Luca Turin's perfume reviews @perfumes_ilove

Archive for April 2016

Tabac Grande (Sultan Pasha Attars)****

When I lived in North Carolina I used to go at weekends to a spectacular grocery called Fowler’s, now sadly closed, smack in the centre of tobacco-town Durham. The place had the peculiar, eerie quiet of US downtowns outside working hours. Dotted all around were windowless buildings full of tobacco to the eaves. The rich, complicated smell of cured tobacco was everywhere, as always poised midway between delicious and poisonous. […]

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Institut Très Bien

I was delighted to see the ITB stand at Esxence, because I feared that they had gone out of business, and their old range of Colognes was great. I was also fond of the name which roughly translates as “Institute Well Done”, Très Bien being (if you’re lucky) written in red ink by a teacher in the margin of a French schoolbook with its weird musical-stave ruling. I imagine the citrus Cologne constraint […]

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Masque Milano

As I said in a previous post, I chanced into the Masque Milano stand at Esxence and was sat down and given a glass of bubbly and a very cogent explanation of their recent work. It was immediately obvious that a lot of thought had gone into the fragrance art direction. Thought is not a sufficient condition to make great perfumes, but it is necessary, and in very short supply […]

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Green Water (Jacques Fath) ****

While at Esxence, I walked past the Jacques Fath stand without stopping when,  out of the corner of my eye, I saw the name Green Water which I remembered from years ago as a complete joke. I was wrong: this was not the dismal earlier reissue, but an entirely different new thing done for Fath by independent perfumer Cécile Zarokian, together with three other fragrances. Her name seemed to be […]

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Giovanni Sammarco

At Esxence I met Giovanni Sammarco, a Swiss perfumer. He sent me samples of four of his fragrances. They are of such unusual quality that I feel I would be remiss not mentioning them all. 1- Vitrum, a beautiful, quiet vetiver with a touch of rose, one of the best of its kind that I can remember. I am minded to wear this one every day. 2- Bond-T, a huge and […]

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The Lost Perfume

I’ve been carrying around, through 12 house moves in thirty years, an empty bottle of Shaïna packed in bubble wrap. I just unpacked it for the 13th time yesterday. It was not always empty. I bought it full from the legendary Mme Ricou, in Menton, circa 1986. But it leaked badly, lost all its contents despite Parafilm and deposited the dry residue on the porcelain bottle and the bubble wrap. The formula […]

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Anubis (Papillon Perfumery)****

As an audiophile of long standing and limited means, I am struck by similarities between loudspeakers and perfumes, especially in the manner of their choosing. Most people who don’t much care about sound (including many professional musicians who tend to listen to the playing, not the recording) buy little desktop or bookshelf speakers that adequately carry the spectrum but turn muddled and shouty when pushed hard. If they ever actually pick them by sound, they […]

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