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philistine

Cheapskate summer sniffs

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Attempting to improve my broke-as-hell summer with tests of a few of the sub-20 summer fragrances currently around in high street fashion stores.

Zara

Teahupoo This was my pick to buy. I was looking for something with a breezy and fresh feel, and was rather surprised to be so taken by a fragrance with (on me) a really strong floral in the head notes. (Neroli, suggests one Fragrantica reviewer.) However it has a gorgeous sea-salt midstage which completely captures the breezy feel I was after, and I appreciate the floral for adding a bit of mystique. The overall impression is like licking a surfer in a grove of tropical flowers - there are worse ways to spend an afternoon!

Waimea suffered from Vetiver Fail on me - I'm either anosmic to vetiver or my skin dissolves it, so any fragrance containing a lot of it disappears on my skin. Sometimes it reappears later (as Waimea did with a rather nice warm-woody drydown) but the lack of a midstage is a big enough issue to make me very unwilling to spend on a normal priced fragrance with this problem. Possible I might go that far for something at Zara prices, though.

Pipeline is the third one of their surfing themed scents; mostly citrus on me. I found it a bit uninspiring.

Summer Collection is your fruity-aquaticky type thing. Pineapple, according to Fragrantica. Quite a nice one, not OTT with the aquatics or indeed the fruit, but came second to Teahupoo with its lovely balance of salt and flowers.

Silver and Man SIlver I need to retest - both had something intriguing about them but they got lost in the chaos of other things I was testing.

Next

Azzuro - A lovely top end, lemon sherbet/gin and tonic/bitter orange type stuff. Very classy for a fragrance at this price point too. The citrus is very short-lived but the drydown it leaves behind is subtle and very personable. I'd like to own this as well as Zara's Teahupoo if I can.

Website blurb gives notes as: "Bright, sparkling and refreshing, the scent leads with bergamot, Sicilian mandarin, cypress, cardamom, ginger and pink pepper. The heart combines rosemary, lavender and clary sage with a bright ozonic accord, whilst the base of soft woods, musk, oud amber and moss completes the sexy fragrance."

Signature Blue - on the retest list as a woody-warm type thing, too many strips in one day!

Ice White - billed as a "fresh spicy", but far more likable to my nose than most others of this flyspray-tastic class. Will retest.

Code Red - I was avoiding this because I thought it'd be a grody sport-spice monstrosity, but it's actually a "bold marine" scent. "A collision of cool and aromatic fragrance accords. Bold grapefruit and bergamot are warmed by black pepper, cardamom and nutmeg with a rich woody base". Enjoyable and definitely warm in tone, to me.

Womens fragrances - don't bother. Spectacularly one-dimensional, with the possible exception of "Eau Nude", which is a bizarre concoction for a nude theme with something very sharp in it, but actually the more interesting for having it. "lush red fruits, voluptuous florals, powdery musk and sumptuous vanilla" - probably one of the fruit notes I'm guessing. Not sure I care enough to actually own it though, especially not having also tested Alaia Nude.
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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000