Profile 12.99 (620pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
Perfumes: the A-Z Guide, By Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez
Friday 30 October 2009
Like cocktails, blue cheese and Renaissance painting, perfumes offer some of the greatest of all sensory pleasures. Yet, with the arguable exception of Robert Parker's book on Bordeaux wines (his analysis is mainly olfactory), they have scarcely ever been written about.
This guide to 1,500 scents, as scintillating as it is comprehensive, puts right this omission. Of course, you begin by looking up your own whiff. This reviewer discovered that Jo Malone's Grapefruit Cologne is "fine but lasts as long as you can balance a broom on the end of your finger."
However, Malone's Lime, Bail and Mandarin Cologne is "simply wonderful" and particularly recommended for males. In their introduction, the authors state the only reason men should wear perfume: "Because you like it". We are steered away from Salvador Dali's Laguna Homme ("If you drive a Moscow taxi at night, this one's for you") though, surprisingly, David Beckham's Instinct (made by Coty) is "a solid, handsome piece of work".
Rigorously uninfluenced by reputation or celeb-association, the authors give five stars to Chanel No.5 and Rive Gauche (both in its old and new formulations), while dishing out a grudging one to Burberry London (the designation "chav spit" is borrowed from AA Gill) and Gaultier 2 ("nauseating"). With new notes on 451 fragrances in the paperback, this pungent, entrancing book is a wake-up call for the nostrils. One to buy before Christmas.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Fast & Furious 7 overtakes Frozen to become 5th highest grossing movie of all time
Poldark finale review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
The Visit: Watch terrifying trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3 - review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton, really?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia