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Bombay Duck London

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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October 13, 2011 | Estée Lauder Sensuous Nude

This latest in a trio of aptly-named Sensuous fragrances from Estée Lauder has rather tickled The Scent Critic’s fancy.  And her nostrils.  Really and truly tickled her nostrils.  Because at first spritz, this is like putting your nose inside a bag of sherbet-y sweets.  Flying saucers, maybe.  Or the head-rush of poking your face [...]

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October 3, 2011 | Miller Harris La Fumée

For someone who’s never taken so much as a puff of a cigarette in her life, it’s perhaps a little odd that The Scent Critic is addicted to smokiness.  Give me an open fire.  A steaming pot of Lapsang Souchong (actually, give me that at 4 p.m. sharp in the afternoon and I’ll worship you [...]

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March 2, 2011 | Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum

Ah, Jimmy Choo.  Shoes-of-choice for slinky-limbed aristos, WAGs and fashionistas.  (Not for The Scent Critic, however, who – confession time – is more of an Ecco/Chie Mahara girl.)  It was only a matter of time before Tamara Mellon OBE brought out a perfume, so that all those aspiring women who long to fill specially-built shoe [...]

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December 10, 2010 |  The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 6: Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan

I once described Ambre Sultan as sex-in-a-bottle in a major Sunday supplement and caused a stampede to the counters.  (Which probably says something about the state of the nation’s amorous life.)  Retrieving it from the back of my dressing table – which can sometimes be a little like one of those amusement arcade penny games, [...]

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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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December 5, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 3: Etro Patchouly

The Scent Critic’s husband is probably partly to thank for this earthy Etro creation.  Once upon a time, long, long ago, he was the first person to import patchouli oil into the UK, catering to the hippies who all but drenched themselves in it – probably to disguise the aromas wafting from their Afghan coats, [...]

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December 3, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 2: Dana Tabu

It’s not very often that The Scent Critic is given a bottle of perfume by her husband. (Slight coals-to-Newcastle thing there.  Although that doesn’t explain a similar dearth of fresh floral tributes…)  So it is a Very Special Occasion when it happens – as it did with Dana’s Tabu, which he’s been rather fond of [...]

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October 19, 2010 | Organic Glam So Oud

One of the great, magic-enhancing mysteries of the fragrance world is of course that we scent-lovers can never find out exactly what’s in a perfume.  It’s Above Top Secret info, for commercial reasons.  (Fragrance, unlike other areas of cosmetics, is not bound by the need to label anything but any potential allergens – limonene, geraniol [...]

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