Tag Archives: good cheap men’s fragrance

The Perfumer’s Choice Range: Luxe for Less  

rafael natalie

jeanmarieemilie

 

Yes my wish list is long, and expensive to the point of being a work of fiction and fancy, but there is a place on every (realistic) wish list for fragrance that is high quality but won’t bankrupt either you or Santa.

Those nice people at World Class (incorporating Milton Lloyd) have created a range of perfumes called Perfumer’s Choice and kindly sent me some to review, for which, many thanks.  The aim of the range is to “remove the financial barrier” between good scent and those whose Money Trees have not yet yielded a harvest this year.  My children appear to firmly believe we have such a tree in the garden.

World Class (and Milton Lloyd) save costs by not marketing widely.  You won’t see them on billboards, nor will you see TV adverts or magazine spreads.  You may hear about them via word of mouth, and via bloggers.  To be honest, this is fine by me.  I am so “ovah” disappointing High Street perfumes with huge price tags and aggressive global campaigns that smell …well…meh. There are of course, exceptions to this rule, but I am also quite happy to look at the goods from the guys without the big ad agency accounts.

So what are they like?  Well they’re pretty darn good, and they last for a guaranteed eight hours.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that they are currently a bit elusive but that will not be a problem for long.  I am putting this down to being the early days of a launch.  You can buy them direct from the website here.

Each one comes in a nice glass bottle with silver lid and sturdy frosted plastic case.  Each bottle is, unusually, 83ml and  they all cost a mere £14 each. Here’s my take on them:

 

No 3: Jean –Marie (for men)

jeanmarieFrom first spray, this is green vetiver and citrus.  The top phase lasts for an hour before segueing into a heart of something smokier and darker.  The final phase, believe it or not, reminded me of Miller Harris La Fumée.  There is dark, dried, resinous smoke with a hint of that vetiver that we started out with.  It reminds me of a very manly, modern bathroom, all chrome and glass with a leathery finish and a hint of chest hair.  Quality is high and longevity lives up to its promise.

This how it is officially described:

A sparkling fresh Citrus Grapefruit top note enhanced with invigorating Coriander and Incense lift the elegant heart of Cedarwood and exotic spices – Black Pepper, Nutmeg and Cardamon. The base notes are a sophisticated accord of Vetiver and Patchouli enriched with warm tenacious Amber notes.”

 

No.6 Rafael (for men)

rafaelNo 6 is a classic marine/ozonic masculine scent.  Opening with citruses which stay true, it beds down into a zingy summery delight that doesn’t smell unlike Davidoff Cool Water, only stronger!  Imagine a parfum version. There’s a pleasant tang of manliness in the base note:  a hint of patchouli, musk and vetiver, but if this were a colour it would, unsurprisingly, be light blue.

Here’s what the blurb says:

Radiant citrus top notes of Mandarin and Lemon entwine with fresh accents of Black Pepper, Peppermint and a hint of Vetiver. A tantalising heart of Grapefruit and Geranium, deepened with spicy woody accords of Cedar, Nutmeg and rich Labdanum combine to effortlessly fall into a sensual base of Cardamom, Incense, and precious woods, surrounded by Musks which envelope this elegant male tonality.”

 

 No 12. Emilie 

emilieEmilie smells like peaches.  Usually I don’t like peaches, but here they lose some of the twee sickly sweetness and keep the pleasanter lighter aspects of peach.  Coupled with noticeable orange blossom, which can veer from sickly to indolic with a raw greenness in between, here it is more blossom than orange.  Although described as a floral chypre, I would hesitate to name it as such, but then, I’m not expert. This smells like something I have sniffed across a posh beauty counter, but I’m blowed if I can remember it.   If you like peachy orange blossom with a base of fruity musk, this is for you.

Here’s the official description:

A radiant orange blossom originated from North Africa blooms on top. Its natural fruity side is sublimated by an accord of apple. Ambrette, a noble ingredient, harvested in Peru, gives a luxury character to the fragrance. The heart unveils a luxuriant floral bouquet, a delicate blend of majestic rose (Bulgaria) with a voluptuous Peony. A hint of lychee accord magnifies this seductive pink heart in a final fruity touch. The base notes are dominated by deep and mysterious woods. The vibrant enigmatic Patchouli from Indonesia highlights an alluring signature, while Sandalwood and Musks bring a creamy and round tonality in the trail.”

 

 No 4 Natalie

natalieTo me, Natalie smells purple, just like its packaging.   There are berries in the opening, and once they’ve bloomed  all over the shop, a caramel note steps in, making this a potential hot seller.  It falls somewhere in the nether world between Lancome La Vie est Belle  and Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire.  I’m sure there are cherries and raspberries in here.  It has vanilla in the base and dries to a finish which could be described as Oriental-lite.

Here’s what the blurb says:

“The vibrant top note of a delicious fruity accord combined with the sophistication of a powdery iris. A feminine and velvety floral heart accord tenderly envelopes the transition to a warm and addictive dry down composed of gourmand and sensual woody ambery notes.”

Diesel Zero Plus Masculine: Stolen From My Husband

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Out of all the fragrances I have bought for Mr IScent, Diesel Zero Plus Masculine is the one he wears every day and likes best. He smells wonderful in it, although it smells different on him than it does on me.  On him, it is a fresh, milky musk which is never overpowering, even at 7am when he kisses me goodbye for the day.

On me, it is fresh, green and spicy and could easily be marketed as a feminine Autumn scent without anyone batting an eyelid.  The most prominent notes when first sprayed are Green notes, Mandarin, Bergamot and  Spice: specifically Cinnamon and Nutmeg. The Green notes are woody and musty, like sodden leaves, but fresh and zingy at the same time.  After a while this beds down into a Musky Sandalwood finish, but with sharpness from the Oranges and Cardoman.  The Anise sneaks in for the final flourish, with warm Amber and Patchouli rounding things off nicely.

It’s ridiculously cheap for this kind of likable quality.  I bought this for around eight pounds in my local Bodycare shop, but it’s pretty much everywhere and very often less than ten pounds.

The bottle has lasted since last Christmas despite daily wear and is still nearly half full, making this extraordinary value for money.  It’s not up there with the Serges or the Guerlains, but it’s an excellent buy and I say phooey to male/female labels.  This is just a great Autumnal scent.

 

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