New paperback version of Perfumes: The Guide

Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Turin and SanchezThe new paperback version of Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez is now available under the name Perfumes: The A-Z Guide. The retail price is $20; Amazon has it at the moment for $13.60.

The book includes the reviews from the hardback plus the reviews from the three quarterly updates, and a handful of new reviews and a few other changes. There's also a new index and more FAQs.

The skinny from Tania Sanchez: if you bought the hardback and the quarterly updates, the paperback might not be worth it unless you want everything in one place with an index, or unless you're dying to know their take on the new versions of the Dior classics and/or Chanel no. 5 in extrait (plus a few new reviews that were left out of the quarterly updates). If you bought the hardback but not the quarterly updates, you'd be getting around 450 new reviews by buying the paperback.

Update: after this article was posted, I received a free copy of Perfumes: The A-Z Guide from the publisher. And I kept it.

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  1. ihadanidea says:

    Bought the hardcover and the updates. So why do I want to buy it anyway? Siiiigh.

    • Robin says:

      Hey, I want to know what they said about the classic Diors! Or maybe I’m happier not knowing ;-)

      • ihadanidea says:

        And richer!

        • Robin says:

          No, pretty sure they’re ruined. So that will save me money in the long run.

    • Haunani says:

      Same here, but I sorta want it anyway. How did I get this compulsive? ;-)

      • ihadanidea says:

        It’s because this stuff is fuuuuuuuuuun.

    • Tante Kat says:

      I had an exchange of emails with Luca on another subject but also asked about indexes in the new edition. He said they’d be greatly improved, I believe one will be by houses and one by notes, to me that is worth the price of the new book even though I have the hardback and the updates.

  2. boojum says:

    Hmmm…wishlist, here I come…

    • Robin says:

      I love Amazon wishlists! But mine is so long it’s unwieldy, I need to do some housekeeping.

      • boojum says:

        Now is a good time to do it, both because the holidays are approaching AND because they have some sort of sweepstakes going on right now. If you create, share, or add to your wishlist, you’re entered in that week’s drawing. This week is Kindle week.

        • Robin says:

          And I would love a kindle, thanks! Although pretty happy with the iTouch as an ebook reader, surprisingly.

          • Janice says:

            I bought the Kindle version of the original guide, and it was really useful to be able to search… unfortunately it doesn’t look like this new one is available for the Kindle yet.

          • boojum says:

            Whereas I’ll stick with good old-fashioned paper books until they quit printing them altogether. I know the Kindle is pretty good, but I prefer the smell and feel of real books.

          • Ah, I didn’t realize one could search a book on Kindle! I thought it was just thumb around. That changes everything. Must get a Kindle…

          • Tamarind says:

            Hey, I am coveting a Kindle big time, however I am also looking to replace my iPod touch which I unfortunately ‘misplaced’.

            I would think the iPod touch is a bit small for full time reading?

            Anyways this book is going on in my cart (to buy later section) I don’t use wishlists, always optimistic I will buy everything…eventually…

          • Robin says:

            Tamarind, yes, way too small for large scale reading, but perfect for reading when you’re waiting somewhere & don’t have book with you — I whip it out in the supermarket line, at the dr’s office, etc. Also find I can read in bed now w/o keeping my husband up, so it’s good for that too.

        • mals86 says:

          I’d take a Kindle if somebody gave it to me, but I like having a book in my hands. You can read it in the bathtub, for example, and I can’t see me taking a Kindle anywhere near water.

          And yes, I’ve had a few soggy books in my lifetime… and your point would be?

          • Daisy says:

            I adore my ebook—take it EVERYWHERE I might have to wait even 5 or 10 mins. However, Mals makes a very good point: never take your electronic book in the bathtub or pool….or in bright sunlight (it blacks out the screen after a while) So I still have stacks of paperbacks, just much smaller stacks! :-)
            I can wait for the Kindle to get a lot lower in price!

