“You’ll use that stuff til it’s used up!” my budget-minded better half admonished me when he heard I was thinking of spending money on something as frivolous as a new smell. But how could I content myself with anything less than a perfect perfume, now that I knew there was an art to this stuff?
Last week, we gave readers the chance to ask Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez questions about perfume and their new book, The Little Book of Perfumes: The Hundred Classics. Here are their answers.
Karin: Hey Luca and Tania – we miss you!!!! Would love to see an update of The Guide. Is that a possibility?
TS: Thanks for asking. We’re both burned out on the subject at the moment. Sorry!
Angela: My question is, in your opinion which perfume house has had the most heinous reformulations? (My money is on Dior.) Which house has had the most respectful reformulations?
TS: The most heinous would be Caron. Respectful—this may not be a fair question. Dior has been abominably unlucky. (See below.) I do think that Piguet’s reconstructions of Fracas, Baghari and Futur were perfect examples of how one can do legacy perfumery with integrity. (Of course, Cravache and Visa were perfect examples of how not to.)
Robin: Angie, I have a side question that relates to yours — in their review of Diorella (2011 update) they say “No one can blame Dior’s head perfumer, Francois Demachy, for allergen regulations that have made citrus, jasmine, and oakmoss tricky to use’, but it seems to me that you’re spot on, Dior has done the worst job of any house. Just figures that they had all the iconic Edmond Roudnitska fragrances. I’d like to know if there is something about those fragrances in particular that makes them harder to update than, say, the fragrances in Chanel’s back catalog.
TS: That’s just it…
The Little Book of Perfumes: The Hundred Classics by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez is officially on sale now — if you pre-ordered, you probably already have your copy.
If you don’t know what it is, you can find the book announcement here. I’m not going to review it (nor is anyone else around here, since we haven’t got a book reviewer at the moment), but I’ll tell you a few things I noticed right away:
The snark is gone, largely because they’re only talking about fragrances they think are good. If you liked the snark, that will be a minus, but for those who were put off by the tone, this is the volume you want.
Many of you were wondering if you needed The Little Book if you already owned one of the original two versions (Perfumes: The Guide or Perfumes: The A-Z Guide). That is, of course, up to you, but there is new material, albeit not a ton of it…
The Little Book of Perfumes: The Hundred Classics by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez is now available for pre-order at the major online bookstores (delivery around 10/27)…
The new paperback version of Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez is now available under the name Perfumes: The A-Z Guide. The retail price is $20; Amazon has it at the moment for $13.60.
The book includes the reviews from the hardback plus the reviews from the three quarterly updates, and a handful of new reviews and a few other changes…