Saturday Question: What Luca Turin 1 or 2 Star Fragrances Do You Love?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

At APJ we have a Saturday Question. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it’s a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back regularly and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them. The aim is to generate real conversation and connection even though we are scattered around the globe.


Over 100 responses I will draw a Scent Sample Pack (from my collection)
This week:
Sample Pack

  1. Amarige – Givenchy
  2. Champs-Elysees – Guerlain
  3. Oiro – Mona di Orio
  4. Trouble – Boucheron

Last Weeks Winner: marcellavmiller

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with your address please

Saturday Question: What Luca Turin 1 or 2 Star Fragrances Do You Love?

Recently Luca Turin and Tanya Sanchez released a new edition of the book that launched many perfumistas into the world, myself included. Suddenly I thought to go looking on the internet for you all. It was transformative in so many ways. One of the things I love about these guys is that they are so subjective, it means I am happily able to disagree with them if I think they’re wrong. Obviously when I think they hit the nail on the head my mind thinks they are geniuses (genii doesn’t seem right, the dictionary gives both as acceptable).

I have been remiss in not reading the modern book but here are four Perfumes: The Guide One Star Fragrances that I love, and have bottles of in my collection.

My Answer:

Amarige – Givenchy : killer tuberose

Poor Amarige. Luca does say that he nearly gave it a four star rating but it seems its diffusive, intrusive, OTT magic is beyond him. WRONG! Even now, cheapened and screechy Amarige is a fabulous statement fragrance. I don’t wear it much but get extreme enjoyment from it when I do.

Champs-Elysees – Guerlain: fluorescent floral

“The second worst perfume Guerlain ever made” shrieks LT. Come on, really? Champs Elysees is beautiful. Violet, lilac, mimosa and peony held to earth by almond and a woodsy white musk base. Perfect springtime waft of fresh prettiness. I often gift it too and every person has worn the shit outta it.

Oiro – Mona di Orio : floral oriental

“Third world air freshener.” I wish he would go back and smell Orio again now after there being so much in this particular category released since. A soft, spicy floral with a creamy green hue backed with lovely resins and honeyed immortelle. Seriously, what’s not to love. It does have longevity issues but, um, hello L’Artisan…..

Trouble – Boucheron : dismal oriental

“A murky broth the colour of mud!” HA! The sweetest, most delightfully murky mud coloured broth EVER! It is loud, diffusive, insistent and so much bloody fun. It’s hard to feel anything but regal swanning around in this blockbuster powerhouse. Amber, jasmine and a funky greenness. He is right about one thing, it was a flop and left the building rather too early. Thank goodness I stocked up.


My Saturday Question to you is:

What Luca Turin 1 or 2 Star Fragrances Do You Love?


78 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What Luca Turin 1 or 2 Star Fragrances Do You Love?

  1. I agree heartily about Champs Elysees. Such a joyful, unabashed floral. Sometimes it can turn shrill in bad weather (also I find if I get stressed it can quickly become too much) but wow, one star? Naw, bro.
    Is the new edition similar to the old one, where it has a summary of the star ratings? I’d love to see that if so. I know I should buy the Kindle version at some point.


  2. ‘D’Ambiguite by Marlou. It’s so ferociously stinky that it makes me laugh. I like wearing it around the house on cold rainy winter days, ’cause it feels like I’m wearing filthy old animal fur.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I remember being devo that Ambre Fetiche only got 2 stars and a glum “lime benzoin” comment. I had just discovered perfume, been to Paris and bought this scent. HA, am on my second bottle!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ohhh Turin strikes again 😑 Definitely i will mention Ambre Gris from Balmain -2 stars…..really? I like that perfume like a lottt….bottle lovely also. Then Viktor&Rolf – Antidote ( Mutant Lavander) -2 stars……now that’s impossible , really. Antidote is a fantastic scent, probably the best creation from Viktor and Rolf house. Well, since perfumes are all subjective i will respect his reviews, but i think 2 stars is just exaggerated 😕😕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I owned a bottle of Amarige in the 90s, haven’t repurchased. I remember liking it a lot and reserving it for special occasions mainly. I also remember it used to be a perfume best used with caution, 2-3 sprays max.

    I haven’t bought The Guide actually, I own some other perfume books, but only one with reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fun question Portia! I adore The Guide; the first issue I’ve kept by my bedside for years and love to read the reviews often at bedtime for entertainment. And the new edition was purchased asap. They are such great fun! I love reading others’ comments and reviews, and sometimes LT he is so outrageous I laugh out loud!
    Champs-Elysees surprised me; it was my first Guerlain love and I still adore it. I have received so many compliments while wearing it. For trashy teens? No way! Harsh review!
    And Double, not a “dismal oriental or artistic flop.” I recently purchased a bottle after you, dear Portia reminded me of it (I had a bottle when it was released and enjoyed it).
    Chanel Gardenia- “loud airport toilet water” Wait, what? i don’t wear a lot of gardenia but I love this!
    Cartier Delices- “fruity vile.” My sister and I work it a lot in the day and loved it. Now difficult to find sadly.
    Nanette Lepore- “fruity death.” Years ago I thought the most gorgeous peach perfume.
    Caron N’Aimez que Moi- “floral mishmash.” I find it a beautiful rose, although I agree as a reformulation nowhere near as beautiful as vintage would have been.
    La Nuit Tresor a la Folie- “hideous loud mess.” One of the few fruity gourmands I enjoy wearing, and again get lots of compliments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are cases in pint of people wearing, and smelling, the same thing quite differently Kathleen. One of the reasons I like to have at least one other person with me when I’m doing the New Sniffs is that one persons experience is usually clouded by so much baggage that it takes two or more to get a better picture.
      Portia xx


      • Agreed! Baggage and everything smells differently to us all. I love all of the differing opinions and I always learn so much through other’s points of view.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I love the Chanel Gardenia. I know it doesn’t get a lot of love on the blogs and forums, but I plan to buy a full bottle sometime. Sadly it is not available locally.


