I am counting the days (one) until Amazon ships me my copy of Perfumes: The Guide, by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. I haven't looked forward to something so much since the last Harry Potter book. Perfumes: The Guide will include some good basic educational stuff, like the answers to such questions as "what's the difference between eau de toilette and eau de cologne?" and "how long does perfume keep?" - it will also include reviews of hundreds of perfumes, which is what I am really looking forward to. Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez produce some of the very best writing on perfume I have yet encountered, and I think reading this book is going to be an experience in just sheer, unadulterated pleasure.
Here are excerpts of two reviews from the book, taken from the authors' website - the first review is by Sanchez, the second by Turin:
What saves KenzoAmour from falling into the sticky caramel death trap that gums up other vanillas is that its loyalties lie not with cakes and cookies but with something more low-key: rice pudding. While this may make Amour seem fit only for the toothless, its soothing, softly powdery vanilla-woods sweetness stays from dinner until breakfast.... TS
....[Bois de Violette's] woody-fruity violet smell of methyl ionone recapitulates and intensifies the rest of the fragrance. Its rotation takes place around the center; the stained glass mandala is perfected by a violet gem around which everything dances. I remember stepping out of Lutens’s purple shop into the perpetually quiet walled gardens, armed with this purple smell with a purple name, thinking I was carrying the most precious object in the world.... LT
I'm not posting these excerpts here to make you run out and buy the book, just to let you enjoy some dang good writing.