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The Christmas perfume test: a British gas engineer gives her verdict

Sheena Anker, 30, has been working as an engineer for British Gas for the past nine years. Part of her job involves having a keen sense of smell so she can locate gas leaks that can save people’s lives. So who better to test out this Christmas’s biggest perfumes …

Chanel – Coco

Coco by Chanel, £68 for 50ml. Photograph: Handout

The initial whiff is of pot pourri. It smells a bit like gas actually, but it’s not too bad. I can imagine both young and middle-aged women going for this.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir (limited Christmas edition)

Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone, £85 for 100ml. Photograph: Handout

This smells really spicy and Indian. I can imagine older women wearing this, it’s way too clovey for me. My guess is it’s in the higher price range.

Frederic Malle – L’eau d’hiver

L’Eau d’hiver by Frederic Malle, £140 for 100ml. Photograph: Handout

I can smell a lot of aniseed and flowers. It’s quite nice actually, but a bit strong. Probably something for a girly girl. Smells expensive.

Marc Jacobs – Decadence

Decadence by Marc Jacobs, £49 for 30ml. Photograph: Handout

It smells like a vanilla bathroom product. Probably one for the older woman.

Ariana Grande – ARI

Ari by Ariana Grande, £23 for 30ml. Photograph: PR Company Handout

Smells like air freshener or a diffuser. Quite fruity. No one should be paying much for this, though, it’s quite teenage.

Dior – J’adore

J’Adore by Dior, £70 for 20ml. Photograph: Handout

This smells expensive, like something rich, posh trophy wives would wear.

Britney Spears – Fantasy

Fantasy by Britney Spears, £17.50 for 30ml. Photograph: Handout

This one might be my favourite. It’s sweet and reminds me of something I would have liked as a teenager.

Agonist – Arctic Jade

Arctic Jade by Agonist, £88 for 50ml. Photograph: Handout

Aniseed-y and spicy. Smells a bit like incense, too. I can imagine a rich business woman wearing this, but it’s not for me. Definitely in the higher price end.

Tom Ford – Black Orchid

Black Orchid by Tom Ford, £75 for 50ml. Photograph: Handout

Too spicy for me. Inhaling it is quite refreshing for my airwaves, though, I feel as if it’s clearing me out like menthol. Can imagine eccentric fashion types wearing this, and I’m presuming it costs a bomb.

Nicki Minaj – Pink Print

Pink Print by Nicki Minaj, £23 for 30ml. Photograph: Handout

Not bad, but smells as if it’s for children.

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