Tag Archives: cheap fragrance

Dear Aunty Sam: Your Perfume Problems Answered-Part Four

‘La mauvaise nouvelle’ (‘Bad News’) (1804) by Marguerite Gérard (1761-1837). Oil on canvas. Musée du Louvre, Paris

Once again, I am putting on my glasses and trying to look important  Yes, indeed:  it’s time for more of your perfume problems!

I must apologise to poor Charlotte who wrote in with this week’s problem.  It’s taken me so long to respond and I apologise profusely.  I do hope you still like me Charlotte! I blame the Easter Holidays,  a camping trip, several writing jobs, my two children,  four workmen,  a drain, a flood and a loss adjustor.  I’ll be quicker next time, so do write in! You can email me on iscentyouaday@gmail.com or comment below or on my Facebook page.

Here is Charlotte’s letter:

Dear Aunty Sam

I absolutely love Viktor &Rolf Flowerbomb but it is SO expensive! Can you suggest other scents that are very similar but not quite so pricy?

Charlotte

flowerbomb ad

My dear Charlotte,

rsz_dr_sam (1)This is an excellent question and I’m sure you’re not alone in wanting an answer.  Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb is much beloved, but as you point out,  not very cheap.   Many perfume fans reckon it smells similar to mega blockbuster Lancôme La Vie est Belle. To give credit where it’s due, Flowerbomb got there first, way back in 2005,  whereas La Vie est Belle didn’t emerge until 2012.

So what can I recommend that will make you smell amazingly Flowerbomb-like and still be budget friendly?  Here goes:

World Class Perfumes Perfumer’s Choice “Natalie”

natalieThe World Class Perfume Group owns Milton Lloyd and Taylor of London, who make a lot of the Lentheric and Yardley stuff of yesteryear such as Panache and Chique.

The Perfumer’s Choice arm of the business has a small range of very long-lasting fragrances which are guaranteed to last at least six hours, and I can vouch that they definitely do.  Natalie is so similar to La Vie est Belle that I thought I’d sprayed the wrong bottle.  It lasted around eight hours and has the combo of flowers and warm, sweet gourmand notes that make it so similar that this blogger was fooled.  The packaging ain’t fancy, but, boy, it’s value for money.  I reviewed it here and at the time, I couldn’t quite make the connection as I don’t think I was familiar with its doppelganger at the time,  but I smelled it recently and thought YES.

Coming in at the very reasonable price of £14 for 83m of EDP, or £7 for 50ml of Parfum de Toilette (to me PDT is stronger than EDT, not quite as strong as EDP) Perfumer’s Choice Natalie is available from this website or from Amazon UK.

Agent Provocateur Fatale

agentprovThis has the big white flowers and the patchouli and orchid of Flowerbomb.  Imagine Flowerbomb with an accent of grated dark chocolate and you’re not far off AP Fatale.  Available for just 12,95 from one of my favourite sites : allbeauty. com, this is far cheaper than Flowerbomb and possibly cheap enough to risk a blind buy.

I hope this helps you Charlotte, and again, I do apologise for the lengthy delay

Ask me for help!

Are you pensive about perfumes? Fanatical about fragrance?  Addled by aldehydes?  Confused dot com?  I’m here to answer any questions you might have, whether it’s a smellalike, a reformulation question or a where-can-I-buy-it query.  Just ask.  I always love to hear from you.

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Lidl X-Bolt for Men: Grab Yours Now Before I Do

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I don’t normally review men’s colognes, since I have enough to get through as it is with my one-a-day reviews (with occasional lapses due to children or migraines or both). However, gender is no bar to me and I often look through my husband’s fragrance collection and rifle what I can.

You may recall that I reviewed Old Spice on Father’s Day and enjoyed its spicy and clean notes, so as you can see, I am more than happy to wear so called Pour Hommes, even though I am  a Femme.

Dropping into my local Lidl two days ago, I couldn’t help but notice that they had their men’s fragrance X-Bolt in stock and at a princely sum of 1.99GBP, reduced from its usual price of 3.99.

Since I have reviewed Lidl’s Suddenly Madame Glamour, and since that review gets more daily hits than any other I have ever written, I thought it only fair to review X-Bolt. Besides which, my Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Box arrived today and I couldn’t muster one iota of enthusiasm for it. (but that’s another story…)

Let’s start with the name. X-Bolt either sounds like XBox and is therefore supposedly named to excite men, or it sounds like something my sons would watch after Ben 10. Either way, the name’s not the best, but I’ve heard worse. The bottle is lovely: simple glass with a faux burnished chrome stopper with the juice being an appealing shade of elderflower wine.

Image X-Bolt is extremely similar to Hugo Boss Bottled. This may or may not be deliberate, I’m saying nothing. The smell goes like this: Apples, Cedar and Bergamot very strongly in the top notes. Middle notes are woodier, but still Apple-y, and the base is very Vetiver, with a bit of sandalwood and  a general whiff of Woods.

Long ago, I would never have considered that anything costing 1.99 would have been any good. However, when you realise that the cost of making many fragrances is a tiny single figure percentage of the overall price, it’s easy to figure out how much goes on branding, marketing, advertising and very often, a celebrity face. In other words, lose the prestige and companies can still afford to produce a half decent fragrance, if of course, you don’t mind that you bought from a notoriously cheap supermarket and threw it in your basket next to kitchen roll and bacon.

 XBolt does have a slightly 80s Sport feel to it, (as does Hugo Boss Bottled), a bit like manly shower gel, but it’s so good for the price that I’m going back for more, and not just for my husband, who smells great in it.

(NB Hugo Boss Bottled is sometimes called Hugo Boss No 6 in the USA)

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