• Designer Round-Up: Flankers and more...

    I have recently come to the conclusion that flankers have been designed with one purpose: to confuse men buying fragrance for their significant others. It almost always ensures he will choose the latest launch and leave the perfume department in a confounded state. As more flankers launch, it is becoming increasingly difficult to explain them and their differences. The further explosion of launches available as Eau de Toilette, Eau De Parfum, Absolus, Eau Fraiche and so on does nothing to slow down the rate of launches or simplify things for the consumer. Especially with the new concentration quite often being a very different fragrance to the “parent” product (Chanel Chance, I'm looking at you!)

    On that note, we'll take a look at the recent designer launches – dominated by flankers, with a few new ones thrown in. (Plus read on for your chance to win a prize)

    Idylle Duet

    Guerlain's latest special edition scent, following last years fabulous Shalimar Ode a la Vanille, is the also fabulous Idylle Duet. It places focus on two of the notes: rose and patchouli. The rose note is more opulent than the regular Idylle, and there is a more chypre-mossy aspect to the drydown. Only last year Guerlain released Idylle as an Eau de Toilette, which replaced the tinny patchouli-musk base of the Eau de Parfum with ylang-ylang, to create a gorgeous lighter scent.

    If you enjoyed Balenciaga Paris or Stella, then go and spritz Idylle. And even if you didn't, try it anyway!

    Notes include: Bulgarian Rose, Indonesian Patchouli, Jasmine, Peony, Freesia, Lily-of-the-Valley, Lilac

    Cartier de Lune

    Cartier's first launch from the Libre collection is a fresh floral bouquet musk, the stand-outs being lily-of-the-valley and a soft powdery rose. It always helps when the bottle is as good as the scent.

    Definitely sniff-worthy, especially if you like a good powdery rose note such as Paul Smith Rose, Bvlgari Rose Essentielle.

    Notes include: Juniper Berries, Pink Pepper, Honeysuckle, Rose, Lily-of-the-Valley, Cyclamen, Woody notes, Musk

    Jimmy Choo

    Accessory brand Jimmy Choo have launched their first fragrance - a modern fruity chypre for the modern woman. Great if you have a (fragrant) sweet tooth.

    Check it out if you like Miss Dior Chérie, Coco Mademoiselle or Chance.

    Notes include: Pear Nectar, Sweet Italian Orange, Tiger Orchid, Toffee, Indonesian Patchouli

    Hypnotic Poison Eau Sensuelle

    Dior's latest "flanker of a flanker” has recently appeared in stores. It still bears a similarity to Hypnotic Poison, but the point of difference is the addition of ylang-ylang and orange blossom – giving it a honeyed topnote.

    Worth trying if you've liked Armani Code or Hypnotic Poison.

    Notes include: Ylang-Ylang, Orange Blossom, Tuberose, Vanilla, Orchid, Sandalwood, Musk

    Sensuous Noir

    Estée Lauder's night-time version of Sensuous is so obviously designed for night that they put the models in black shirts, instead of the white shirts of the original ad campaign.
    They've upped the patchouli in the base, and it is definitely spicier and woodier than the original fragrance – with an almost gingerbread-y feeling.

    Try Sensuous Noir if you've worn Sensuous, Dolce Vita, or Feminité du Bois before.

    Notes include: Molten Woods, Patchouli, Crème Noir, Spiced Lily, Purple Rose, Jasmine, Queen of the Night, Black Pepper, Benzoin, Vanilla, Honey, Amber

    DKNY Woman Eau de Toilette

    A fresher twist on the original, DKNY Woman Eau de Toilette feels much brighter too, and the EDP has a relatively thick musk in comparison. Still with a sillage the size of a skyscraper. No reason this wouldn't work on a man, either.

    Sniff this one out if you've worn the L'Eau d'Issey scents or DKNY Woman.

