perfumesilove

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

Giovanni Sammarco

At Esxence I met Giovanni Sammarco, a Swiss perfumer. He sent me samples of four of his fragrances. They are of such unusual quality that I feel I would be remiss not mentioning them all. 1- Vitrum, a beautiful, quiet vetiver with a touch of rose, one of the best of its kind that I can remember. I am minded to wear this one every day. 2- Bond-T, a huge and […]

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The Lost Perfume

I’ve been carrying around, through 12 house moves in thirty years, an empty bottle of Shaïna packed in bubble wrap. I just unpacked it for the 13th time yesterday. It was not always empty. I bought it full from the legendary Mme Ricou, in Menton, circa 1986. But it leaked badly, lost all its contents despite Parafilm and deposited the dry residue on the porcelain bottle and the bubble wrap. The formula […]

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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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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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