdG series – Incense, Red, Synthetic, etc. Not because I need to know what they think of them before I purchase or anything, but because I would just enjoy the reading.
Wow, 4 stars! Have to go read that one.
Well, not exactly — I get paid via advertising, and the simple reality is that if it were not so, there's no way I could afford to invest as much time as I do in this site.
You sound like a Librarian?
If the book fits….
I felt vindicated after the Boucheron I like so much got a whopping 5 stars in the first quarterly! It's hardly ever reviewed, and normally clumped in with other maligned 80's fragrances.
LOL — I feel vindicated when they like what I like, but when they don't, I just figure they're both crazy
Gosh, is the incense series not there either? You guys notice what's missing more than I do.
I paid and enjoyed — oh, I just love their writing. When I agree, they're brilliant. When I disagree, they're rubbish. But, I'm rarely indifferent. Great fun! Couldn't wait…
Agree — they're even fun when they're rubbish, LOL…