The Sniff Box – Perfume In Plain English

Would you smear yourself with diluted tar? That’s my first question. My second question: would you pay £150 or more to smear yourself with diluted tar? If your answer to either (or both) of these questions is ‘Not on your nelly’, then it’s possible that Cuir de Russie is not for you. If, on the other hand, you have an adventurous spirit and an interest in history, read on.

Chanel’s Cuir de Russie is widely regarded as one of the most luxurious perfumes you can buy, and there are good reasons for that…

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Guerlain

Vetiver

If I had to choose a single perfume from all my favourites, then Guerlain’s Vetiver would be a strong contender. I’m not, I have to admit, entirely sure why, since it’s not the most mysterious or unusual scent I know, but there’s something about its combination of zest and earthiness that’s sexy, tough, and powerfully alluring.

Created by Jean-Paul Guerlain and launched in 1961, Vetiver is, for many people, the ultimate masculine fragrance. Maybe it’s something…

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Guerlain

Habit Rouge

‘Mass luxury’ may be the oxymoron of the moment, but the name of Habit Rouge is a nod back to a time when perfume really was a luxury enjoyed only by the stinking rich (eg the family Guerlain), among whom fox-hunting was a favourite pursuit.

Habit Rouge, in this context, is the French term for what British toffs call (with typical bourgeois-baiting mystification) ‘hunting pinks’, the scarlet riding jackets worn while hunting the fox…

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