Luca Turin is to scent what Jancis Robinson is to wine. For it was he who, some 30 years ago now, inspired what has surely become a sensual obsession – the serious evaluation and appreciation of perfume. With his background in biophysics, quantum and molecular biology and fragrance chemistry, this entertaining, often acerbic critic (dubbed the Emperor of Scent by former New York Times perfume critic Chandler Burr) is serious about scent: his book Perfumes: The A-Z Guide (co-written with his wife Tania Sanchez) is the go-to for would-be fragrance buffs. So it’s serious news that Turin will be one of two principal lecturers at The Secret of Scent, a three-day residential course in Luberon, hosted from October 20 to 24 by Science & Vacation, a company that specialises in luxury learning with a scientific bent.
Also speaking scent will be the course’s other founder Victoria Frolova, fragrance expert and How To Spend It contributor, who will delve into perfume’s history and how it is created now, while offering a rare opportunity to sniff recherché vintage formulas. Guests will also learn how to formulate their own signature accord using raw materials from southern France, the hothouse of fine perfumery. And, since smell and taste are symbiotic senses, there will also be wine tasting, as well as plenty of relaxation and spa time at hotel Moulin de Vernègues, where the course takes place.