I’m going to start by saying right away that I don’t like the original Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers -to me it’s nothing special at all. However, I tried Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers Summer Bloom today and yes, it’s a fruity floral, and no I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but this one is rather lovely and is excellent value. It was a big 100ml bottle that came in a penny under ten quid and as an eau de toilette the expectation is that it lasts around six hours (so said the sales assistant who sold it to me, but then she would say that wouldn’t she?)
As a fruity floral, this smells like many others, but its strength is that the smellalike-ness (just made that word up) is to your advantage when the price is 9.99. In other words if you like fruity florals, you may as well get Summer Bloom over the megapriced smellalikes in the higher price range that ultimately do the same job.
Here are the notes according to out trusty friends at Fragrantica:
Top notes: pear, water lily and ivy, middle notes: violet, jasmine and hortensia, base notes: cedar vanilla musk
What I actually got is this: it opens as a fruity floral, with an emphasis on the floral rather than the fruity. The fruit is actually pear, which is one of the least offensive fruity notes you can get (the worst offenders are synthetic red fruits). The flowers that come out are the jasmine and the violet. The base is not really vanilla, cedar and musk, but a faded version of the top notes, but not too bad at all. Longevity is around three hours and a bit.
This is a case of the flanker being much better than the original. If you’ve got a tenner and you’re feeling summery you could do a lot worse than this pretty and light scent.
The drawback is that this is hard to find and seems to be exclusively available in The Perfume Shop in the UK. My fear is that this exclusivity will lead to low sales and discontinuing. This will be a shame, but since it only launched in April 2014, maybe there’s still time.
PS In case you were wondering, hortensia is another name for hydrangea and apparently has “clean, camphorous tonalities” according to Fragrantica. Personally, I wouldn’t dwell on it, as the note wasn’t there, but I do love them in the garden and have therefore posted a gratuitous photo of them.