Luca Turin is a biophysicist and writer with a long-standing interest in the sense of smell, perfumery, and the fragrance industry.
Turin studied Physiology and Biophysics at University College London and earned his Ph.D. in 1978.He worked at the CNRS from 1982-1992 and served as a lecturer in Biophysics at University College London from 1992-2000.
After leaving the CNRS, Turin first held a visiting research position at the National Institutes of Health in North Carolina before moving back to London, where he became a lecturer in biophysics at University College London. In 2001 Turin was hired as CTO of start-up company Flexitral, based in Chantilly, Virginia, to pursue a rational odorant design based on his theories. In April 2010 he described this role in the past tense, and the company's domain name appears to have been surrendered.
In 2010, Turin was based at MIT, working on a project to develop an electronic nose based in part on his theories, financed by DARPA. In 2014 he moved to the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Ulm where he is currently a Visiting Professor.
Turin is the author of the book The Secret of Scent (2006), which details the history and science of his theory of olfaction, an acclaimed critical guide to perfume in French, Parfums: Le Guide, with two editions in 1992 and 1994, and is co-author of the English-language books Perfumes: The A-Z Guide (2008) and The Little Book of Perfumes (2011).
Since 2003, Turin has also written a regular column on perfume, "Duftnote," for NZZ Folio, the German-language monthly magazine of Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The column is also published in English on the magazine's website.
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