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Bombay Duck London

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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November 22, 2010 | Diptyque Eau Duelle

A baby’s head.  A lover’s neck.  Heck, even smelling your own unadorned, unfragranced skin can sometimes be one of the loveliest scents in the world.  Which is why, probably, there was a bit of a trend for ‘skin note’ fragrances, a few years back, epitomised by Clinique’s Simply (launched 2003, now Simply Disappeared, unless you’re [...]

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September 1, 2010 | Fresh Pray (from Eat, Pray, Love collection)

Although I have restrained myself from opening each of the bottles for this week’s reviews until the day of putting digit to keyboard, I had a sneaking feeling (being a Yoga bunny and Indiaphile from way back) that I might fall for this element of Fresh’s Eat, Pray, Love edition in a big way – [...]

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August 12, 2010 | Tauer Perfumes Lonestar Memories

The world is divided into those who love smoky scents, and those who really seriously don’t.  Now, let me start by saying that The Scent Critic is a Lapsang Souchong tea fanatic.  My beloved, by contrast, has not only banned me from brewing it in communal teapots, but from making a pot of Lapsang (or [...]

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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 4, 2010 | Chanel No. 22

Odd that it’s taken me this long to get around to reviewing a Chanel fragrance, because my past is cluttered with them.  The late-teen obsession with Cristalle.  That so-sophisticated No. 19 phase in my twenties (well I thought so, at the time), when I ate at La Brasserie in South Ken every night for about [...]

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May 20, 2010 | Tom Ford Urban Musk (Private Blend)

Musk.  You love it or you just don’t.  I definitely fall into the first category and so, clearly, does Tom Ford, who’s launched a portfolio of not one but four musk options in his White Musk Collection.  (These, I’m told, have helped to catapult the Tom Ford brand to No. 1 in Harrods beauty and [...]

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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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