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Bombay Duck London

May 3, 2011 | Guerlain Idylle Duet

Nobly (in every sense of the word), Catherine Middleton wore a British perfumer’s creation for her wedding – White Gardenia Petals by the ubertalented Michael Boadi – keeping the Union Jack flying in the same steady-handed way as she did with the choice of bubble-and-squeak canapés, the seasonal home-grown flowers, the field maples now destined [...]

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April 21, 2011 | Yardley Lily of the Valley

The Scent Critic has recently been too frantic to stop and smell the roses.  (Hence the lack of postings.)  To be honest, I was beginning to get worried.  On a crazy-busy book tour, criss-crossing the UK, I did take with me a selection of fragrances in my suitcase, in the hope of writing about them.  [...]

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February 22, 2011 | Hervé Leger Femme

The Scent Critic is still having a thrifty phase.  (Please note:  this is because I am poised to review a £12,000 scent, so am trying to introduce a bit of yin-and-yang balance on the pricing front.)  At £20, Hervé Leger Femme is around half the price of many fragrances out there, and about a fifth [...]

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October 29, 2010 | Peace, Love & Juicy Couture

Oh, if only The Scent Critic had been born ten years earlier.  How I longed to be a real hippie, tuning in, turning on and dropping out – when in fact all I could manage was wearing a groove in Scott Mackenzie’s Are You Going to San Francisco? on the record player in my still-little-girly [...]

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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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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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June 6, 2010 | YSL Rive Gauche

Rive Gauche is one of two ‘default’ fragrances that I switch between for summer when I am not working my way through all the most recently-launched scents – the good, the bad and the indifferent, but probably 250 in an average year, which gobbles up a lot of scent-wearing days.  The black, blue and silver [...]

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May 31, 2010 | Calyx

One of the many sad things about the disappearance of the Prescriptives brand was the loss of Calyx:  one of the freshest, greenest, light-as-a-helium-balloon fragrances ever to have been captured in a bottle.  Well, it’s back, sheltering under a different part of the Estée Lauder umbrella (Aramis and Designer Fragrances).  Saved for the scent-loving nation(s).  [...]

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