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Bombay Duck London

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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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 6, 2010 | The 12 Scents of Christmas No. 4: Miller Harris Fleur Oriental

Light, airy, whispery, uplifting:  those are all (flattering) words I associate with Miller Harris, the fragrance house created by talented British ‘nose’ Lyn Harris.  But warm…?  With the exception of the enchanting fairy-juice that is L’Aire de Rien, and Un Petit Rient (inspired by Jane Birkin and reviewed here by The Scent Critic), that’s not [...]

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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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November 22, 2010 | Diptyque Eau Duelle

A baby’s head.  A lover’s neck.  Heck, even smelling your own unadorned, unfragranced skin can sometimes be one of the loveliest scents in the world.  Which is why, probably, there was a bit of a trend for ‘skin note’ fragrances, a few years back, epitomised by Clinique’s Simply (launched 2003, now Simply Disappeared, unless you’re [...]

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July 27, 2010 | Jo Malone Amber & Patchouli Cologne Intense

It is no secret to the (lovely) folk at Jo Malone that until recently, this fragrance line didn’t rock my boat.  Jo herself – who created an extraordinary global scent and skincare empire – is always pressed, scrubbed (and exfoliated) to squeaky-clean perfection, and fond of understated tones.  (Think:  taupe, beige, ivory).  And the fragrances [...]

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July 25, 2010 | SJP NYC (Sarah Jessica Parker)

Famously, Sarah Jessica Parker has extremely good taste in shoes.  And if her bestselling signature fragrances are anything to go by, she has better taste in perfume than most of her fellow celebrities, too.  Lovely has gone on to become a global blockbuster, and Covet did OK, too – basically ultra-pretty, easy-to-wear, pretty sophisticated.  (The [...]

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June 15, 2010 | Paul & Joe Bleu

Possibly the highest compliment that I can pay to a perfume is that it is ‘Guerlain-esque’.  Which is certainly true of this, one of two fragrances from the delectably boudoir chic make-up brand Paul & Joe, created in 2003 by Peirre Bourdon.  (The other is Paul & Joe Blanc.)  So:  if you love Shalimar but [...]

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June 2, 2010 | Lipstick Rose

On The Scent Critic’s rather crowded dressing table, there are some bottles that languish save for an occasional spritzing, and others that are well-worn – and well-loved.  Lipstick Rose most definitely falls into the second category:  a fragrance that I didn’t have ‘launched’ at me at some glitzy party, but purchased on a we-are-not-worthy pilgrimage [...]

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