Luca Turin's perfume reviews @perfumes_ilove

off topic

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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The Camparino bar was open today, and I ordered a Lavorato Secco: 1 part Cent’erbe liqueur, made by Zucca exclusively for the bar, 1 part Campari, 1 part Rabarbaro Zucca, a spritz of seltzer and a slice of orange. A large, impatient, ravenously hungry guy next to me was eating crisps by the fistful under the disapproving eye of the barman. The kind lady at the till (pay first, drink later) explained that faithful customers […]

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Shameless plug

Last November, with a lot of help and a foreword from Tania Sanchez, I published a collection of monthly columns I had written (in English) for the magazine NZZ Folio in Zurich over a 10-year period. They were initially about perfumes and smells, and later branched out to other things. Self-publishing was overall a very satisfying experience. The Kindle version can of course be read on any machine with the app, […]

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The Atmos Clock

If I may digress from perfume for a moment, while passing a watch repair shop today I was struck by the fact that very few objects out there are simultaneously as sad and as fascinating as the Atmos Clock. Sad, because its neoclassical fifties look reminds one of grand municipal buildings in glamor-free places like Brussels. Sad because the very slow motion of the torsion pendulum (2 swings every minute) suggests […]

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At times I regret my resolve to only say good things or nothing about niche houses, because some of the sample collections I got were really egregious. Contrary to expectations, the main problem with niche perfumery is not lack of skill, but all-out cynicism. There seem to be plenty of slick new outfits out there, typically well-funded and based in fashion-conscious places, that decided that an arty look, pretentious patter, affable, skinny […]

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In Milan today

Allegedly a national holiday, but the shopping must go on. Photo taken at the entrance of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, with my back to the old Bar Zucca, now renamed Camparino, where they serve the only cocktail that improves on a Negroni, the Lavorato Secco. I seem to remember it involved Rabarbaro Zucca, Cordial Campari and a mysterious herb liqueur only found there. Niche liqueur! I felt I needed one […]

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