  7. Eau de Lierre- “watered gin”…..and I love it 🙂

    I am also a big fan of Trouble….I decanted some of my mini a while back for an APJer and then shortly thereafter thunked it because I wore it until it was no more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Geez, where do I start?! Seriously, I look at a few 5 stars and wonder where Turin’s mind was at. Beyond Paradise? Champs Elysee outshines it ten fold. Champs has character, especially the edt version. It has a story to tell. Beyond Paradise is simply a wishful desire to sit by a beach and apply suntan lotion. I love Beyond Paradise, but Champs gets my 5 star vote.

    L’Air du Temps has a 2 star. Even in its modern form, it transcends into something rarely experienced. It is ethereal and floaty in character. It might be thin boned and a shadow of the pretty girl it once was, but that speaks more of his prejudice and inability to see beauty in many forms; including age. I am amazed L’Air is still produced! The rage for these scents has died down so we are fortunate to have it at all.

    The other that upsets me no end is SpellBound. Loud, proud and the femme answer to L’Egoiste. It came off the tail of Obsession, Opium etc, but gave Estee Lauder the courage to explore new territory. An American heavy hitting spice?! It was impolite, in one’s face and opened doors before I even thought of opening them. In its heyday, the spices hummed their own tune and played Lara’s theme on the balalaika!

    I’ll stop now. 😳

    Liked by 3 people

  9. In the new Guide: I’m going to defend two of Lutens’s scents from their one and two star damnation.

    Not the new version of De Profundis, though, or any version of Le Religieuse. Nope. I’d say those deserve negative stars, and being sent to bed without any pudding.

    But L’Orpheline, in 1 star land, is an easy to wear cold incense, with a dab of patch, and either touches of creaminess or damp wood depending on your skin or perceptions. It’s not going to set the world on fire but it’s good to wear. And I’m very fond of Bapteme du Feu–it’s got more character. No sweetness–this stuff is dry, but still weirdly rich. It’s kind of odd, yes, with the burned orange peel and non-cookie ginger, and old fireworks. And to me it smells of Venice. (And I have got through a bottle of each, and replaced them…so, it’s not just talk!)

    There was something else. But right now I forget. Will check the index…


  10. Marcella, congratulations!!
    Portia, please don’t enter my name, I’ve tried most of the scents in the draw.

    The only one I remembered was Must de Cartier. He trashed it, I quite like it. No offence taken, of course: I’ve read the Guide a few times and still come searching for a brief clever review in there if I need an opinion or just some good read.


  11. What a great question! I quite like Roses de Chloe, which he gave one star and called a “sour rose” and a “shabby little thing.” Ouch! And I like Jo Malone’s Blue Hyacinth a LOT, which he gave two stars and said did not smell like hyacinth. I beg to differ — I’ve worn it when I had real hyacinths blooming, and it’s very realistic. Of course, he also admits that he doesn’t like the scent of hyacinths, so he’s probably not paying that much attention!


  12. Ok, I was happy because there was not a single one of my favourites among the one star perfumes but then I went on to the two star section…OMG, Tiempe Passate from Antonia’s Flowers!!!! They must have had a temporary loss of smell to give this beauty two stars. It’s among my top five perfumes and I love it passionately.
    Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea is also a two star scent according to Turin/Sanchez and it’s my favourite green tea cheapie for the summer heat. I also liked/owned Bulgari’s Rose Essentielle but nowadays it can’t be found on the shelves anymore since they brought out the Rose Goldea flanker which smells pretty cheap in comparison with Rose Essentielle. I hope it can still be purchased online. It was my first rose scent and I have great memories of the time I used to wear it regularly.
    Nevertheless I’m looking forward to my copy of The Guide 2018. Santa should bring it for Christmas 🙂


  13. So, I won!! This is good. Very good. I feel vindicated and satisfied. Oh Gawd, you must all hate me 🤣.
    I have loaned my Perfume Guide to the eldest daughter, so I’ll have to comment later in the week, if I get it back.
    Oh yeah, and if any of you missed it, I won! Yup. That’s me. The winner.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Guess what? I haven’t even read the old guide, much less the new one😱 I don’t care what they think cos if I like it, I wear it. Simples. Do I have to slope off and sit in the corner all by myself now? Will my perfume collection be confiscated? i’ll kick up an awful stink😉


    • Totally agree with you on the “if i like it, i’ll wear it” and also the “i don’t care if you think it’s a masterpiece, it bores/horrifies me so nope” corollary. But…i LOVE the guides. They are subjective, absolutely, but, they are such fun to read–maybe particularly when mentally arguing with them–and I really learned a lot from the way they set things in context. The mapping of the fragrances against others, showing how something fits in with other work… there’s a lot of erudition among the wit and snark.


      • Agreed on both accounts. I don’t trust blindly nor LT’s praise nor his thinly veiled (or not) insults but I respect his deep knowledge and enjoy reading his witty remarks. I admit that I do not find Tania’s reviews as fascinating as his but she’s made some clever observations, too.
        After all, any review is subjective in its core, there’s hardly any need to get offended.


  15. De Profundis. Although the reformulation is said to be a horror.
    Neva- I didn’t know Tiempe Passate was two star. 😮 Oof, Luca!


  16. Profumum Roma Confetto, Eau d’Hadrien, Virgin Island Water, and Origins Ginger Essence! Also of course Champs Elysees, so immensely popular that even the Bon Ton in the small city where I live in the middle of nowhere carried it–my first and most loved Guerlain.


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