          • Robin says:

            I love real books. But also like having a book on my iPod to read so if I’m waiting in line, or whatever, I always have reading material on hand.

          • Daisy says:

            Exactly Robin! I hate waiting if I just have to sit there and stress over all the things I’m NOT getting done because my butt is WAITING! So I download about a dozen books at a time onto my ebook…and it goes everywhere with me…finish one book? there’s always another right there in my hand to start. And it is great for reading in the middle of the night….just turn the back light down low and the hubby just snoozes away.

  3. Joe says:

    Grr. I’d love a slim bound volume of the updates and additions only… last thing I need is another version of a book I already own. Hmm. And that price seems the same somehow as what I paid hardbound. Dilemmas.

    • Robin says:

      Well…it costs about the same as a decant, that’s one way to look at it.

  4. I really want this. I have the hardcover, which I bought super cheap on the ‘bay. LOVE IT. I thumb through and randomly read it every night before bed. Once or twice, his reviews have ruined a much loved frag for me (he would point out a note or development that I then recognized upon resniffing and was ANNOYED by) but for the most part, I really love the thoughts. Even when I disagree.

    • Robin says:

      I love it best when I disagree!

  5. Nice of Tania to give us the straight scoop. IMHO having a usable index alone is worth the purchase. Man, did that drive me crazy…

    • Robin says:

      Yes, an index would be great.

      • bergere says:

        What sort of index, by perfume house or notes? I haven’t seen the hardback copy in a while, but weren’t the perfumes listed in alphabetical order, anyway?
        ‘Course I’ll probably buy the paperback anyway, index or no.

        • Robin says:

          See below, looks like it’s by brand (I haven’t seen it yet).

  6. Fernando says:

    I had ordered this in advance, and my copy arrived from Amazon on Tuesday. I think it’s worth it, since the quarterly updates are hard to work with. This gives me all the info in one package, and in one alphabetical sequence.

    I’m not sure whether the indices are really helpful. What you really want is the Excel spreadsheet you can download from the PtG web site. I don’t know if it has been updated yet; I hope it will be.

    The new guide has a slightly different appearance, shorter and fatter. The drawings of the perfume bottles for the five-star reviews are, alas, gone, but the five-star reviews are now shaded to make them stand out. And they’ve added price information ($ to $$$$$) for all the perfumes.

    The news about Chanel no. 5 and the Diors is not good, alas.

    • Robin says:

      I was afraid of that !

      But do tell why the index is not useful?

      • Gilty says:

        I liked that the index is by perfume house/brand. I am finding that helpful…

        • ihadanidea says:

          Ooooh, that’s what I wanted.

          But I’m so pooooooor.

      • Erin says:

        I found the index useful.

        • Fernando says:

          Well, let’s say the index were be more useful if there were more indices! Right now they have an index by house/brand. Under each brand the perfumes made by that brand are listed, without page numbers since you can just find that alphabetically. They also have, as in the first edition, an index by star rating.

          That’s fine, but I often want more information. An index by notes, or a ranked list of perfumes from one house, or… who knows? The Excel file allows you to do all that. I presently have it sorted out by house, then by star rating within each house. The file also includes the two word description of the perfumes and (I think) the price rating. There is a link to the Excel file at

          • Robin says:

            Ah, gotcha. I don’t need any of that so I’ll be fine with what they’ve done.

    • AnnS says:

      Ack! What did they say about poor old No 5?

      • Erin says:

        The parfum is downgraded to a 4-star rating. Sucks!

        • miss kitty v. says:

          What happened that led to it being downgraded? I didn’t know that that one was reformulated. Pity.

          • parfumliefhebber says:

            5-star rating: powdery floral. Update 2009: 4-star rating: aldehydic amber. I would write more, but I don’t know whether it is allowed to citate something from the book.

  7. Daisy says:

    Cool, I didn’t do the updates because I assumed a compilation of some sort would ensue….gimme

    • Robin says:

      Then you have lots of reading to do!

