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The Little Book of Perfumes: The Hundred Classics

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The quintessential guide to the one hundred most glorious perfumes in the world. When Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez published Perfumes: The Guide in 2008, it was hailed as "ravishingly entertaining" by John Lanchester in The New Yorker, "witty and knowledgeable" on Style.com, and "provocative and hugely entertaining" by the Times Literary Supplement. The Little Book of Per The quintessential guide to the one hundred most glorious perfumes in the world. When Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez published Perfumes: The Guide in 2008, it was hailed as "ravishingly entertaining" by John Lanchester in The New Yorker, "witty and knowledgeable" on Style.com, and "provocative and hugely entertaining" by the Times Literary Supplement. The Little Book of Perfumes focuses on just one hundred masterpieces of perfume: ninety-six five-star perfumes from the original book, as well as four "museum" perfumes-legendary scents that are preserved in the Versailles Osmothèque. This stunningly produced petite volume offers lovers of perfume the best of the best-a perfect gift book for anyone looking either for a brilliant fragrance or an intelligent, witty read.


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The quintessential guide to the one hundred most glorious perfumes in the world. When Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez published Perfumes: The Guide in 2008, it was hailed as "ravishingly entertaining" by John Lanchester in The New Yorker, "witty and knowledgeable" on Style.com, and "provocative and hugely entertaining" by the Times Literary Supplement. The Little Book of Per The quintessential guide to the one hundred most glorious perfumes in the world. When Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez published Perfumes: The Guide in 2008, it was hailed as "ravishingly entertaining" by John Lanchester in The New Yorker, "witty and knowledgeable" on Style.com, and "provocative and hugely entertaining" by the Times Literary Supplement. The Little Book of Perfumes focuses on just one hundred masterpieces of perfume: ninety-six five-star perfumes from the original book, as well as four "museum" perfumes-legendary scents that are preserved in the Versailles Osmothèque. This stunningly produced petite volume offers lovers of perfume the best of the best-a perfect gift book for anyone looking either for a brilliant fragrance or an intelligent, witty read.

30 review for The Little Book of Perfumes: The Hundred Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    Every buff has a list: the hundred films you must see before dying, the top three cheeseburgers in the northern hemisphere, the ten most overrated paintings, the twenty most idiotic reviews in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, etc. What pleasurable conniptions attend the discovery that someone has ranked Hellboy II above Casablanca or thinks Let It Be trumps Revolver! In fact, probably the best reason to make such a list is the easy satisfaction it provided of infuriating so many with so little effort. *c Every buff has a list: the hundred films you must see before dying, the top three cheeseburgers in the northern hemisphere, the ten most overrated paintings, the twenty most idiotic reviews in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, etc. What pleasurable conniptions attend the discovery that someone has ranked Hellboy II above Casablanca or thinks Let It Be trumps Revolver! In fact, probably the best reason to make such a list is the easy satisfaction it provided of infuriating so many with so little effort. *cut to me guffawing* It's true though. I mean, why else make a best-of list if not to piss people off? Seems like a petty hill to die on, but I've seen pettier. If you're new to the world of perfumes, read this book after Perfumes: The Guide by the same authors. I did it backwards, so that kind of spoiled The Guide for me. But if you don't mind spoilers, read them however you like. This book is a "short" list of all the perfumes that received 4 or 5 stars in The Guide, with added updates and commentary of new formulas and compositions. I don't agree with Turin's or Sanchez's ratings or reviews most of the time because our individual tastes don't overlap--they think musk and spice are sexy and seductive, I think they're overrated and suffocating--but their writing is always fun to read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Perfumery is the least-appreciated form of art, and bewilderingly so, since smell shortcuts all logic centers on its way to emotive response. These authors, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, are the only consistent, or at least consistently intelligent, perfume critics. This book contains descriptions of their 100 favorite perfumes and is written in their typical smart, humorous style. For example, here's the opening line of their review of Vanilia by L'Artisan Parfumeur: "There's Bad Vulgar (Louis V Perfumery is the least-appreciated form of art, and bewilderingly so, since smell shortcuts all logic centers on its way to emotive response. These authors, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, are the only consistent, or at least consistently intelligent, perfume critics. This book contains descriptions of their 100 favorite perfumes and is written in their typical smart, humorous style. For example, here's the opening line of their review of Vanilia by L'Artisan Parfumeur: "There's Bad Vulgar (Louis Vuitton handbags, wood veneer in a brand-new car), there's Good Vulgar (flames painted on aircraft engine cowls, John Barry's James Bond theme), and then there's Great Vulgar: Vanilia." This isn't a stuffy, highbrow examination of the evolution of the great perfume houses; one of the book's more interesting points is that it includes old, new, cheap, expensive, mainstream, and niche fragrances. On a personal note, I'm pleased (and, I admit, somewhat vindicated in my scent obsession) to see that my own favorite fragrance (Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne) and a fragrance I picked for Scott (Breath of God by Lush) are both included in their 100 favorites.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Most of it duplicates what's in the much more extensive The Guide, but there are a few re-takes on old entries (like TS's dissenting opinion on Sécrétions Magnifiques, which made me laugh) and updates on old favorites now reformulated (with plenty of comments on IFRA's role in those reformulations -- some for the better, most not). I think this would be a nice gift for budding perfumistas and I'm glad I read it, but since I already have The Guide... I'm not sure I would purchase this one again, Most of it duplicates what's in the much more extensive The Guide, but there are a few re-takes on old entries (like TS's dissenting opinion on Sécrétions Magnifiques, which made me laugh) and updates on old favorites now reformulated (with plenty of comments on IFRA's role in those reformulations -- some for the better, most not). I think this would be a nice gift for budding perfumistas and I'm glad I read it, but since I already have The Guide... I'm not sure I would purchase this one again, if I had to do it over again.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anne Lutomia

    An excellent read and guide for those interested in the perfume and fragrance knowledge.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aileen

    Quotable throughout. Sent me to the perfume counter for the first time in my 45 years. Loved the book, loved the perfume counter and everything I smelled made me sneeze. Didn't matter, great experience reading and sniffing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elisa Fierro

    Informative and funny Very pleasant to read, it makes you laugh while describing the variegated world of perfumery. I was able to write down many names of fragrances i definitely want to try.

