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Video: Scents of the Times

updated 8/25/2006 11:12:34 AM ET 2006-08-25T15:12:34

The New York Times has restaurant, play and movie critics. Now, there’s a critic to help readers navigate the fragrant world of perfume.

Chandler Burr, a magazine writer and author, will debut in the Aug. 27 issue of the newspaper’s style magazine. If Burr follows in the tradition of other opinionated Times critics, perfume makers beware: scents had better be up to snuff.

The column, “Scent Strip,” will use the four-star system employed by the paper’s food critic. Poor or satisfactory perfumes will receive no stars, while those with extraordinary scents will earn four.

The column will appear frequently in the style magazine, which has eight remaining issues this year and 16 slated for 2007.

Burr, who said he intends to take his new position very seriously, will review old and new fragrances for men and women and perfumed candles.

“The creation of fragrance is one of the highest art forms crafted for the senses, the equal of painting for sight and music for hearing, and this column is about treating perfume as the art that it is,” Burr said in a statement. “Every other true art has a serious criticism. I believe perfume should as well.”

Burr, 42, is the author of “The Emperor of Scent: A True Story of Perfume and Obsession,” published by Random House in 2003.

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