The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell Paperback – 17 May 2007
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"'The Secret of Scent may be a curiosity, but it is one that will have you smelling the silence of a snowy night.' Observer"
The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell by Luca Turin, the man Newsday describes as 'a renegade scientist and perfume critic with an extraordinary sense of smell.'See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I'd concur with the reviewer who says this is all about molecular chemistry. Yes it is. But boring? Absolutely NOT. I have some layperson's chemistry, enough to edge my way through with a lot of wet towel to the head moments - but its true to say that if you are wanting something exciting about olfaction which is more for the lay reader, there are better books, Luca Turin's own Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, a delightful, witty encyclopaedia of perfumes past and present, Chandler Burr's biography of Turin, which is more completely friendly to the physics and chemistry naif The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Perfume, Obsession and the Last Mystery of the Senses, or, if your interest is in olfaction and its evolutionary development and effects on home sapiens the engaging The Scented Ape: The Biology and Culture of Human Odour. And if you can get hold of it Lyall Watson's fabulously readable Jacobson's Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell
Back to Turin, and this book. He explains clearly and engagingly 'functional groups' from an olfactory perspective, is utterly engaging about molecular chemistry, finding ways to help the almost innocent to understand how odour can be analysed, not just by complicated machines (GC/MS) but, more excitingly within the nose itself. He explains current thinking, and the battles between those who say olfaction is due to molecular shape (particle) and those who say it vibrational (wave) Shapers and Wavers!Read more ›
Mr. Turin knows 100% what he is talking about. This is no "I copy from other books and hopefully nobody will notice" type of thing. "The secret of scent" is amazingly well written, it reads like a novell, like an adventure in science. Reading this book means great fun while teaching you the cornerstones of modern perfume design at the same time. Luca writes in a way so you can understand and not so you just know how dumb you are and how smart the author thinks he is, as many other "science books" are composed. I would recommend it to just everybody being interested in how perfumes "tick", but for perfumers it is the "#1 must read".
"The secret of scent" starts with a description of why we can't make perfumes only with natural substances alone and how it came we went deeper and deeper in understanding scents using chemistry. It then explains very detailed and in a crystal clear and logical chain HOW WE SMELL! Being a graduated physicist myself, I'm fully convinced Mr. Turin found the solution to this thousand years old mystery.
"The secret of scent" really left me breathless; a true revelation in the science of scent. IMHO, this book has a place among the "100 best popular science books ever written".
Now we have The Secret of Scent. It delivers the most amazing and interesting pieces of information for the layman and chemist/perfumer alike. His witty style keeps the prose moving and he makes the complicated parts easy to understand.
For any perfume lover, this book is a must buy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written and very interesting but, as far as can see, Dr Turin's theory fails when he gets to key points. He just ducks them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D C W MORLEY
Way toot technical. As a person without a science background who is just looking to learn more about perfume it was too complicated. Entertaining writing style though. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Phantom
A chemistry textbook. Not an easy read. Dry and somewhat tedious to trawl through dependant on your knowledge of chemistry. Read morePublished 7 months ago by YourTurnNow
Lots of detail, with a fascinating mix of good science plus human nature. Deep and entertaining.Published 8 months ago by Ian M
A great book that was recommended. An really interesting especially if you have a passion for perfume!.
A book to get lost in.
A good read, I enjoyed the easy going style of the writer. Gave interesting insights into the world of perfumery and the big fragrance houses. Read morePublished on 12 Aug. 2013 by MaiaTheBee
I am a true fan of Luca Turin's writing. I've loved fragrance for as long as I can smell.
My memories of scents be it my grandmother's Shalimar or a perfume I wore with... Read more