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)
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.
Notes include: Bulgarian Rose, Indonesian Patchouli, Jasmine, Peony, Freesia, Lily-of-the-Valley, Lilac
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.
Notes include: Juniper Berries, Pink Pepper, Honeysuckle, Rose, Lily-of-the-Valley, Cyclamen, Woody notes, Musk
Notes include: Pear Nectar, Sweet Italian Orange, Tiger Orchid, Toffee, Indonesian Patchouli
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
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.
Notes include: Molten Woods, Patchouli, Crème Noir, Spiced Lily, Purple Rose, Jasmine, Queen of the Night, Black Pepper, Benzoin, Vanilla, Honey, Amber
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.
Notes include: Citrus, Chilled Vodka, Tomato Leaves, Water Lilies, Green Coral Orchids, Yellow Daffodils, White Birch, Tulip Tree Wool
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:
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.
Notes include: Lotus, Bergamot, Violet Leaf, Vetiver, Woody notes, Sandalwood, Cashmere wood, Benzoin, White Honey, Amber, Musk
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.
Notes include: Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Pepper, Vetiver, Cedar
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.
Notes include: Cassowary Fruit, Coriander, Salty Sea notes, Cardamom, Cedar, Labdanum
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.