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.
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)