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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 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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November 3, 2011 | Clinique Aromatics Elixir Perfumer's Reserve

The Scent Critic always wanted to be older than she was.  (Until recently, anyway:  that ambition’s definitely lost its allure.)  So, looking back, my fragrance choices were ludicrously sophisticated for a teenager.  While my friends were swathing themselves in Avon Honeysuckle, my tastes were distinctly more mature – and that’s where Clinique Aromatics Elixir, currently [...]

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June 24, 2011 | Christian Dior Ambre Nuit

And so we come to the end of what’s turned into ‘Christian Dior Week’ on The Scent Critic.  After today, I still have seven more of the Collection Privée to work my way through (and they are all worthy of review, without exception – which isn’t something you can say of many scent ranges).  But [...]

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May 6, 2011 | Hermès Eau de Pamplemousse Rose

There is a day, in early summer, known simply and jubilantly to me as ‘The Day’, when you can throw open the windows upon waking to find the world is already warm outside, with the leaves everywhere you look unfurling in that reach-for-your-sunglasses shade of spring green that’s perfect for foliage.  (Though pretty terrible for [...]

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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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February 2, 2011 | Boadicea Glistening

So, belatedly, to Boadicea the Victorious fragrances.  Let’s start with a confession:  the packaging’s always put me off.  Mea culpa.  Thou shalt not judge a fragrance by its ‘cover’, is the important lesson learned.  Just because the Celtic-esque ‘medallions’ on the front of Michael Boadi’s bottles are a bit too Medieval-battle-re-enactment, let’s-raise-a-tankard-of-mead for my personal, [...]

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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 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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December 7, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 5: Chanel No. 5

Now, what else could I have chosen for No. 5 in the 12 Scents of Christmas…?  But even for an old scent-hack from way back, it’s challenging to put digit to keyboard about the most famous fragrance in the world.  Ever.  In all of creation.  Still a bestseller, getting on for 90 years since Ernest [...]

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