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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 12 January 2010
I didn't like perfume before I bought this book. Spent a fortune buying it, hating it, taking it back. It's a weirdly compulsive read - a bit like pringle crisps - you think "just one more review" endlessly. It helped me to find a perfume I love. The phrase "collapsingly soft" made me find it and buy it. Great fun, great read, beautifully written, hugely informative.
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on 28 March 2009
If you are confused about the amount of perfumes on the market this is for you a really good book tells you all you need to know,will help you decide which perfumes are for you.
There will be some recent perfumes to the market not in included but still a good buy
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on 29 January 2009
A really good source of information for the novice. Often reinforces some of those passing thoughts that you had about perfumes. Makes an excellent gift along with one of the highly rated fragrances.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 February 2011
Because this book was titled "Perfumes - the A-Z Guide" I assumed it would be a veritable bible of ingredients, components, topnotes and base notes; but I was frankly shocked to find it is nothing more or less than a glorified list detailing two peoples personal opinions of fragrances.

Anyone off the street could spend time sniffing perfume and saying whether or not they like it. Many I would imagine would also be capable of producing something which actually gave a description of the fragrances rather than an asinine list of "I like this" or "I don't like this" (Though to be fair, these two "experts" do put it in a much more eloquent fashion - you have to give them that - its like reading a chat between two old women bitching and cooing over a celebrity magazine!)

That my favourite AND least favourite fragrances are among their high ranking ones made me laugh, though I almost laughed out loud when I noticed that a number of fragrances or brands are actually glaringly (and repeatedly) misspelt.
Sorry, but if you're claiming to be a perfume expert, you really should know your subject!

Had it been titled "Fragrance reviews" or something, I wouldnt have been disappointed with this pompous waste of paper - but then I wouldnt have so much as nudged it with a finger either: Im more than capable of deciding what smells I do and dont like; and besides, any perfumer will tell you that due to your own acids etc, no fragrance smells exactly the same on any two peoples skin - so why on earth would you want the view of someone barking that a fragrance is "vile" or "beautiful" WITHOUT them smelling it on you...?

If you want to know what's a good scent to buy, go to a perfume shop and try some for yourself. The reason there are so many choices is because LIKING A FRAGRANCE IS PERSONAL OPINION. Don't waste your money paying these two for theirs.
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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2010
This is a great guidebook to perfumes and very pointedly and wittily written. It should be read for the descriptions alone and it's one of those perfect pick up and browse books for when you're between serious reading. It's also great to keep on the coffee table as a talking point, and to take with you next time you go to buy perfume. Great as a present for a girlfriend too. However, some perfumes are missing from the book - all the Crabtree & Evelyn range for example, and taste is always subjective. I loathe Chanel number 5 - smells like one of those loud, floral-scented furniture polishes. However, my delight in Ralph Lauren's Romance as a day perfume marks me out, according to the book as 'the kind of young woman who get their hair cut precisely the same as their friends and shop from the same catalogs so even their boyfriends can't tell them apart.' I score the full five stars with Clinique's Aromatics though.
Bottom line, an entertaining and informative even useful book, but treat it like Captain Barbossa's advice in Pirates of the Caribbean. 'More like guidelines really.'
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on 19 June 2009
Who knew that there were so many wonderful ways to describe scent?
'Perfumes' is an enchanting book that is to perfume what Elizabeth David was to cooking.
Lovely to dip into, funny and at times outrageous in its judgements, 'Smells exactly like the synthetic flavor used in codeine syrup, but induces a hacking cough instead of relieving it.'It gives credit where credit is due and slices with a Samurai's sword where it is not.
I'll be giving it for Christmas.
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on 21 February 2009
Well written guide to perfume giving interesting information. I would not necessarily agree with all comments and star ratings in regard to the best perfumes, however, it is all a matter of opinion. The book is a must for anyone intersted in the development and production of fragrance and is very easy to read. Informative and non-pretentious, I would recommend this book to perfume lovers.
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on 26 December 2009
If you don't know much about all different perfumes available, then this book is excellent to get your exploration started. What too look for and how to avoid pitfalls. Written with passion and at times quite humorous. As far as i know there is no other book like this out there.
And for the price, absolutely a no brainer to buy...
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on 9 November 2010
Good book for perfume afficionados and everyone else. A mixture of textbook on the history of perfume and the perfume business and fun reviews of perfumes old and new. Only drawback is it concentrates on what is available in the USA, many good European scents not covered.
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on 3 April 2015
Pure poetry
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