A ‘Mix Tape’ from Luca Turin!


Post by Ainslie Walker


Hello Gorgeous APJ-ers!

It’s been an eventful month in my little world and thus I have plenty of potential fragrant stories wafting around inside my head. I’ve begun a few, though I realized they were all paving a path to LUCA TURIN! Scent critic and olfactive/olfactory know-it(-almost)-all! The more I learn of this man and his work the more I am in awe. I mean lets start with his office: I hear next to his desk is a shiny GCMS machine that one could only dream of having!! He often references in his articles, running this and that through to compare and check on chemical compositions, changes between vintages etc. (sigh)

Folio Columns 2003-2014 Kindle Edition by Luca Turin AmazonAmazon

Recently I posted about Luca Turin’s book ‘FOLIO Columns 2003-2014’ The next day I got a thank you message from a “Luca Turin.” Of course immediately I thought it was someone merely posing as him! After a few cryptic messages that he answered correctly I realized it was THE REAL HIM!!

Jeepers. My mind went into overdrive plucking up courage to perhaps ask for a little interview…one with a twist. Something interesting for someone I imagined easily bored by inane questions.

 A ‘Mix Tape’ from Luca Turin!

As our correspondence continued and I trawled slowly through his book I observed his passion for fragrance is parallel to a love of classical music. Being more of an…I guess predominantly… “rock chick’ I have a limited understanding of classical music, save for dusty old Bach numbers in the back of my head from school aged piano and clarinet lessons and Pachelbel’s Canon (which you can’t avoid if you’ve ever worked in the Spa industry). So the idea came to me to ask the great Luca Turin for A MIX TAPE!! My idea was for him to make me a list of his favorite tunes and then match fragrances to them and email them through. Simple!

Luca wrote back with a link to a similar style broadcast he did for Radio BBC 3’s Saturday Classics:

Listen here

As it all goes by very quickly, here is the list of both music and fragrances for you to read along too:

Luca Turin’s Fragrance and Music Matches

• Diorama (Edmond Roudnitska for Dior 1949): Mouret’s Rondeau
• Cristalle (Henri Robert for Chanel 1974): Martinu’s Concerto for flute, violin and chamber orchestra Mvt 1
Apres L’Ondee (Jacques Guerlain 1906): Debussy’s Images ‘Reflet dans l’eau’ and ‘Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut’
Emeraude (Francois Coty 1921): Brahms String Sextet no. 1 in B flat major Op.18 Mvt 1
• Habanita (Molinard 1921): Enrique Santos Discépolo Esta Noche Me Emborracho
• Shaïna (Atelier Delteil release date unknown): Howard Skempton’s Lento
• Nombre Noir (Jean-Yves Leroy for Shiseido 1982): Scriabin’s Prelude in B-flat Major
• Chamade (Paul Guerlain 1969): Barber’s Violin Concerto Opus 14
• Vivre (Molyneux 1971): Vishal-Shekhar’s ‘Zehnaseeb’ from the Bollywood musical Hasee Toh Phasee
New York (Patricia de Nicolai 1989): Ralph Towner’s Blue Sun
Vetiver (Jean-Paul Guerlain 1961): Shostakovich’s String Quartet no. 10 in A flat major Op.118 – 1st mvt
• Chinatown (Aurelien Guichard for Bond No 9 2005): Egberto Gismonti’s Lôro
• Tanismal (Luca’s own creation – flexitral molecule 2008): Brahms Piano Concerto no. 2 in B flat major Op.83 – 4th mvt


Perfumes The A-Z Guide Luca Turin Tania Sanchez Book DepositoryBook Depository

You can check also out Luca Turin’s new blog Perfumes I Love

Let me know your thoughts? Did you enjoy? Agree? Have you any songs and fragrances that seem to be a perfect match?

XX Until next time! Ainslie XX

23 thoughts on “A ‘Mix Tape’ from Luca Turin!

  1. This is such a fun article. First of all I like your idea of associating specific music with perfume, and then the famous Luca Turin – wow!
    I’m too more of “another kind of music chick”, which means thank God for You Tube so I can find the tunes and compare them to the perfumes I know. And to answer your question – I rather associate perfume to people, sceneries or feelings and it would take a whole lot of imagination to combine them with music. Mr Turin obviously has this kind of imagination.


