The Guide

Book - 2008
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Turin, a renowned scientist and Sanchez, a longtime perfume critic, are experts in the world of scent. They have spent years sniffing the world's most elegant and beautiful - as well as some truly terrible - perfumes. In this authoritative, one of a kind book, they combine talents and experience to review over 1200 fragrances, separating the divine from the good from the awful. Also includes introductions to fragrances for men and women, as well as a comprehensive FAQ section. The essential guide to shopping for fragrances.
Publisher: New York : Viking, c2008
ISBN: 9780670018659
Branch Call Number: 668.54 TUR
Characteristics: ix, 384 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Sanchez, Tania


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Oct 02, 2010

There are some books on the clearance shelf that have missed there niche, then there are those that should die there with the funerals only attended by the authors (not even the publisher or editors): this book is the latter. First, there is only 50 pages of actual book (more on that later). Second, of those 50 pages, it lacks a coherent focus, any sort of transition or unification. Why? Explainable by the third reason the book sucked: the authors did not write together but wrote separate interspersed sections that contrast greatly (but NOT in a comparative sense); LT wrote in highly technical terminology and complex structures that should be reserved for those studying chemistry (not indulging even his own notion of perfume being the art of chemistry); TS wrote in insipid prose without conveying any real information (ironic considering her criticism of perfumes' marketing copy). She (TS) is no expert, merely a person who has "written hundreds of reviews on websites" (consumer reviews on open forums; this is about the equivalent of my saying I am an advice columnist because I have answered over 500 questions on Yahoo Answers). It is like both wanted to write a book but neither could get a book deal on their own, so they were slapped together (him the brain, her a semi-writer with none) but separated like bad salad dressing, giving you that oily coating in your mouth that prevents the experience of any flavour. Despite her discussion of the changing tide in perfume where enthusiasts are searching for the vocabulary and means of description/understanding to intellectualize perfume's enjoyment much like wine, she offers no explanation. Meanwhile, his technical discussions are beyond the average enthusiast but still leave so much detail out as to never inspire the chemist to grow into a perfumer. There is little for the novice enthusiasts and expert alike. Lastly, their "guide" at the end, a compendium of their "reviews" of perfumes (comprising 300+ pages of the book) are based solely on personal taste with little to no description of the artistry and form of the perfume, making the "guide" useless to the reader, who will have their own tastes. A good reviewer, like a food columnist, can break down the balance and elements within so as to discern that a dish may be technically good despite not fitting in their personal tastes, but neither has such skill with perfume. To be generous, at most read the 3 pages of FAQs (geared to the novice enthusiast), but you can do so in a minute holding the book by the shelf: you don't even need to borrow it! You can learn more about perfume from frivolous women's magazines while awaiting your haircut.

asbookchick Sep 03, 2008

Extremely useful resource! It rates perfumes from 1-5 stars, describing the type of scents involved eg. oriental floral. A must-see before deciding on your next perfume!

lilybelle Jul 29, 2008

Very interesting book rating and discussing popular perfumes. One of a kind!

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