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Bombay Duck London

March 3, 2013 | Mary Greenwell Lemon

Mary Greenwell plum photographed by The Scent Critic on a background of unwaxed organic lemons

Mary Greenwell, how do I love thee…?  Let The Scent Critic count the ways.  First, Mary is one of the most gifted make-up artists ever to whisk her brushes over a famous face (including, as many know, countless supermodels and [...]

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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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March 2, 2011 | Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum

Ah, Jimmy Choo.  Shoes-of-choice for slinky-limbed aristos, WAGs and fashionistas.  (Not for The Scent Critic, however, who – confession time – is more of an Ecco/Chie Mahara girl.)  It was only a matter of time before Tamara Mellon OBE brought out a perfume, so that all those aspiring women who long to fill specially-built shoe [...]

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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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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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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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August 26, 2010 | Guerlain Idylle (Eau de Toilette)

Proper, gorgeous, glamorous, grown-up, full-bodied fragrances are what Guerlain is celebrated for – and mostly, that’s what they deliver. Creations which are born, not of marketing-speak or focus groups, but because a genius perfumer, playing at his organ of essential oils and distillations, has come up with something perfect – and decided OK, it’s time [...]

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July 7, 2010 | Sisley Eau du Soir

So, you’re going to Glyndebourne.  Or the Royal Opera House.  Or maybe a very, VERY important black tie dinner party.  Well, one of my default scents for seriously grand occasions has always been Sisley Eau de Soir:  a chypre that is about as adult, as sophisticated, as reach-for-your-tiara as a fragrance ever gets.  Sisley, of [...]

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June 9, 2010 | Francis Kurkdjian Lumière Noir

Once upon a time, ‘noses’ were invisible.  Perfumers mostly worked behind the scenes, rarely enjoying a moment of glory except in an occasional one-on-one interview with a journalist.  Now, they are becoming ‘stars’ – and if Francis Kurkdjian’s name doesn’t exactly trip off your tongue then it probably should.  Just yesterday I happened in Paris, [...]

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May 18, 2010 | Dior Eau Fraîche

In this picture you can see a photo of my father Peter Fairley, ITN's former science editor and 'moon landing' presenter, and his book

I like to think of myself as pretty tough.  I don’t often wilt.  Or blub.  But unstoppering a bottle of Dior Eau Fraîche, from a new Les Créations de Monsieur [...]

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