Luca Turin, an Esquire contributor, has, with his wife and co-author Tina Sanchez, just published the paperback edition of his revered guide to perfume and aftershave. It’s not easy to explain why a book that basically just reviews hundreds of fragrances is so good, but believe us, it is.
Partly it’s because Turin and Sanchez have approached an apparently gruelling task in such a free-spirited and romantic way, and partly because it’s intriguing to look up their review of one’s own favourites.
Needless to say the authors’ opinions aren’t ‘right’, anymore than a music critic’s opinion is ‘right’, but their extraordinary knowledge means that, at the very least, they explain a fragrance’s historical and olfactive context. Combined with the advice given in some essays at the front of the book about how to choose an aftershave this is both a practical guide and a charming flight of fancy.
Perfumes by Luca Turin and Tina Sanchez, £12.99 (www.perfumestheguide.com)
Spoiler alert: here are the authors’ top ten men’s fragrances:
Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro
Derby by Guerlain
Eau de Guerlain by Guerlain
Habit Rouge by Guerlain
Knize Ten by Knize
New York by Parfums de Nicolaï
Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne
Pour Monsieur by Chanel
Sycomore by Chanel
Timbuktu by L’Artisan Parfumeur