The Only Book About Perfume You Ever Need To Read - The Gloss Magazine

The Only Book About Perfume You Ever Need To Read

Still looking for a good beauty gift? This is the best book about perfume, bar none …

Perfumes The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez (Profile Books).

Though written back in 2008 – there’s a further version written in 2018 – it remains the most relevant and well-written guide to fragrance. Both biophysicist and scent expert extraordinaire Turin and Sanchez have a wonderful turn of phrase, and the book really brings a whole range of perfumes to life. Some he dismisses in a few words: “Smells like shampoo.” You won’t agree with every description, but you’ll certainly laugh out loud, admire the sheer knowledge behind each piece of criticism, and learn a whole lot you didn’t know about perfumery and beyond.

As Sanchez advises in one of the excellent introductory essays, on choosing a fragrance: “Do not be seduced by celebrities, by clever ad campaigns, by beautiful bottles and boxes, by high price tags, by exclusivity, by lush official descriptions, by exotic ingredients, by promises. Believe your nose only.” A delight for anyone even remotely interested in perfume – like Nigel Slater’s cookery books, this is just a great read as well as a useful guide to a sensory world.

Otherwise, Neil Chapman’s 2009 Perfume (Hardie Grant) makes a beautiful gift, ideally together with a perfume discovery set, or favourite scent. It is beautifully produced, with an Art Deco design feel and gold-edged pages. Whether you’re searching for coconut, chypre, floral or leather scents, this nicely illustrated volume categorises perfumes thoughtfully and has lots of lively descriptions to help you find your signature scent. I agree with Chapman on many scents, including Tom Ford’s 2012 Ombre Hyacinth which he describes as “a complete mood-changer” – this is one I wish the makers would bring back into the collection, ideally in time for spring.

Available via


Sign up to our MAILING LIST now for a roundup of the latest fashion, beauty, interiors and entertaining news from THE GLOSS MAGAZINE’s daily dispatches.

Choose Your Categories


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This