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December 20, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 12: Guerlain Mitsouko

This is about saving the best till last.  You know, the way you leave the biggest present under the tree, to enjoy the anticipation.  And so, on this 12th day of my Christmas perfume countdown, I reached for my bottle of what I consider to be my ultimate fragrance.  Yes, The Scent Critic can be [...]

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December 19, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 11: Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir

Of all the fragrances from British ‘nose’ Linda Pilkington (whose ‘nom de parfum‘ is Ormonde Jayne), this is the one I’d choose for Christmas.  Not a Christmas party, perhaps, but that time when you’ve undone the top button of your skirt, have collapsed on the sofa and are watching the annual re-run of Love, Actually, [...]

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December 17, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 10: Estée Lauder Youth Dew

So: yesterday’s Scent Critic posting talked about how fragrance can turn you from a would-be couch potato into a party animal, with a waft of its magic wand.  But today, I’m going to marvel at its equal power to transport you through time and space.  Dr. Who, you can keep your Tardis.  We all have [...]

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December 16, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 9: Guerlain Bois d'Arménie

The Scent Critic honestly believes that fragrance is a magic wand.  The trigger for a gazillion Cinderella moments, over the years.  One minute, you’re fighting party-dread – and then a drop or a zoosh or a splash later, suddenly, you actually feel like putting on a pair of high heels, some dangly earrings, and heading [...]

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December 13, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 8: Carthusia Ligea 'La Sirena

For a fragrance confected by monks – yes, monks – Ligea is pretty darned sexy.  Airy and sugary all at once:  all baby powder, mandarin orange, bergamot and an iced Limoncello on the side, wrapped up into one crisp-yet-marshmallow-ish confection.  And yes, this is another one that Shalimar-lovers could have an affair on the side [...]

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December 12, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 7: Hermes 24 Faubourg

I suspect that if you blindfolded 1,000 people, wafted a 24, Faubourg-drenched spill under their noses and asked them to tell you where this honeyed floral fusion hailed from, they’d chorus:  ‘Paris’.  This 1995 classic, to me, has always seemed one of the quintessential French perfumes:  a sophisticated, heel-clicking, smart-suited grande dame of a fragrance, [...]

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December 10, 2010 |  The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 6: Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan

I once described Ambre Sultan as sex-in-a-bottle in a major Sunday supplement and caused a stampede to the counters.  (Which probably says something about the state of the nation’s amorous life.)  Retrieving it from the back of my dressing table – which can sometimes be a little like one of those amusement arcade penny games, [...]

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December 7, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 5: Chanel No. 5

Now, what else could I have chosen for No. 5 in the 12 Scents of Christmas…?  But even for an old scent-hack from way back, it’s challenging to put digit to keyboard about the most famous fragrance in the world.  Ever.  In all of creation.  Still a bestseller, getting on for 90 years since Ernest [...]

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December 6, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 4: Miller Harris Fleur Oriental

Light, airy, whispery, uplifting:  those are all (flattering) words I associate with Miller Harris, the fragrance house created by talented British ‘nose’ Lyn Harris.  But warm…?  With the exception of the enchanting fairy-juice that is L’Aire de Rien, and Un Petit Rient (inspired by Jane Birkin and reviewed here by The Scent Critic), that’s not [...]

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December 5, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 3: Etro Patchouly

The Scent Critic’s husband is probably partly to thank for this earthy Etro creation.  Once upon a time, long, long ago, he was the first person to import patchouli oil into the UK, catering to the hippies who all but drenched themselves in it – probably to disguise the aromas wafting from their Afghan coats, [...]

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