Designer Round-Up: Flankers and more...

17th February, 2011

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 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.


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About the author: Nick Gilbert

Nick has been working in the world of fragrance for over 15 years. He is co-founder of Olfiction, a creative scent agency offering fragrance development, training, copy and content production. He is frequently quoted in the press and has provided perfumery training globally, from London to Seoul.


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    • Primrose | 17th February 2011 14:41

      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.

    • wilz | 17th February 2011 15:16

      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!:vrolijk_26:

    • trex57 | 17th February 2011 15:28

      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.:vrolijk_26:


    • JDBIII | 17th February 2011 17:55

      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.

    • VM I hate civet | 17th February 2011 23:58

      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!

    • apayne182 | 18th February 2011 00:50

      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

    • Redneck Perfumisto | 18th February 2011 01:33

      Nice round-up! Very much enjoyed that, and found a couple that I really want to sniff now. :beer:

    • inscents | 18th February 2011 05:01

      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?

    • funhuntr | 18th February 2011 05:59

      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.

    • jcastano | 19th February 2011 01:39

      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! :grin:

      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.

    • b10steeple | 19th February 2011 05:46


    • Persolaise | 19th February 2011 09:54

      Thanks for the roundup, Nick.

      Orlando Bloom being used as the face of Orange Man is a stroke of sly marketing genius...

    • Francop | 19th February 2011 14:09

      Thanks for the article...:cheesy:

    • Myke | 20th February 2011 02:48

      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.

    • MZJ | 20th February 2011 22:11

      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 !

    • kccparis | 20th February 2011 22:23

      Lets hope the scent brings me luck! "Are we to share the same destiny"

      Bring it on! :cheesy:

    • actiasluna | 20th February 2011 22:30

      The pretty Orlando Bloom plus a chance to win an intriguing tester? I'm in! (oh, I see the contest doesn't include Orlando. ...)

    • Le Grand Duc | 20th February 2011 22:42

      I like the female version of Boss Orange, so I'm very interested in sniffing the male version! ;)

    • Mervin | 20th February 2011 22:44

      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!

    • Anť | 20th February 2011 22:49

      I laughed at the Flanker of a Flanker remark. I wonder which release has been "flankered" the highest number of times?

    • Tortina Mia | 20th February 2011 23:57

      Good unbiased information and opinion on what's new. Certainly stimulates the desire to try something new(as if I need any encouragement.) The Jimmy Choo advertisement photo is beautiful, don't you think? Wait... no gorgeous stilettos featured here??? Makes me want to try the fragrance anyway.

    • archelon | 20th February 2011 23:59

      Only Boss I ever owned was Boss #6 which I thought was fantastic

    • monsieur_sparkle | 21st February 2011 00:01

      Nothing beats a good flanker. I'd love to try Boss Orange.

    • skwak | 21st February 2011 00:48

      If it really does smell similar to Boss Bottled, it would do well without Orlando Bloom as its face.

    • koctail | 21st February 2011 03:10

      Id like to try the new Kenzo. I love the packaging, they always have my favorite bottles.

    • Kal | 21st February 2011 03:49

      I'll have a bottle of Boss Orange Man thanks!

      Does Orlando Bloom come with it? :D

    • pimiento | 21st February 2011 04:17

      Orlando Bloom being used as the face of Orange Man is a stroke of sly marketing genius...


    • gho | 21st February 2011 04:42

      Thanks for this article, I would definitely like to try this

    • ceekay | 21st February 2011 05:25

      I'm intrigued, and I love frankincense.

    • Freedom Factory | 21st February 2011 05:36

      This Orange Man sure sounds interesting. One thing I can't help wondering is whether orange is the new big thing (we've already seen a plethora of black, blue/bleu and red flankers for every frangrance branch...)

    • Flora | 21st February 2011 07:41

      I have not tried the Jimmy Choo, but I am always willing to give a fruity chypre a chance, The Idylle Duet also sounds good. And Orlando Bloom could sell me anything at all. :wink:

    • Gblue (article author) | 21st February 2011 10:30

      Hi everyone, thank you for your comments!

