perfumesilove

Luca Turin's perfume reviews @perfumes_ilove perfumesIlove@gmail.com

Archive for April 2016

Choyita (Perfumera Curandera)****

My perfumer friend Dominique Dubrana, whose judgment I trust, recently suggested I smell the all-natural, all-organic creations of Perfumera Curandera (perfumer-healer in the feminine) which he likes very much. I received four of them out of a total lineup of 10. The one that stood out for me is Choyita (named after a cactus flower) which apparently contains Madagascar vanilla. Up top it smells powerfully of guaiacol, a parent molecule of vanillin with […]

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Botany

A colleague of mine in the Marine Station in Villefranche sur Mer, who knew a colossal amount about both plants and plankton, once gave me a precious piece of advice: if you want to fake botanical knowledge, just point to a tree and call it a false something (we had a false camphor tree in the magnificent Station garden). That way you look learned while leaving some leeway in your diagnosis. I […]

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Reminder

I’m still a novice at this WordPress thing, so I haven’t quite figured out how to post an about page (and please don’t tell me how to, it will happen spontaneously one day). But if you’re a niche perfumery and you’d like to send me samples, please contact me on perfumesIlove@gmail.com and I’ll give you my address and phone number (forgot to put that on the deuced business cards I had printed) […]

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Music and Perfume

No one, I think, is more convinced than I am that olfaction, like hearing and color vision, is a spectral sense. I have spent the last twenty years proposing and developing the very idea that the nose is a vibrational spectroscope  (for a 12-minute version please see my TED lecture). Does this mean that the three senses map onto one another in an obvious way? Not really. Yesterday I mentioned that […]

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Bat (Zoologist Perfumes) ****

Zoologist is a small Canadian niche company, and their fragrances are named after animals: Bat, Beaver, Hummingbird, Panda and Rhinoceros. Bat was composed by neuroscientist-perfumer Ellen Covey who grows orchids, composes fragrances and does really interesting basic science research on processing of auditory signals in the bat brain. Incidentally, the proportion of science nerds in perfumery is (to me) encouragingly high: niche perfumery was, after all, started in the mid-seventies by Jean François Laporte, […]

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Perfumer mugshots

Is it possible not to look ridiculous while holding a smelling strip to one’s nose? I reckon only the great Michel Roudnitska succeeds: a faraway explorer look, lots of strips, and a cool holder that looks made of Inca gold. I want one. Update: Aveda perfumer Guy Vincent tells me “the strip holder [..] is not ancient Incan but it’s a cool thing nonetheless,  it’s the shape of a Ravenala madagascariensis palm. I have one here […]

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Blocki

I received some samples from a fragrance company I had not heard of until they recently emailed me, called Blocki. They are a revival of a firm founded in 1865 by John Blocki, and their perfumes are composed by American perfumer and synaesthete Kevin Verspoor, known to me from an interview of rare erudition and intelligence he gave a couple of years ago to çafleurebon. The three fragrances, named after quotes from letters of […]

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A package came

Yesterday a big box came from France, and I expected a ton of fragrance samples. Opened it eagerly, and instead found these socks I had ordered as antidepressants while reminiscing about Pitralon. They look even brighter in real life, and are completely opaque. Now, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, I am finding it harder and harder to live up to my red and purple socks.

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Pitralon Classic

My spirits always sink when someone picks me up at an airport or a railway station and the car turns out not to be a 1934 Voisin Aérodyne. Worse still, when the driver clears room for me at the front by throwing things into the back. To tell the truth, I’m not fond of other people’s cars even when they’re swank and spotless. I remember visiting the parents of a girlfriend many […]

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Miyako (Auphorie) *****

Legend has it that when the young Belgian composer Guillaume Lekeu finally heard the first chord of Tristan and Isolde at the Paris premiere of Wagner’s opera, he promptly fainted and had to be carried out on a stretcher, thereby missing the rest. Only a robust constitution saved me from doing the same when I first smelled Miyako. Or to be exact, while assessing a 3ml sample labeled with only a […]

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