Do you every get bored and go through the marked-down samples on perfume discounter websites and order a bunch of 50 cent samples of failed designer perfumes you've never heard of? I fantasize of finding some lost gem, but they're pretty much always rather unremarkable. And that leads me to Austin Reed for Women...
It's very much a laundry musk, smelling mostly of fabric softener and soap and a touch of warm bleach. It's flowery and pretty and effusive, and has a slight citric tang to it, but it doesn't smell directly of anything - instead, it's more like perfumed laundry products.
Given time, it becomes more interesting, as an unexpected fennel note comes in, giving a green leafy licorice undertone to the fruity floral soap. Hints of boozy absinthe come through, and it takes on a toasted nut smell after a while, but the laundry musks always remain the stars of the show.
All in all, the creative use of fennel and nuts and booze lift Austin Reed for Women above many of its peers, but the insistent cleanliness of the unrelenting soapy musks seems a little at odds with the more interesting elements, so I'm only voting neutral.