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Bombay Duck London

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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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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September 11, 2011 | Chanel No. 19 Poudré

The Scent Critic has experienced one of life’s little detours, and hereby apologises  profoundly for a prolonged absence.  The pulse-point on my right wrist, you see – not to mention the rest of the wrist itself – has for some weeks been encased in plaster, my ‘scent-trigger’ finger rendered weak and useless, too, all because [...]

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January 11, 2011 | Sahara (make: unknown)

The Scent Critic is not seriously going to suggest that you trek all the way to Tunisia to pick up a bottle of Sahara, weaving your way through the labyrinth of Sousse’s souk.  (This small bottle:  3.5 dinars, or around £1.75, FYI.)  For sure, this scent is never going to rival Chanel No. 5.  But [...]

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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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October 13, 2010 | Plum by Mary Greenwell

Tell me:  what lengths have you gone to, to get your hands on a fragrance…?  Continents scoured…?  Begging letters sent…?   Pilgrimages made…?  Well, so consumed was The Scent Critic with the desire for Plum by Mary Greenwell – the debut fragrance from one of the world’s top make-up pros – that yesterday, she left behind [...]

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August 18, 2010 | Honoré des Prés Chaman's Party

Photographed against the cover of Hippie by Barry Miles

Vetiver-lovers, get ready to party.  This is a corker of a vetiver.  And, to paraphrase the title of one of my favourite movies this year, It’s Not Complicated – because this is pretty much vetiver, pure and simple, from the first whoosh right through till the [...]

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July 6, 2010 | Chanel Sycomore

My name is The Scent Critic and I am a vetiveraholic.  I can never get enough of this earthy, sensual, deeply stirring fragrance ingredient, which I’ve been enraptured by since I used to wear Guerlain’s Vetiver.  Yes, I know that technically it’s a men’s fragrance (and I dated several who wore it), but for me, [...]

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June 28, 2010 | Quintessentially Perfume

Actually, Quintessentially Perfume is not a perfume:  it’s a new book about fragrance, and definitely one for the scentophile’s bookshelf.  Edited by Nathalie Grainger, with an intro by professeur de parfums Roja Dove and published – price £25 – by Quintessentially (those lifestyle concierge folk, who can bag you a table at Nobu or a [...]

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