Just received in the morning post a REVIEW COPY, I'll say that again because I'm so delighted with it, A REVIEW COPY, which means FREE, FREE, FREE, AND I DIDN'T PAY FOR IT, of a book I have been wanting to get my hands on since I saw it reviewed in the paper last weekend: "Perfumes - the guide" by the patron saint of scents and potions Luca Turin. I just realised that I'm so excited that that was all one sentence, so here is another full stop for you. Breathe deeply, my lovelies.
The book itself is a collection of reviews of over 1500 perfumes, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and while it's handy for a little pat on the back (Mitsouko, one of my lifelong favourites, gets five stars and "the best fragrance ever"), it is also completely unputdownable for the all-round brilliance of the bad reviews. A perfume I won't name (people have been sued for less) gets this : "A chemical white floral so disastrously vile words nearly desert me. If this were a shampoo offered with your first shower after sleeping rough for two months in Nouakchott, you'd opt to keep the lice." Another, more concise: "Teensy-weensy cutesy-pie floral of the worst vintage" and, finally, pithy and to the point: "Death by jasmine".
It also poses the big questions that keep us all awake at night, such as "What is chypre without oakmoss?" and "Since the restriction of benzyl salicylates, have floral perfumes been the same?". I honestly don't know how I've lived without this book for so long. I apologise to all non-scentophiles for the single note of this post and will post on a more general note next time. I leave you with the masterful review for Coty Miss Sixty : "Ideal if you intend to be a Miss at sixty".
Herewith Mitsouko. A treasure.