    Notes include: Citrus, Chilled Vodka, Tomato Leaves, Water Lilies, Green Coral Orchids, Yellow Daffodils, White Birch, Tulip Tree Wool

    Preppy Princess

    2011s limited edition Princess flanker follows Glam Princess, Rock Princess and Flower Princess. Preppy Princess smells sweet and strawberry-ish.

    Try it if you like SJP NYC or any of the other Princess scents.

    Notes include: Tangerine, Red Apple, Succulent Crushed Berries, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Sensual Woods, Coconut Water

    And for the guys, there are plenty of new launches to check out too:

    Bulgari Man

    Apparently the bottle & packaging was inspired by the face of one of Bulgari's Sotirio watches. "But we are interested in the smell!" I hear you cry. All that you need to know is that it is a transparent clean vetiver with a hint of honey, that retains it's “freshness” even though it is intensely woody.

    Try Man if you like Guerlain Vetiver, Terre d'Hermes or anything else in that transparent woody style.

    Notes include: Lotus, Bergamot, Violet Leaf, Vetiver, Woody notes, Sandalwood, Cashmere wood, Benzoin, White Honey, Amber, Musk

    Kenzo Pour Homme Boisée/Woody

    Kenzo's most recent launch, is on the same theme as Bvlgari Man, with it's “fresh but woody” idea, but this is achieved with herbal and spicy notes instead. Do not expect any aquatic notes, like the original Pour Homme. Instead this verdant green scent smells like a new idea for fresh.

    If you've worn Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca, Guerlain Homme or Cartier Roadster, then try this one out.

    Notes include: Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Pepper, Vetiver, Cedar

    Joop! Splash

    Joop!'s most intriguing scent since Go, with it's tart rhubarb note making it stand-out in a sea of freshness. Instead of most of these notes, I get pink grapefruit with a vanilla-woody drydown, underneath the aquatic notes.

    Try Splash if you've liked Bulgari Aqva Marine or Beyond Paradise.

    Notes include: Cassowary Fruit, Coriander, Salty Sea notes, Cardamom, Cedar, Labdanum

    Boss Orange Man

    Hugo Boss's latest is Orange Man, fronted by Orlando Bloom. It smells like a sweeter reinvention of Boss Bottled, with a similar sweet peach/apple top that is found in the feminine Boss Orange. No discernible incense note, though. And the more exotic the names of the woods in the Boss fragrances get, the harder it is to know what they should smell like.

    If you've worn Boss Bottled before or Dolce & Gabanna The One, then Orange Man may be up your street.

    Notes include: Spices, Apple, Vanilla, Frankincense, Bubinga wood

    That's it for this edition of the designer round up. In the next column, I'll take a sniff through this years summer fragrances. In the meantime if there are any designer or mainstream launches that you think are worth sniffing, let me know in the comments section!

    We've a tester of Boss Orange Man to give away thanks to Escentual.co.uk - Escentual is a fully authorised premium beauty retailer that currently have around 7,000 products - They stock an extensive range of mainstream, niche and hard-to-find brands - including Guerlain, Serge Lutens, Juliette Has a Gun, Caron, Etat Libre D’Orange, CB I Hate Perfume and many more. To be in with a chance of winning, leave a comment on this article before the end of February 2011, and we'll pick a random winner. Basenotes Plus Members are automatically entered.

    About the author

    Nick is a Fragrance SA. He loves scent and co-runs @FragrantReviews, a 140 character fragrance review project. Visit the blog for an archive of the reviews.


    Comments 68 Comments
    1. Primrose's Avatar
      Primrose -
      Hard to keep track of all these flankers and the celebrity models employed.

      I always associate Clive Owen with Lancome Hypnose PH.

      Great article on these new items.
    1. wilz's Avatar
      wilz -
      When I see the word 'Flankers', Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier and CK come to mind...but no, this article is more than that!

      Since Terre d'Hermes is not a bad fragrance and I do own a bottle, I think Bulgari Man maybe worth a try.

