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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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March 16, 2012 | Puredistance M

Puredistance M photographed at Kettner's by Jo Fairley on a slate tabletop

Perfume doesn’t bite.  It won’t kill you.  So at fragrance press launches The Scent Critic is eternally gobsmacked, frankly, when fellow journalists don’t bother to do more than waft a blotter under their noses when being shown a new perfume.

Fact:  they’re not everyday [...]

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February 29, 2012 | Roja Dove Danger

Roja Dove Danger photographed by Jo Fairley against a vintage silk sari

The Scent Critic doesn’t quite know how Roja Dove has secured some of the raciest fragrance names ever for his signature creations, but Danger is the latest in a line of brilliant light-the-blue-touch-paper-and-retire titles emblazoned across his naughty purple labels.

First came Reckless, [...]

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June 21, 2011 | Christian Dior Vétiver

It’s downright weird how one fragrance can lead you to another, like a sort of olfactory tennis-elbow-foot game.  The Scent Critic would have put money on Dior’s Vétiver – the second in the Collection Privée that I’ll be reviewing – taking me in the direction of, say, Guerlain’s legendary Vétiver, or maybe the bestselling Grey [...]

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March 11, 2011 | Jo Malone Sweet Lemon Cologne

It’s a while since those of us in Beautyland got to preview Jo Malone’s Tea Collection, and I had forgotten my absolute instinctive reaction to Sweet Lemon – the fourth I’ll be reviewing, out of this quintet.  It is my grandmother, in a bottle.  Not my warm-and-cosy, capaciously-bosomed, rock-cake-baking granny (it’s the smell of geranium [...]

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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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January 27, 2011 | Strange Invisible Perfumes L'Invisible

Let me start by paying homage:  the Strange Invisible Perfumes store on too-cool-to-live Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Ca., is almost worth a 6,000 mile (carbon-offset) trip in itself.  Indeed, The Scent Critic was so keen to visit this botanical perfumery that when a business trip to Los Angeles was on the cards, a hotel [...]

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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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August 31, 2010 | Fresh Eat (from Eat, Pray, Love fragrances)

The Scent Critic is pretty over-excited at the prospect of Eat, Pray, Love bursting onto our screens shortly.  (And yes, The Scent Critic would probably have cast Julia Roberts in the starring role, too.)  I’ve probably given away a dozen Penguin paperbacks of this, since I first read it, to friends nursing broken hearts – [...]

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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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