      The Kenzo is really good and worth checking out. Olivier Polge was the perfumer. I know he's had a few duds now, but that's more down to the brand launching the scent and sucking the life out of it like some kind of scented Succubus (hi Only The Brave) than it is his talent.

      VM - I adore Sensuous Noir! It's wonderful. And I'm pleased that it's selling quite well too.

      Freedom Factory - Boss Orange Label is a clothing range which is part of the Hugo Boss stable. I assume that they are launching these to tie in with that range. Lacoste are gonna launch a new collection as 3 different colours.

      JDBIII - I meant that many of the scents I spoke about are flankers. Not all of them were, IE: Bulgari Man, Jimmy Choo. Hence the 'and more...' :)

      Tortina Mia - That is Tamara Mellon in the ad, the CEO of the company! Good on her, right? I'm confused that there are no heels in the ad too. Gratuitous bottle + heels shot is required, IMO. Maybe for the flanker! Haha :)

      Ant' - I think it might be the whole Poison series. There are 4 flankers to Poison: Hypnotic, Tendre, Midnight, and Pure. Of which there were an additional 4 flankers: Hypnotic, Midnight and Pure versions had an 'Elixir' version (stronger concentrations plus extra notes in), and now there is Hypnotic Eau Sensuelle. If not, I have a feeling that Lauder's Pleasures is flankered out by now too.

      Is it bad that I'd only want Orlando Bloom to come with Boss Orange if he were dressed as Legolas? Don't answer that.

    • Inesstef | 21st February 2011 13:19

      I don't think only men get confused by flankers (I know I cannot follow them any longer and get lost reading their names).

      Thank you for the list and similar recommendations, I need to try Sensuous Noir now. :)

    • dasunder | 21st February 2011 13:48

      I am looking forward to Boss Orange. I am a fan of Boss Bottled and the One.

    • Ciprian | 21st February 2011 14:47

      Monica Bellucci is so Sensuelle. I like the Boss Orange for women ,curious about the men version.

    • JaimeB | 21st February 2011 15:48

      I liked Bvlgari Man, and bought a bottle. The other day I encountered Kenzo Homme EdT Boisée, and found it nice, but evanescent; after about twenty minutes, it was hard to detect on my skin. It did float in and out a bit after, but was still too weak to fully satisfy...

      Yes, flankers of flankers, and all is flankers. The marketing maze is so hard to navigate, one expects to meet the Minotaur!

    • fountain | 21st February 2011 16:53

      apple, vanilla, frankincense . . . boss orange sounds like my kind of frag. i'd be happy to test it. greeting.

    • ChrisW | 21st February 2011 17:50

      I want to sniff the Bulgari Man and Boss Orange Man. I agree that Orlando Bloom was a good choice; he even has the same initials!

    • CoL | 21st February 2011 17:59

      I'm very interested to smell the new Cartier! I'm also interested in winning the Boss Orange tester! ;oP

    • laurentiupopa79 | 21st February 2011 23:04

      Simply great! Nice round up, to choose in full acknowledgment.

    • VanillaCloud | 22nd February 2011 04:34

      Really like the bottle, wouldn't mind trying the fragrance.

    • Slamwich | 22nd February 2011 04:39

      So nice to see an article on Flankers that not only goes beyond, but doesn't at all mention a version of Le Male that comes in a martini shaker instead of a tin, or a tin with a heart on it instead of a tin. Joop! Splash seems like it could be an interesting venture for Joop!. I have never had any urge to associate "Aquatic" with that name.

    • zliang | 22nd February 2011 04:40

      Idylle Duet is interesting. I like the original.

    • My_pep_pep | 22nd February 2011 07:41

      Bulgari Man sounds interesting, I'd wear a scent inspired by a watch.

