Luca Turin's perfume reviews @perfumes_ilove

Archive for June 2016


Refinement is hard to define and easy to recognise. When I lined up the six Cognoscenti samples and before I started smelling them, I was struck by the elegant simplicity of the packaging, the naming (numbers with  a subtitle, no Datura Catastrophique nonsense for a change), and the straightforward explanatory text, miles away from the usual hyperventilating tosh. The fragrances, while very diverse, have a family resemblance in their effect, i.e. strikingly original, inviting topnotes followed […]

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I’ll be giving a talk at FutureFest in London 17-18 September. Who knows, I may even get to meet Brian Eno. I am reliably informed he has our perfume guide in his loo for casual reading. Nice opening gambit: “Hi, I’m the guy whose book you apparently have in your… ah, never mind.“

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Le Galion

I always used to think of Révillon’s  Detchema,  Caron’s Fleurs de Rocaille and Le Galion’s Sortilège as three dowdy ladies in bouclé outfits and beige, slightly cracked patent leather shoes, having tea in a corner bar of Avenue Montaigne and deploring the fall of the past subjunctive in French. Now that early perfume history is slowly emerging from the shadows, it is becoming obvious that their heyday had been the first thirty years of the  20th century. […]

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Oh Joy!

Today I found out that my composer genius friend Howard Skempton, author of the heartbreakingly beautiful Lento, has written a Piano Concerto which can be heard here starting at approx 59:00. You have six days to do so, then this will disappear in the BBC’s vast archives.

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  Some years ago I got an email from a not-very-bright Art History professor in a Boston university,  asking me to join a Panel on Olfactory Art at a gathering of his tribe. He casually remarked that “there is nearly no consciousness of using smell in art– several one-off works, sure, but no sustained practices that I know of.” I reminded him of the sustained practice of perfumery, to which his reply was “Sure, perfumers are artists […]

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This morning I was overtaken by an old Vespa, as always riding while tilted a few degrees to the left because of the engine weight asymmetry. The fellow on it wore one of those helmets that only reaches down to the equator and is leather below. The blue smoke behind him was deliciously fragrant. It has always seemed to me that Vespa smoke had two different smells, randomly depending on […]

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My ship came in

Finally, after endless tribulations with the ever-industrious Greek Customs, several forms filled and various fees paid, the Auphorie parcel came today. Miyako smells amazing, slightly different and a touch smoother than the samples I had so far. Just drop-dead wonderful. Now I have to work up the nerve to wear it. Pic credit: my iPhone 🙂

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Carrots Pompeii

All these smoky niche fragrances put me in the mood for barbecue, plus I’ve been reading all these articles that say you can grill anything and it turns out delicious. So I decided to add a bit of rooty iris, in the form of three large carrots, to the other stuff, but they took hours to cook and I forgot all about them. This morning they weigh about a gram each. […]

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