    • Hello Neva,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes quite a talent linking music to scent. I’m still opening myself up to really be able to do this-hence why listening to this “set” of Luca’s over and over has been so fascinating. PLUS opening my eyes (ears, rather) up to some more classical music. Both these tracks and fragrance can be so emotive. I’m like you; places, people, memories, sort of snapshots of moments and colours come from me smelling scents.


  2. Thank you Ainslie, I have just listened to Luca Turin on Radio BBC3. What a talented person he is, I have his book, with Tania Sanchez, ‘Perfumes The Guide’ as my ‘go to’ for perfumes. He’s witty, honest and a great reviewer. I have never thought of associating perfumes with music – so that’s something to think about.


    • Great you enjoyed it! I’ve listened to it quite a few times now. Just trying to ‘feel’ both the smell and the music. You are so right saying he is witty, honest and a great reviewer. I’m forever marveling at the humor and pictures his reviews evoke in my imagination/mind.
      Just brilliant!


  3. Hey Ainslie,
    What a great post. Love this idea.
    You know I sometimes spritz and turn the music up then sit here getting a multisensory experience.
    Portia xx


      • Not quite so formal as Luca. I just listen to any old song rattling around in my brain and spritz myself lavishly. Close my eyes and drift away on both sensory adventures.
        Particularly liking the new Sound Of Silence.
        Portia xx


    • Hi Luca!

      Thankyou for stopping by and commenting.

      I stand corrected re your office “toys” – my apologies- for some reason I got the impression from your articles you did have this machine close by!
      How does the baby GC compare to its big brother/sister? I look forwards to your discoveries. Lucky you!!


  4. Jeepers for real! My eyes are still bugging out!
    I can’t wait to spritz and play. I do actually match music to my fragrance, but quite haphazardly. So thank you so much for this post and yes, it is freakin’ fabulous!


    • Hi Holly,

      I’d love to know which music and fragrances you match? Thankyou for stopping by and letting me know. I think I’m still training my ears and nose to work in unison with music/fragrance matching. My eyes and ears seem to link far easier.


  5. Never thought of pairing music to perfume but then I don’t have Luca Turin’s imagination.

    I would like to point out something wonderful though – he has started a new blog! It’s called Perfumes I Love.


    First post was yesterday, about Excense. Classic Turin pithy commentary! But the blog as I understand it is to review the perfumes he comes across that he loves.


  6. Hi Ainslie,
    Absolutely loved your post! I have also totally enjoyed Luca Turin’s radio programs on BBC. It would be fun to take one composer – say Scriabin – and match only his music with fragrance. His style changed so much from the earlier compositions to the later ones. Some perfumers are like that too!
    Azar xx


    • Thankyou Azar! That sounds fascinating! You sound like you know a lot about music? I guess I’d pick Bjork as she has crossed many genres from her early punk days onwards. Let’s see maybe I can write an article about this in the future! X


      • Hey Ainslie,
        I know a little about what some people call “western classical” music as I’ve been trying to play it for sixty years and teach it for forty. Even at that, there is so much of this stuff out there that I still can’t say that I know a lot about it. I like most every style of music and play what I can, but my knowledge of contemporary pop, rock, ethno-pop, etc. is (also) sadly limited. One of the things I really appreciate about Luca Turin’s radio programs is that he does not limit his musical matching to one genre or era. His selections broaden my musical horizons.
        Azar xx


  7. Fab post.
    Vero Profumo and the Velvet Underground.
    Will think of more but I’m stopped at a red light doing this. ❤️


  8. Ainslie, well done on this quite interesting article. I don’t own either of Luca’s books {I know , I know….take away my perfumista badge!!! }. I’m quite curious, was this correspondence via email?
    I once listened to a similar concept show, the VERY long running {as in years } on BBC called DESERT ISLAND DISCS which featured Sir Ellena. The music Lento was on his list ,too. Have a great day.


  9. Luca’s love for classical music is quite evident in The Guide. He is old school in a manner and I think the new perfumes he tends to fall in love are those that remind him of some classical beloved perfume or that seem to have some aura of classical perfumes


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