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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 25, 2011 | Chanel Jersey

When a little bird at Chanel (actually, they’re all little birds at Chanel) told The Scent Critic that their next fragrance launch was based around lavender and vanilla, I said a silent ‘hmmmm’.  Because lavender and vanilla aren’t natural bedfellows, in fragrance.  They don’t go together like a horse and carriage;  they go together like [...]

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December 2, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 1: Shalimar Ode à la Vanille

This is the peak perfuming time of year.  A splash behind the ears, a spritz down the décolletage, a touch behind the knees.  (An old tip, but it works:  the fragrance wafts beautifully up at you.  Er, and whoever happens to be on their knees around you.)  So the snow-bound Scent Critic will be working [...]

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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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June 11, 2010 | Givenchy Eaudemoiselle

I’d categorise this under a ‘first day at work’ fragrance.   You’re nervous.  You want to make a good impression, and not to stick your head above the parapet lest you make a fool of yourself.  Your crisp white shirt is ironed, your heels not too tall, your iPhone carefully switched to silent.  And if you [...]

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May 25, 2010 | Liz Earle Botanical Essence Eau de Parfum No. 1

Liz Earle inspires an almost cult-like religious devotion among her beauty flock.  Products like Cleanse & Polish have been elevated to the Beauty Hall of Fame – and one of the key factors in their phenomenal success has always been the attractive botanical smells, because Liz herself is so ‘scent-aware’.  It was probably only a [...]

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May 20, 2010 | Tom Ford Urban Musk (Private Blend)

Musk.  You love it or you just don’t.  I definitely fall into the first category and so, clearly, does Tom Ford, who’s launched a portfolio of not one but four musk options in his White Musk Collection.  (These, I’m told, have helped to catapult the Tom Ford brand to No. 1 in Harrods beauty and [...]

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