    • silversurfer | 22nd February 2011 17:57

      Haven't seen it in stores yet. Interested in the Frankincense note, & like Boss Bottled/6.

    • weegee | 22nd February 2011 19:49

      Keep those flankers coming, I say! There's definitely something to be said for trusting a tried & true brand over picking up a stranger :laugh:

      Sure, there'll be many I won't care for but I don't mind being "lead by the nose" to try something different.

    • sebastian09 | 22nd February 2011 21:11

      Wonder what bubinga wood smells like, since it is used in the construction of some high end guitars.

    • sebastian09 | 22nd February 2011 21:21

      Wonder what bubinga wood smells like, since it is used in the construction of some high end guitars.

    • cutternelson | 23rd February 2011 05:24

      Would love to add a new bottle of Boss to my other two.

    • Subbie | 23rd February 2011 13:10

      Yeah, I think smelling out originals and flankers can help with note awareness. Sometimes it's hard to pull every note out of perfumes that you are not used to, so this can help.

      Still, I concur that it seems like fragrance houses are trying to catch the unknowing men and sell them something they might not even want.

    • plumaria | 23rd February 2011 15:10

      Oh, speaking of flankers, I think Dior's Hypnotic Poison Eu Sensuelle has got it all. Such a beauty! Would love to test the juice filled in it too:smiley:.

      Speaking of Boss Orange, I am all here to participate in the giveaway. The only Boss I have worn so far many moons ago is Boss Number One.

    • manutdforever | 23rd February 2011 15:30

      thanks for this article!

      i especially like the way you included a "if you like xxx perfume, you will like this scent". :)

      it has even made me want to sample joop! splash!

    • PremierT | 23rd February 2011 17:40

      Traversing the flanker-verse is truly a challenge! I was attacked by a spritz-lady with the Jimmy Choo - it was really awfully sweet. The Poison isn't bad and I haven't tried any of the others. The Bvlgari sounds like it could be a new fav and I've never tried anything from Cartier before but that and the HB have me intrigued. Can't wait to snif!

    • JB2732 | 23rd February 2011 23:10

      Great article! I enjoy many flankers, however as much as I love some it is often very confussing!

    • Jack Hunter | 24th February 2011 21:00

      I have tried Boss Orange and it has a good Frankincense accord in the heart notes that really make the fragrance worth owning.

    • Sybarite | 24th February 2011 21:22

      So Bubinga wood , huh ??? ... Well, (and I quote) : "Bubinga is reported to have a rather unpleasant scent when the lumber/wood is still wet, which disappears somewhat after the wood is dry.

      ~ Well, I should certainly hope so ! ... (So not one to smell wet out of the bottle then ;o) LOL .

    • Possumbility | 25th February 2011 04:11

      The Idylle Duet sound nice, so does the Bulgari Man.

    • SHAUNO | 25th February 2011 05:03

      LOL... Didnt know about those FLANKERS.:cheesy:

    • Ete | 25th February 2011 23:32

      The Boss Orange ad is strangely alluring....

    • MyTailorIsRich | 26th February 2011 21:09

      NEver quite understood what a flanker was. Now I know!

      Bulgari Man and Boss Orange sound wortg trying. Good article.

    • MyTailorIsRich | 26th February 2011 21:12

      Never quite understood what a flanker was. Now I know!

      Bulgari Man and Boss Orange sound worth trying. Good article.

    • Aredore | 26th February 2011 23:14

      I have nothing against flankers, but I wish the fragrance houses would realize that the number of flankers they release is inversely proportional to my ability to care.

    • joshuaang | 27th February 2011 15:03

      Jimmy Choo should release a scent which smells of leather shoes! :) with lots of class.

    • BradW | 1st March 2011 01:02

      I enjoy my mini of Kenzo Boise. I think Boss makes good fragrances and think orange should be interesting as well.

    • bshell | 1st March 2011 01:32

      I've been experimenting with bergamot, neroli, and cedrat, so would be interested in winning this to see if any of these are in Boss Orange.