Forget all the previous reviews bashing BS. They all bitch about its cheap smelling, but that's not true! I've tried a lot of expensive niche fragrances and recent launches and BS knocks half of them down easily. Is It a bit dated? Yes, due to its slightly powdery smell. But if you like well praised old school stuff as Chanel pour monsieur, you'll definitely like this one. It's spicy, sweet and slightly powdery although truly masculine. It's a bargain and won't let you down in casual/office situations.
24th January, 2015 (last edited: 10th April, 2015)
To begin with British Sterling was not originated by MEM...it was Speidel/Textron.MEM picked up for manufacturing of this cologne and kept the scent the same.So I'll be reviewing the original formula of British Sterling by Speidel...
It smells very much of moss,wood,and lavender.So aside from being a bitter green scent it's a soapy/floral/powdery combination in tune with barbershop scents.Creamy vanilla and nutmeg shapes out a very sweet and spicy tone to this scent which is just a bit stronger over the green barbershop quality.I never got musk,amber,cedar,or oak.Possibly some cinnamon resides in the unlisted vanilla similar to Old Spice...I'll agree with that regarding the notes.
I used to wear British Sterling for quite a few years both in it's Speidel and MEM years and it smelled the same to me.Nothing wrong it other than trying new scents deters one's attention away from what they commonly liked.But once or twice a month I can't resist splashing some on.In the winter time it goes perfectly with the atmosphere of Christmas trees,spices,sweetness,and a fresh cigarette in the cold December air.And that time of year I smile on it the most.
21st January, 2015 (last edited: 20th November, 2016)
I first tried a Dana formulation that is several years old and then an original. The smell, at least beyond the top notes, is similar, but the original has more depth and complexity to it (it also lasts longer). It's simple yet the quality of the ingredients must be what makes it so enjoyable! Basically, it's a vanillic/spicy/musky scent with a hint of wood (just a bit sweet). If you think a scent like Jaipur Homme is great you might want to give this one a try. There's something in Jaipur that doesn't work for me (I think it's a synthetic wood molecule used), but this one is just right. Moreover, you could use this for layering. You can still get Mem or Speidel formulations on ebay for reasonable prices, if you have some patience.
The original formula of British Sterling was subtle, classy, yet not overly formal, and it sill holds up today. I can't speak for any of the reformulations, but the original had a fresh lavender/citrus opening that included some floral notes (lilac?), transitioning into a spicy middle that undoubtedly includes carnation as well as clove, nutmeg and cinnamon. It is a sweet-spicy oriental in the mode of Zizanie, Old Spice or Evyan's The Baron (though I'll take British Sterling over the Baron any time!)
Originally distributed by Speidel, the watchband maker, it was touted as "so fine a gift, it's sold in jewelry stores," and one could get a set of initials engraved onto the metal top of the bottle. It wasn't until years later that it was downmarketed to turn up in drugstores.
British Sterling was once a true gem in MEM's strong line-up, then Dana got hold of it.
This iconic and truly classic cologne/after-shave has been a staple in many men's rotation for over 40 years...however it was a much more "true to form" fragrance when MEM produced it.
When Dana bought and revived the brand, it was reformulated into a shadow of its former glory and has never been the same since. It's got a strong witch hazel and burnt rubber opening note that is a real head scratcher...what's the point?
To me, it dries down to a scent quite similar to that of Pinaud Clubman Special Reserve but not quite as balanced. It's not an overtly offensive scent by any means nor is it the suave, classy, masculine fragrance it used to be.
Don't expect the British Sterling of the past...this is a ghostly reincarnation of an original...in name only.