Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, it's the New Year.

One of my resolutions, as a result of reading one of my Christmas presents, Perfumes: The Guide (2008), is to smell better. Yes, I take regular showers so this is not a hygiene issue. It's a matter of taste.

PTG is an index of nearly 1500 perfume reviews by Luca Turin, a biophysicist with a sensitive nose, and Tania Sanchez. I first scanned for what's in my inventory. Michael by Michael Kors is given one star and summarized as "evil tuberose". The explanation below reads "Shrieking hair-singeing horror, probably first rejected for use in industrial drain cleaner. One of the worst ever. TS" Fortunately, Angel by Thierry Mugler fairs better with a 5 star rating and a full page of hilarious prose.

I first became acquainted with Turin through Charles Burr's The Emperor of Scent (2004), an engaging exploration of the various theories about smell and how we do it. Turin's nose is so discriminating that his passion and curiousity power his pursuit of a whiff of certain vintages of perfumes like Joy of 19xx.

One goal for the year is to smell some of the 86 fragrances that warrant 5 stars from Amouage Gold to Yatagan. Being able to say, "Oh, is that Loulou by Cacharel that you're wearing?" is certainly one way to smell better.

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