The Sniff Box – Perfume In Plain English

Frederic Malle

Cologne Bigarade

Every morning for my breakfast I have tea, toast and home-made marmalade. It’s one of my favourite things, and I love the bittersweet smell of Seville oranges, which only appear in the shops for a couple of weeks around this time of the year.

In fact as I sit here writing this post in late January, Roy is busy cooking marmalade next door, and the powerful odour of bitter orange (known as bigarade in French) is suffusing the house from kitchen to attic…

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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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Acqua di Parma

Colonia Leather

The smell of leather is one of the staples of men’s fragrances. It has an interesting history, too, since at least one of the roots of modern perfumery can be followed back to the perfumed-leather gloves that became fashionable from the sixteenth century on.

Some ‘leather’ fragrances are more successful than others, Chanel’s powerful and historic Cuir de Russie being one of the best. But until the launch of Colonia Leather in May 2014 I’d never come across a perfume that really…

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