New Book Release: The Little Book of Perfumes: The Hundred Classics
November 1, 2011

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By Raphaella Barkley and Mark David Boberick
Co-Founder, creator and artist of A Dozen Roses, Sandy Cataldo, signing bottles
The latest volume from Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, the authors of Perfumes: The Guide
The Hundred Classics by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez


I am thrilled to see a book that is dedicated to the top selections in perfumery of Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez that so skillfully celebrates the art of fragrance. “The Little Book of Perfumes” does just that.

It has been said by some in the industry that Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez have become the Hedda Hopper/Louella Parsons of the fragrance press for writing so many “gossipy” reviews of fragrances.  While I personally own and enjoy Mr. Turin’s and Ms. Sanchez’ compilation, Perfumes The Guide, I’ve found that the often negative point of view expressed in the book makes for uncomfortable reading at times.  But, after all, the views expressed in their book are just opinion. I have wondered, though, just how many people do buy into the negative press and form their own opinions based on what these authors, and others like them, convey to their audience.  I also find it difficult to digest the fact that, in Perfumes The Guide, there seems a willingness to diminish certain fragrances under the guise of “entertainment”. I have never found this derogatory style to be all that entertaining, but there are always many readers who, unfortunately and gleefully, will.  Who wants to read someone’s opinion on “one star” fragrances anyway, especially if it was one of your favorites? 

This new petite volume titled “The Little Book of Perfumes” concentrates on ninety-six top fragrances and, in my mind, makes up for the past.  I could not help but notice that the book is dedicated “to the Perfumers”, an important tribute in acknowledging these artists. I also especially enjoyed the new Forward by Ms. Sanchez.

Of course, the first thing I did (and don’t lie, you will too) is to go to the section entitled Top Ten Lists where you may find some of your favorites.  Important too is the section on four legendary scents preserved only in the French museum of perfume, the Osmothèque.  Everyone who loves perfumes should know about this valuable institution and be aware of the efforts to preserve the history of perfume.  The book describes four great historical perfumes that are gone forever and may fill you with a sense of loss, as it did me.

There is no denying the wit and talent of Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez.  Their style of writing is quite beautiful. There are many behind the scenes narratives and fascinating tales of which many of us would not otherwise know.  Bottom line is that I very much enjoyed this little work of art, which truly is “The Little Book of Perfumes”.   This book is worthy of purchase, if only for keeping the utterly ravishing favorites of Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez under one roof. 

MARK DAVID BOBERICK | Managing Editor:

With their latest publication, The Little Book of Perfumes: The Hundred Classics, Luca Turn and Tania Sanchez curate their best, 5-star fragrance reviews from their previous book, Perfumes: The Guide, into one pocket-sized volume. Very little has really changed between the two books, save for an update here and there, a few more lists, and an entire chapter devoted to the Osmotheque and 4 legendary long-lost fragrances still housed there. Oh, and the absence of over 1700 reviews of 4-stars or less. But where this book truly succeeds is in its decidedly more positive tone: offering the reader a good reason to seek out and try all one hundred fragrances.

As a fragrance lover who realizes the extreme subjectivity of this art form, I have always been remiss to “rate” a fragrance. I realize there is an audience for every scent created, and while I may not personally enjoy some fragrances, I would never go so far as to ruin them for someone else. Thankfully, this new volume edits out most of the negativity, but it also edits out most of the amusement one may have found in reading Turin and Sanchez rip a “bad’ fragrance to shreds as they did so effortlessly in Perfumes: The Guide. I wish this book was released first.

The Little Book of Perfumes can seem, at times, like a giant call-to-arms to start an anti-IFRA revolution. (And where do I sign up?) It was only 3 years ago that their previous book was released, but in this latest tome, the reader can already see a giant presence of the reformulation of legendary fragrances that now appear on department store counters as shadows of their former selves. When finished with this book, the question of whether or not classic fragrances are becoming endangered species is answered.