      • boojum says:

        Not nearly as much as I do, having resisted altogether so far… so many hobbies, so little time, and such a great blog to use as a source, I haven’t much expanded beyond what I read here.

        • Robin says:

          Oh, but you must get this then! Great fun.

          • boojum says:

            Santa knows where my wishlist is…and he’s smart enough to use it, too. :D

  8. moon_grrl says:

    My copy should be waiting for me when I get home today!

  9. RusticDove says:

    I purchased a hard copy of the guide after discovering NST and I subscribed to the quarterlies too. I will still get this book [one of these days] cause I do like the idea of having all the information in one place. Of course, this edition will be obsolete in no time with the pace of all the new releases, but what can you do?

    • Robin says:

      Nothing! They keep on coming.

  10. Erin says:

    I don’t know if I’m exposing my local bookseller to legal action or something, but I bought this about a week before the release date. It was definitely worth it, even though I had the hard-back and the newsletter, because my hardcover copy was disintergrating from overuse and I like the new Top Ten lists in the back (best citruses, best leathers, best strange scents, etc.) Also, there are a handful of totally new reviews and it’s been fun finding them. But weep Diorissimo lovers!

    • Robin says:


    • Gilty says:

      I know what you mean. My hardcover was looking really rough and I was so glad to have a new pristine edition (for about 15 minutes)… I’ve had mine for about a month or so (got an advance copy from a friend at Penguin) and I’ve already worn about half the type off the backcover…

    • moon_grrl says:

      Oooh! Sounds like I will be getting nothing done tonight , well, other than reading.

  11. ZenArcade says:

    So glad to see this post today! I was just wondering if it was worth purchasing since I (like practically everyone else on here) own & love the hardback. Sounds like there’s enough new material to make it worth my while.

    • Robin says:

      I should think so, if you didn’t buy the updates.

    • miss kitty v. says:

      I”m using the new one as an excuse to pass on my hardback to one of my friends–always looking for new ways to convert those around me to the perfumista life.

  12. Dolly says:

    Going to make out my Christmas list NOW!

  13. Patrizia says:

    Does anyone know if this paperback edition at Amazon UK is the same as the American one?

    • moon_grrl says:

      It is. For some reason, the US edition has a rather more colorful cover.

      • Robin says:

        Thanks, because I had no idea.

      • Patrizia says:


  14. mikeperez23 says:

    Got my copy today – GOSH it’s heavy! So nice having all of the reviews in one place.

  15. lsnuing says:

    I have the hardback and a couple of the quarterly updates (decided they weren’t worth it after a while) so won’t be buying this one. Damn it, the cover is so much prettier than my hardback though!

    • Robin says:

      I really liked the cover w/ the blue bottle, but this one is pretty too.

  16. Annalena says:

    Just arrived at my Dutch doorstep from Amazon UK. Already own the hardcover, but I just can’t get enough of reading those reviews. They are funny, serious, hilarious, sometimes even vile. Love the book!

    • Robin says:

      It really is a very enjoyable read. Made lots of people mad, but none of them seem to be chiming in here.

  17. Dzingnut says:

    I keep my hardcover version of the first book right next to the couch, and I think I’ve read it cover to cover about 500 times. Even though I have the updates too I am heading right to Amazon to order the new version! I enjoy even the entries I disagree with because nothing is more subjective than the sense of smell … plus, it’s so incredibly entertaining and informative. This news makes my day!

    • Robin says:

      I have the PB now, and it’s highly worth it…much easier than flipping through the HB plus the 3 updates to see if they covered something.

      And on the Amarige: hey, I love lots of things they don’t.

  18. Dzingnut says:

    And last week I sniffed Amarige at Sephora, and I liked it, and I felt so guilty … I have a white trash nose ….

  19. parfumliefhebber says:

    At Amazon I ordered the paperback. Can’t wait to read it :-)

    • Robin says:

      Hope you’ll enjoy it.

      • parfumliefhebber says:

        I finally had some time to read in it, a great book :-)

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