      Thanks for keeping me updated nonetheless. Useful article!
    1. trex57's Avatar
      trex57 -
      Thanks for your article. I'm still a newb. Sniffing the original and the flankers allows newbies like me to pick out different accords. Its hard to keep track of the number of flankers. Thanks again.

    1. JDBIII's Avatar
      JDBIII -
      I sprayed Bulgari Man on my hand and walked around the store. Within 30 minutes I was back to purchase a bottle. This is probably my favorite Bulgari since Black. It is clean and brisk up top but gets a bit darker and dirtier with the drydown. Yum. I'm not sure I would consider this a flanker. He is his own man.
    1. VM I hate civet's Avatar
      VM I hate civet -
      Wow - I am behind on most of the women's flankers you mention, though I rather liked Sensuous Noir when I tried it. Will look out for the other Idylles and the Cartier. Thanks for this helpful route map through the flanker jungle!
    1. apayne182's Avatar
      apayne182 -
      I'm rather interested in the Boss orange, it sounds rather scrumptuous. On top of that, I love Terre d'Hermes so I'm looking forward to maybe trying Bulgari Man, even though I don't think the two will be that similar
    1. Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
      Redneck Perfumisto -
      Nice round-up! Very much enjoyed that, and found a couple that I really want to sniff now.
    1. inscents's Avatar
      inscents -
      Looks to me like the women's launches are much more interesting than the men's. Not terribly surprising. Guess which counter I'll be spending more time in front of once spring break starts?
    1. funhuntr's Avatar
      funhuntr -
      Funnily I'm interested in Joop Splash --> at least with Joop I don't have preconceived expectations (and it's almost summer here!). Was excited by Bvlgari Man when it first came out, but the biggest impression was made by its packaging more than anything.
    1. jcastano's Avatar
      jcastano -
      Everything didn't seem as appealing to me except Orange Man by Hugo Boss, Kenzo Pour Homme Boise, and Joop Splash! Orange Man seems like something I'd more than enjoy!!! Boss #6 is one of my all time favorite fragrances so Im super excited about sniffing this one out!
      Ive actually tried Bvlgari Man and I wasnt too sure how I felt about it. I need to revisit my sample. I've been on the hunt for Kenzo Boise since I heard about it but the stores around my area don't seem to carry it. I really enjoy this house and everything they have to offer so I'm sure it won't be disappointed. As for Joop, Ive never really liked anything from this house but this sounds like something interesting.
    1. b10steeple's Avatar
      b10steeple -
    1. Persolaise's Avatar
      Persolaise -
      Thanks for the roundup, Nick.

      Orlando Bloom being used as the face of Orange Man is a stroke of sly marketing genius...
    1. Francop's Avatar
      Francop -
      Thanks for the article...
    1. Myke's Avatar
      Myke -
      My kind of article. Thanks. I'm one of those people that wants to try every similar scent when I've found one I like, just to make sure I've got the best one for me.
    1. MZJ's Avatar
      MZJ -
      Excellent =, readable, article. Thank you !

      I'd like to think that Orlando Bloom would care what "his" scent was like. If I ever get a perfume counter I will have to have a sniff.....thanks for the opportunity to be entered in a drawing !
    1. kccparis's Avatar
      kccparis -
      Lets hope the scent brings me luck! "Are we to share the same destiny"
      Bring it on!
    1. actiasluna's Avatar
      actiasluna -
      The pretty Orlando Bloom plus a chance to win an intriguing tester? I'm in! (oh, I see the contest doesn't include Orlando. <pouts> ...)
    1. Le Grand Duc's Avatar
      Le Grand Duc -
      I like the female version of Boss Orange, so I'm very interested in sniffing the male version!
    1. Mervin's Avatar
      Mervin -
      I really love Boss Bottled to which this is meant to smell very similar! I haven;t got a chance to try it yet but I really hope its right up there alongside the brilliance that is Boss Bottled/No.6!
    1. Anť's Avatar
      Anť -
      I laughed at the Flanker of a Flanker remark. I wonder which release has been "flankered" the highest number of times?

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