Luca Turin's perfume reviews @perfumes_ilove

starred reviews

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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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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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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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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Incendo (La Curie) ****

I recently had a chance to ask Bertrand Duchaufour about his and Mark Buxton’s role in inventing the new style of perfumery typified by Timbuktu and CdG 2 Man . What was interesting to me was that they both worked in the same oil firm, Créations Aromatiques, when this happened, and seemingly hit upon the same ideas at the same time. I had earlier asked Buxton whether they collaborated, and […]

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