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Bombay Duck London

October 19, 2012 | Parfums Delrae Bois de Paradis

Bois de Paradis photographed by The Scent Critic against vintage San Francisco postcards

The Scent Critic is writing this review with a slightly broken heart – because not long after snapping this photo, I dropped my precious bottle of Bois de Paradis in the sink, shattering it, only to watch $140 of fragrance glug down [...]

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June 19, 2012 | Shalimar Parfum Initial

Shalimar Parfum Initial photographed by Jo Fairley at its One Marylebone launch

Every now and then the folks at Guerlain have a go at tweaking Shalimar to make it more appealing to a younger audience.  Or bring in a groovy bottle designer (groovesters don’t get much groovier than Jade Jagger), to sassy up the flacon [...]

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April 30, 2012 | 4160 Tuesdays Urura's Tokyo Café

Urura's Tokyo Café photographed against cherry blossom by The Scent Critic

The Scent Critic has never been to a real speakeasy – but (in the nicest possibly way), I’m still in recovery after a perfumed version, hosted by the knowledgeable and highly entertaining Odette Toilette as the latest in her series of Scratch+Sniff evenings.

Think:  fragrances [...]

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April 15, 2012 | Jo Malone Peony & Moss

Photographed by Jo Fairley against a vintage Sanderson screenprinted chintz

One of The Scent Critic’s favourite smells in the world is a flower shop:  the damp, mossy, earthy scent that assails and delights me upon stepping over the threshold of, say, Kenneth Turner in London, or Christian Tortu (in Paris), or the fabulous little Japanese [...]

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March 16, 2012 | Puredistance M

Puredistance M photographed at Kettner's by Jo Fairley on a slate tabletop

Perfume doesn’t bite.  It won’t kill you.  So at fragrance press launches The Scent Critic is eternally gobsmacked, frankly, when fellow journalists don’t bother to do more than waft a blotter under their noses when being shown a new perfume.

Fact:  they’re not everyday [...]

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February 29, 2012 | Roja Dove Danger

Roja Dove Danger photographed by Jo Fairley against a vintage silk sari

The Scent Critic doesn’t quite know how Roja Dove has secured some of the raciest fragrance names ever for his signature creations, but Danger is the latest in a line of brilliant light-the-blue-touch-paper-and-retire titles emblazoned across his naughty purple labels.

First came Reckless, [...]

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February 20, 2012 | Carita Eau de Parfum

Skin.  Warm skin.  Warm, sexy skin.  Warm, sexy, kissable skin.  At the end of the day, isn’t that what we’d all like a fragrance to smell like…?  And of course, they all do, after a while:  blood-warmed, after the dry-down, our own natural, signature body aroma emerges through its veil of perfume elements.  But a [...]

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February 2, 2012 | Caron Tabac Blond

First of all, I’d like to point out that despite the fact this fragrance harks back to the era of fur tippets and flapper dresses, no chinchillas were harmed in the photography of this bottle.  (The fur in my photo is entirely faux.  Thanks, Restoration Hardware;  the Davy Crockett hat’s come into its own in [...]

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January 27, 2012 | Bottega Veneta

‘Never apologise, never explain.’  So:  no long-winded justification for The Scent Critic’s hiatus;  she’s simply throwing herself headlong into reviews again, before the 2012 launch season gets up a serious head of steam.  Let us hope that this will be another vintage year, as 2011 surprisingly turned out to be – the Chateau Pétrus (or [...]

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November 25, 2011 | Chanel Jersey

When a little bird at Chanel (actually, they’re all little birds at Chanel) told The Scent Critic that their next fragrance launch was based around lavender and vanilla, I said a silent ‘hmmmm’.  Because lavender and vanilla aren’t natural bedfellows, in fragrance.  They don’t go together like a horse and carriage;  they go together like [...]

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