Passing by the Elizabeth Arden counter today, I noticed two fragrances that had somehow passed me by: Always Red and Always Red Femme. I asked the sales assistant if she had any samples (well, it’s a worth a try!) and she said, no, they don’t send her samples as it’s a small branch. Huh! So I just had to marinate myself in it there and then so I could review it.
I decided to start with Always Red, since it was released last year and appears to be the original rather than the flanker. I may review Always Red Femme at a later date.
Always Red opens with plum and jasmine sambac. Those two were in straight away before anything else could emerge. Plum seems to be a popular choice lately, especially in wintery scents. Jasmine sambac is getting ubiquitous. However, this is decent enough and on the brisk walk home, my skin warmed it up and helped it bloom. It did a disappearing act for about half an hour before coming back with reinforcements. I could detect more jasmine, more pretty florals (pink freesia, no less) and something gourmandy starting to come out. Before I could name it there were nuts and chocolate nudging the plum out of the way and making this a fruity floral gourmand. The praline makes its presence felt so dominantly in the base that I wonder that it didn’t come through in the top notes and bash everyone else out of the way.
Always Red is nothing particularly new: many Fragrantica users are marvelling at how similar this is to Armani Si and they certainly have similar notes in common. However where Si used blackcurrant, Always Red uses plum. The rest is pretty similar.
I have a soft spot for Elizabeth Arden and I still feel that the Green Tea range and its flankers are peerless in their price category. Whilst Always Red is not on my wish list, it has mass appeal and is considerably cheaper than Armani Si. I found it quite Christmassy with all that praline and plum, so it might well be a good bet for a Christmas party.