About Me

I am the Tania Sanchez who wrote with Luca Turin the well-received doorstop Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, the first major critical guide to perfume in English, published in the US by Penguin and in the UK by Profile Books, and in translation in Japan.

If you haven’t bought three copies—one for the road, one for the bedside, and one stolen by someone you considered a friend—ask yourself if you’ve done all you can.

Before ditching everything to move to London to help write this lunatic work, I grew up in the California East Bay, where I attended public school with no visible harm done. I lived in New York for thirteen years, semi-enjoying an unfocused hack career without glory. If you are interested in having an unfocused hack career without glory, write me and I will happily tell you how it can be yours.

I got the chance to write half of Perfumes: The A-Z Guide because Luca read my old blog (which I’ve taken down because I get sick of my old writing) and he thought, she could do it. I didn’t agree, but he insisted. My father learned to swim when his older sister threw him in a lake. It runs in the family.

I now live in Varkiza, Greece, with a man I’m madly in love with and two cats. This is my personal blog. I am also trying to write a novel, on which I keep getting painfully stuck.
Follow me on Twitter: @taniasanchez

Note: This blog uses Amazon Associates links, which apparently result in some sort of remuneration by processes that I have not bothered to figure out.  I use them to link to things I was going to mention anyway and promise I will not use them to push some ridiculous crap.


§ 25 Responses to About Me

  • newmeadow says:

    yay! i’m listening.

  • achinta says:

    you are a genius writer and i’m in love with you.

    • Can it be? It’s my favorite choreographer of ALL TIME. I was just telling the story recently of how you threw that boot out the window. You know what I’m talking about.

  • Lena says:

    I love your book! And I will read your blog… waiting impatiently for news!

  • Foti says:

    Greetings from a Perfume fanatic Greece!

  • joy division says:

    Hello Tania,

    I’ve been looking at Perfumes: The Guide for three years and still find great stuff in it. My hard cover is thrashed from use but the new A-Z Guide is in better shape.

    Have fun in Greece, or wherever.

      • joy division says:

        The blog is great. Nice pics and a lot of good stuff to read. 🙂

        Don’t hesitate to write more reviews. I just smelled the new Guerlain called Arsene Lupin Dandy, and it’s very decent.

        Adios, and thanks.

      • joy division says:

        Just to clarify: I know you have a new book coming out, but it would be pretty cool to see a few sporadic reviews on new things you and Luca like. You could even do them on You Tube. 🙂 Or not.

        I love the part about Fougère Royale. It smells like a lighter, greener version of a decent fougère that came out in 1994, but that one is a little less tedious.

      • Thanks for your message and compliments. We are both deep into other projects and do not know when, if ever, we will go back to reviewing perfumes. But it is always nice to know someone is interested.

  • Chris says:


    reading the Guide at the moment, it’s charming, helpful and funny.
    Sex Appeal 4 stars though : / Desir de Rochas 1!? And Beyond Paradise is really not that exciting..

    I will stop moaning now.

  • Lila says:

    Lovely to find your blog and look forward to reading more of life and travels.
    When I was a novice I found your book a little intimidating. Now I can tell we are old friends: not only are the pages dog-eared – sometimes I argue back, sometimes I stare with love and admiration, sometimes we fall out, but at the end of the day we always make up again.

    • Welcome, Lila, and thanks! I feel the same way about the same book. I argue with myself most frequently, cringe to see a sentence I should have chopped or a word that’s not the one I might have chosen, and then in the end I am satisfied that it is out there, having conversations at dinner at home with people I’ll never see, making the time more interesting than it might have been, which is most of the point. 🙂

  • Lila says:

    Certainly making the time more interesting for us all.

  • Chandler says:

    Just started “Perfumes” and feel like I’ve simultaneously come home and fallen in love. Finally people I can relate to! Thank you thank you thank you. Ps I also grew up in the East Bay, lived 7 years in New York City and now have settled in Europe. Cheers!

  • hello tania…when you talk about vintage perfume what year does that exactly mean…when i buy perfume how do i know when it was bottled…and if its a old formula as in better or a new formula as in not better…how do i know when and if i should buy perfume edp or edt…when you review a perfume in your books are you reviewing perfume as well as edp and edt…only sometimes you might be specific and write for example no.5 parfum or joy parfum…where otherwise i dont know if your review is for perfume edp or edt or all of them…many thanks in advance for answering these hopefully non confusing questions…cheers…carole…

    • Hello, Carole,

      When I talk about vintage perfume, it is a vague way of referring to perfume bottled in years past using the original or at the very least close to original perfumers’ formulas. The time could be anytime from the very first bottling to a few years ago. For some fragrances, the window for “now” got short recently, since many industry-wide restrictions were enforced on older perfumes with a deadline of 2010 and 2011. The packaging is the best clue. Online communities and websites devoted to vintage perfume can help you figure out what box or bottle to look for; I don’t know of any authoritative source for dating fragrances and if there is one, someone should let me know! As for versions, we tried to make distinctions among dilutions when we thought the differences were significant (e.g., No. 5, Joy, Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia), but most publicity reps do not keep samples of the parfum about so it was not always possible to review that.

      All the best,

  • Kiko says:

    Hi Tania.

    I’m planning to buy Joy and Chanel No. 5 as gifts. But alas! They have been reformulated, as stated in your latest book. Would you recommend buying their vintage eau de parfums rather than the 2011 parfums?

    … Sorry if I’m the nth human to bug you about this…

    Great blog by the way. 🙂 … I ended up watching 20 minutes of Fist of Fury during office hours after reading the IpMan post. 🙂


    There are some stock of old bottles (I’m not sure how old, but they are properly boxed and sealed) of Joy here in the Philippines, in certain little shops (these are outside malls and department stores). The staff and owners have no clue whatsover when it comes to classic perfumes. A friend bought a bottle of Kouros (in good condition) for US$ 20 in a store where they sell Hugo Boss and Lacoste perfumes for US$ 40++. A similar type of store exists in Singapore.

    • Sorry I answer you so late! I have had good luck with Joy in older bottlings and in fact acquired my one-ounce unopened backup parfum for twenty bucks in an estate sale. “Vintage” Chanel fragrances make me wary since No. 5 is probably the most counterfeited perfume in existence, though I had excellent luck again with an estate sale. I am glad there is perfume in the Philippines and not surprised that they don’t know what to do with it. When the hardcover of the guide came out, I was visiting my father’s family in Pangasinan, in the back of beyond. My father brought my book around proudly to show people. Most cooed but set it aside and did not really look at it. My uncle, a minister, held the book at some distance away from him with his lips pursed, peered at it in silence through the glasses on the end of his nose, at long last praised the illustrations, shut it, and said, “We don’t much wear perfume here.”

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