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Bombay Duck London

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 2, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 1: Shalimar Ode à la Vanille

This is the peak perfuming time of year.  A splash behind the ears, a spritz down the décolletage, a touch behind the knees.  (An old tip, but it works:  the fragrance wafts beautifully up at you.  Er, and whoever happens to be on their knees around you.)  So the snow-bound Scent Critic will be working [...]

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September 24, 2010 | Roja Dove Diaghilev

It’s not often that The Scent Critic sends another (straight) female writer into such a swoon that she all but makes a pass when getting within sniffing distance.  (My colleague’s precise comment:  ‘Whatever you’re wearing, it could really make me go for you…’)  We have not, however, run away together (despite the fact that The [...]

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July 30, 2010 | Tom Ford Azure Lime

Tom Ford, as we all know, is a gay man who just adores women.  He’s created sexy clothes, sexy sunglasses – and sexy fragrances, which were his first post-Gucci foray into Tom Ford branding.  He’s done it because he’s clearly passionate about perfumery.  And because he’s a total polymath, who can turn his hand to [...]

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July 27, 2010 | Jo Malone Amber & Patchouli Cologne Intense

It is no secret to the (lovely) folk at Jo Malone that until recently, this fragrance line didn’t rock my boat.  Jo herself – who created an extraordinary global scent and skincare empire – is always pressed, scrubbed (and exfoliated) to squeaky-clean perfection, and fond of understated tones.  (Think:  taupe, beige, ivory).  And the fragrances [...]

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June 15, 2010 | Paul & Joe Bleu

Possibly the highest compliment that I can pay to a perfume is that it is ‘Guerlain-esque’.  Which is certainly true of this, one of two fragrances from the delectably boudoir chic make-up brand Paul & Joe, created in 2003 by Peirre Bourdon.  (The other is Paul & Joe Blanc.)  So:  if you love Shalimar but [...]

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June 7, 2010 | 4711 Eau de Cologne

Drenching myself in this, I wonder:  how many fragrances, created in 2010, will women (and some men) still be splashing all over in 200 years’ time?   The answer:  none, probably.  How remarkable, then, that 4711 is pretty much as loved today as it ever was.  But there’s a reason for that.  Because this quintessential eau [...]

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May 25, 2010 | Liz Earle Botanical Essence Eau de Parfum No. 1

Liz Earle inspires an almost cult-like religious devotion among her beauty flock.  Products like Cleanse & Polish have been elevated to the Beauty Hall of Fame – and one of the key factors in their phenomenal success has always been the attractive botanical smells, because Liz herself is so ‘scent-aware’.  It was probably only a [...]

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May 16, 2010 | Eau de Shalimar

Applying Shalimar to your pulse-points is something of a rite of passage.  Do it when you’re too young, and it’s the equivalent of trying on your mother’s too-big shoes, or smooshing her red lipstick inexpertly around your pout.  The original, legendary Shalimar fragrance is a by-word for sensuality:  created in 1925 by Jacques Guerlain, it [...]

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