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Bombay Duck London

September 5, 2010 | Fresh Love (from Eat, Pray, Love fragrance collection)

One day, once Steve Jobs figures out how, you’ll almost certainly be able to smell perfume reviews.  (It may take till 2050, but hey.)  If you could smell this review, you would also smell a background note of paint drying – because by declaring this Eat, Pray, Love fragrance week, The Scent Critic has slightly [...]

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August 18, 2010 | Honoré des Prés Chaman's Party

Photographed against the cover of Hippie by Barry Miles

Vetiver-lovers, get ready to party.  This is a corker of a vetiver.  And, to paraphrase the title of one of my favourite movies this year, It’s Not Complicated – because this is pretty much vetiver, pure and simple, from the first whoosh right through till the [...]

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August 12, 2010 | Tauer Perfumes Lonestar Memories

The world is divided into those who love smoky scents, and those who really seriously don’t.  Now, let me start by saying that The Scent Critic is a Lapsang Souchong tea fanatic.  My beloved, by contrast, has not only banned me from brewing it in communal teapots, but from making a pot of Lapsang (or [...]

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July 30, 2010 | Tom Ford Azure Lime

Tom Ford, as we all know, is a gay man who just adores women.  He’s created sexy clothes, sexy sunglasses – and sexy fragrances, which were his first post-Gucci foray into Tom Ford branding.  He’s done it because he’s clearly passionate about perfumery.  And because he’s a total polymath, who can turn his hand to [...]

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July 23, 2010 | Clarins Eau des Jardins

One of the big whinges among scentophiles is the way some fragrances are ‘dumbed down’ (i.e. changed) by perfume houses.  There are whispers of cost-cutting, of ‘damaging the brand’;  the words ‘sacrilege’ and even ‘travesty’ are banded about a lot.  But a chat recently with Sofia Grojsman, creator of Trésor and Calyx (among other global [...]

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July 6, 2010 | Chanel Sycomore

My name is The Scent Critic and I am a vetiveraholic.  I can never get enough of this earthy, sensual, deeply stirring fragrance ingredient, which I’ve been enraptured by since I used to wear Guerlain’s Vetiver.  Yes, I know that technically it’s a men’s fragrance (and I dated several who wore it), but for me, [...]

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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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June 4, 2010 | Chanel No. 22

Odd that it’s taken me this long to get around to reviewing a Chanel fragrance, because my past is cluttered with them.  The late-teen obsession with Cristalle.  That so-sophisticated No. 19 phase in my twenties (well I thought so, at the time), when I ate at La Brasserie in South Ken every night for about [...]

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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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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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