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Bombay Duck London

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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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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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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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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June 20, 2011 | Christian Dior Milly-la-Foret

Have you ever lost your scent mojo?  Then if this has happened to you, lately, I would like to suggest – if you live within striking distance of Oxford Street – that you might like to head towards the Dior Maison de Parfums, in Selfridges.  (It’s catty-corner from the Chanel fragrance boutique, which may mean [...]

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February 28, 2011 | Guerlain L'Abeille

So:  this is the £12,000 fragrance that The Scent Critic has been hinting at.  What you’re looking at pictured here, however, is actually a big bee and a tiny bottle (no more than two inches high) – because even The Scent Critic’s persuasive powers couldn’t get Guerlain to part with one of the exclusive Baccarat [...]

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February 7, 2011 | Yardley London April Violets

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but something scary has happened to the price of fragrance in the last couple of years.  It’s not just raw materials increases, although those are set to soar further:  The Scent Critic is hereby issuing a warning, actually, that due to the devastation wrought on harvests by the tsunami [...]

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December 19, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 11: Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir

Of all the fragrances from British ‘nose’ Linda Pilkington (whose ‘nom de parfum‘ is Ormonde Jayne), this is the one I’d choose for Christmas.  Not a Christmas party, perhaps, but that time when you’ve undone the top button of your skirt, have collapsed on the sofa and are watching the annual re-run of Love, Actually, [...]

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December 16, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 9: Guerlain Bois d'Arménie

The Scent Critic honestly believes that fragrance is a magic wand.  The trigger for a gazillion Cinderella moments, over the years.  One minute, you’re fighting party-dread – and then a drop or a zoosh or a splash later, suddenly, you actually feel like putting on a pair of high heels, some dangly earrings, and heading [...]

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December 12, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 7: Hermes 24 Faubourg

I suspect that if you blindfolded 1,000 people, wafted a 24, Faubourg-drenched spill under their noses and asked them to tell you where this honeyed floral fusion hailed from, they’d chorus:  ‘Paris’.  This 1995 classic, to me, has always seemed one of the quintessential French perfumes:  a sophisticated, heel-clicking, smart-suited grande dame of a fragrance, [...]

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