  7. 5 out of 5

    S

    Each whiff of a new fragrace takes one on a unique journey, with an itinerary carefully composed by one of a select, highly trained and gifted group of artists referred to as "Noses". Luca Turin is legend among Noses, and he has a way of describing the musky wine and creamy sweetness of rose, the apricot jam and India Ink of jasmine, and the sea foam, honey,and damp-earth scent of lilacs that will leave you trembling and enchanted and begging for more. He reminds us of the grandeur present in so Each whiff of a new fragrace takes one on a unique journey, with an itinerary carefully composed by one of a select, highly trained and gifted group of artists referred to as "Noses". Luca Turin is legend among Noses, and he has a way of describing the musky wine and creamy sweetness of rose, the apricot jam and India Ink of jasmine, and the sea foam, honey,and damp-earth scent of lilacs that will leave you trembling and enchanted and begging for more. He reminds us of the grandeur present in some of the original formulations of once classic intoxicants such as YSL's Opium, and Guerlain's Chamade; and mourns the loss of these femme fatales due to European restrictions on ingredients as basic as sandalwood. He takes no prisoners on reformulations and doesn't shy away from trampling on the reputation of revamped and reissued imitations of fragrance royalty. The 2011 European restrictions have turned the chypre and peach mystery of Guerlain' 1919 masterpiece Mitsouko into a "faded Art Nouveau poster of the original." Those qualities of Mr. Turin swept me off my feet in a swoon. What really endeared him to me was his artist's indifference to commercialism and marketing and well,fashion. He doesn't tip his hat only for the old perfume houses of Guerlain, Chanel and Dior, and niche creations by Malle and Lutens, but also bows before Cacharel's Loulou (1987) and LUSH's Breath of God. Due to this book, I have vowed to track down vintage bottles of L'Heure Bleue, Mitsouko and Apres l'Ondee before my next birthday then make a pilgrimage to Versailles, not in homage to Marie Antoinette, but to worship at the altar of the Osmotheque, a museum dedicated to the art of perfumery.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Thomas

    I am a confessed perfume junkie, so as soon as I saw this book advertised I snapped it up. The beauty of reading these reviews of the 100 classic perfumes is in the authors' ability to paint word-pictures of scents. The alchemy of perfume-making is something most of us will never grasp, but the descriptions in this book bring the reader as close as possible to an understanding of the experience a perfumer has with the great scents. As someone who owns far too many perfumes but has only a beginne I am a confessed perfume junkie, so as soon as I saw this book advertised I snapped it up. The beauty of reading these reviews of the 100 classic perfumes is in the authors' ability to paint word-pictures of scents. The alchemy of perfume-making is something most of us will never grasp, but the descriptions in this book bring the reader as close as possible to an understanding of the experience a perfumer has with the great scents. As someone who owns far too many perfumes but has only a beginner's knowledge of the history of perfumes, I found this little volume to be a great resource. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that the authors don't only focus on the name-drop scents like Chanel No. 5 but also bring more obscure masterpieces to the reader's attention. The description of the perfume Le Temps d'une Fete by Parfums de Nicolai was so vivid and so beautiful that I immediately ordered it online - and when I sniffed it the first time, I actually exclaimed out loud because it was so stunning. If you have a love for perfume, this is a wonderful little book to add to your collection (but be aware that it's going to inspire you to go on a shopping spree!).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily Benoit

    Overall Rating: 3/5 stars Nice compact book filled with lots of info about classic perfumes and many of which I havent heard of, which is somewhat nice. Pretty sophisticated perfume talk and language in here, but an interesting read for sure for any perfume junkie like me!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mapleleaf

    A wonderful collection of perfumes within a time period. Ratings are available in excel minus the descriptions. Agreed with some ratings/assessments and ignored ones I didn't agree with.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lulu Jane

    I re-read this every few years as I acquire perfumes or smell re formulations or originals mentioned in the book. I wish all perfume writing was like this, it's so joyful and weirdly relaxing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    loved, very informative

  13. 4 out of 5

    Teri Zipf

    I keep a copy of this on my Kindle, just in case I need to look a scent up. Haven't done that yet, but that's the idea.

  14. 5 out of 5

    K.

    This hurt to read. I will never ever support the horrible offending brands/liars. It was like having my heart broken over and over.

  15. 5 out of 5

    E A

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carol Melancon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hilary Foster

  18. 4 out of 5

    AURORA

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katja Reads

  20. 5 out of 5

    danielle de Medeiros

  21. 4 out of 5

    Петър

  22. 5 out of 5

    Saatwik Katiha

  23. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Burnett

  24. 4 out of 5

    calla harris

  25. 5 out of 5

    Petra

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luan Nguyen

  27. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jing

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Kirsten

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rūta Jociūtė-Žolynienė

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