The Guest Nose: Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez at Scent Bar

Sanchez and Turin at Harvey Nichols in 2008

By jtd

[They're baaaaaaaaaaack! On Friday August 16th, the original perfume whisperers Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez re-entered the fumisphere via the earthly portal of Scent Bar in Los Angeles. I was traumatized to have missed them: how unfair that they popped up in my favorite fragrance boutique after I'd relocated to London!

However, my irregularly-regular guest blogger jtd was in attendance, and he kindly supplied this report on the Laz 'n' Taz smell-in. -- Katie]


After Luca Turin recently announced that he would resume writing about perfume, I anticipated more of a PR focused affair than the love fest that actually took place. A comfortable social event is a reflection of the hosts as well as the guests of honor, and Friday night was no exception. Scent Bar's Steve, Yvettra and Carlos welcomed us with hugs, kisses and champagne. Tania and Luca seemed thrilled to engage with any and all.

There were no presentations, no formal discussion. The guests of honor (and family: Tania and Luca’s new baby, and Luca’s teenaged daughter and son) milled about and introduced themselves. Groups formed and changed, and without actual speed-dating I feel as though I spoke with most everyone in the shop.

As time passed, Tania drew in small circles of people who gathered around her and her astoundingly calm baby. Luca jumped behind the bar and took on all takers. People had brought obscure bottles from their collections, other bottles were pulled from every corner of the store and we sniffed, commented, laughed and shared the love.

When I had a moment to chat one on one with Luca, he told me that he’d spoken earlier at Google’s quantum computing group. (By contrast, I'd spoken earlier at my vet's about my dog’s trick knee, so I felt slightly out of my depth.)

But I was charmed and at ease in a heartbeat. Luca reached up to one of the nearest bottles on the wall behind us, Les Nereides Patchouli Antique, and told me that he remembered when it was released that it was popular as part of a stylistic bundle: tight white jeans, tight t-shirts, big hair...and Patchouli Antique.

Tight jeans and no t-shirt: David Cassidy, I think I love you.

I told him that we should revive the whole package and he groaned. When I mentioned that I preferred Les Nereides’ earlier bottle with the two putti flying holding up the renaissance fair-style banner, he gave a big laugh.

What's so funni about putti?

I asked Luca about his plans to resume writing on perfume, and how he and Tania planned to approach it. He told me that he intended to look back at what has been released in the five years since his last reviews, as well as noting the trends, both positive and negative. He spoke enthusiastically about the growing influence of the niche market. The format would continue to be the individual perfume review. Luca mentioned that in all their writing together, Tania's editing was crucial. [Tania edited in that last line. -- Katie]

[Just kidding.]


Luca Turin's bimonthly perfume column appears in Style.com/Arabia

Read jtd's thought-provoking perfume writing on his blog, Scent Hurdle.

Luca and Tania photo by Sarah Lee from an interview in The Guardian

15 comments:

  1. What a treat to meet LT and TS and that's great that they are going to write reviews again. They should perhaps also consider patenting their 'astoundingly calm baby'

    I had a similar David Cassidy centrefold - sigh!

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    1. Vanessa, I screamed when I met David Cassidy. I was 38 years old at the time.

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  2. Totally jealous that you got to meet them! So awesome!!

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    1. I know, right? I am VERY annoyed that an ocean and a continent separated me from my fume-sperations.

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  3. Oh, goodness, the last interview I read with these two gave me the impression that they were a little burned out on the perfume-reviewing business, I'm so glad to know that that isn't the case. I'm really excited to read this article! Congratulations to the two of them on their new baby.

    Thanks, Katie!

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    1. I gather they were burned out, Nora, but it seems they've had a little R'n'R (rock and roll?) and are now champing at the bit to impart more of their signature withering wit and wisdom. Yesssssss!

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  4. My absolute favorite patchouli fragrance!

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  5. Luca and Tania are my perfume fairy godparents. I would probably be dumbstruck to meet them live! But then my perfume-love would just take over and I would be fine. What a fun event!!

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    1. "perfume fairy godparents": I second that emotion.

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  6. Whenever someone asks me why I am so fragrance-obsessed, I verbally plagiarize Tania Sanchez and say "Because it decorates the day."

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    1. It's hard to find someone in real life to talk to about fumie fun. That's why I like coming here.

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  7. What a night that must have been. So exciting that Luca will be reviewing again. Thanks JTD and Katie for this wonderful report.

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  8. What terrifically welcome news! I have already read the Slumberhouse Norne review by LT and snagged a samp from luckyscent. Nice cross promotion. And it's nice to hear that they've used their free time in a pleasant fashion (expanding the family). Hope Tania does a bit of writing herself, although I'm sure she is busy busy busy.

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