Luca Turin's perfume reviews @perfumes_ilove

Archive for May 2016

Fundamental (Rubini)****

One look at the streetview of Rubini’s address in Mantova is enough to make you drool with envy  at the thought that people actually live there. Apparently the Rubini perfumery was there in 1937, supplying fragrances, among other places, to neighborhood brothels. Nothing could be further from a tart’s handbag esthetic, however, than this odd fragrance. The top notes manage somehow to smell close to radish, the heart has a green banana […]

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Spirit of Dubai

When I was at Esxence I encountered the large stand of Spirit of Dubai. The staff was very courteous, but shy in English. They handed me samples in an outrageously kitsch, and apparently award-winning, swag bag. Arab luxury has a 1950s Soviet chocolate-box feel to it that, try as I might, I cannot decide whether I love or hate. In the context of a niche fragrance fair, however, it is a wonderful palate-cleanser (-dirtier?) […]

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Unlabelled Sample

I need to screw up the courage to smell this. Suppose it’s the best fragrance ever. I’ll then have to spend the rest of my life trying to figure out what it was. Update: it smells great…..anyone out there remember making a fluorescent anisic citrus, please get in touch.  

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Smells, Spanners and Switches

A science article I wrote for Inference is now online. I am honored to find myself in the company of people whose writing I admire, like the great critic George Scialabba and the astronomer and cosmologist Jean Pierre Luminet. And I even like the caricature.

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Jean-Paul III: le Retour

Momentous news greeted followers of the excellent Monsieur Guerlain blog a few days ago: Jean-Paul Guerlain is to return to perfume composition and launch his own line of niche fragrances in 2017. This is either a sign of an impending apocalypse, or great news, possibly both. JPG has often been derided as a tiresome snob who delegated perfume composition to Firmenich some time after Chamade (1969) and spent the rest of his life bragging […]

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When I stopped at the Baruti stand at Esxence, Spyros Drosopoulos was standing tall behind a narrow bench on which seven small upturned tumblers were lined up, as if he were demonstrating a newly-devised, exponentially tricky shell game. We fell into an intense conversation as I smelled his fragrances one after another. Even in the sensory mayhem of Esxence, it was clear to me that 1- These compositions were something special and 2- So was the […]

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Rûh (Pekji)****

Ömer Ipekçi is an artisan perfumer working in Turkey whose work was recommended to me by Franco Wright at Luckyscent. At my request OI sent me five samples of his Pekji fragrances. My favorite is Rûh (soul, in Arabic). It is a beautiful accord of rose, coffee and cardamom that brilliantly conjugates three orthogonal senses of the word fresh embodied by those three materials: dewy rose petals, freshly brewed, and cool in the […]

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SP Parfums

Sven Pritzkoleit’s disarming house style is unique in the industry. His packaging is a mix of Roger & Gallet and organic-store Reformhaus, the goofy mugshots on his website are as remote from Tom Ford bedroom eyes as it is possible to be, and the whole thing fairly fizzes with unpretentious enthusiasm. Even the box the perfume samples came in was in character: large, with a fat piece of tape top left bearing […]

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Neela Vermeire

In my post about MDCI I yesterday I mentioned that niche firms, guided by the Unseen Hand of market forces, may end up repopulating a vast empty space abandoned by most mainstream outfits, the Land of Nice Fragrance. Neela Vermeire is a perfect illustration of this. I have always thought of her as the Douanier Rousseau of perfume, composing an imagined Subcontinent refracted through French eyes, a sort of contemporary Indes Galantes. […]

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