AT this time of year, when trees are in full blossom and the fresh smell of flowers fills the air, perfume makers are inspired to a launch their own summer fragrances.
Celebrities also like to put their name to the latest products, with Beyonce, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Minogue, Paris Hilton and Sarah Jessica Parker among those who have launched their own perfumes.
Whether you’re male or female, it’s always good to be sporting your own desirable scent, so you feel fresh and fruity, spicy, musky or floral depending on what product you go for.
Certain perfumes also contain pheromones, which make you more attractive to the opposite sex!
So choosing the right one is essential.
Here, the HNG Tried and Tested team sample a few of the latest summer fragrances on the market to see which ones are more eau de toilette or eau de toilet!
Aqua Colonia collection Du Soleil
60ml, £60, available from www.pravera.co.uk
WHAT price perfection? Well, £60, it would seem, as the Aqua Colonia aftershave smells amazing. I know there are people out there who would fork out this amount of cash for a bottle of male perfume, but £60 is excessive to my mind, so just 3/5 for the price.
Possibly the most powerful weapon this product has is that it seems to last a long time. On clothes and skin, even a light dab lingers in a good way all day, helping keep you in a haze of fragrance.
The 60ml bottle should last a long time at that rate, so at a push maybe you could call it good value for money. I think the price would prevent most people from giving this as a present, however, and I would see that as a missed opportunity.
Aftershave is the default present to give a man, and the Aqua Colonia is priced largely out of that market.
Great for those with sharp suits and cash to burn.
Voi Jeans eau de toilette
100ml, £24.50, available at The Fragrance Shop, www.thefragranceshop.co.uk
IMAGES of jeans with men’s fragrances? Very 1970s was my first impression when looking at the Voi Jeans eau de toilette 100ml box.
However, when you look a little closer you see this has been packaged with thought and cutting edge imagination.
That’s clear when you open the box to find transparent spray bottle with gold branded lid is cheekily “dressed” in a blue denim sleeve with the front being a mirror image of the box it comes in and the back revealing a zip-fly fastener.
As a gift, this unique twist alone would surely raise a smile or two.
So that’s what the eyes see – what does the nose capture?
Well, the main hit comes from a lively and largely zesty mixture of lemon, orange and spearmint with undertones of jasmine, plum and nutmeg.
There is also the subtle sense of vanilla musk, which lasts longer than the rest and that’s no bad thing.
Overall, it’s a scent for any occasion, so it’s certainly is a must for the bathroom cabinet.
Ben Sherman for Men
50ml, £14.99, available from The Perfume Shop, in store and online at www.theperfumeshop.com2/5
UNFORTUNATELY, this aftershave is a little weak, and struggles to do its job throughout a day of work.
It’s easy to slap on in the morning, but has completely faded by 5pm, meaning you’ll have to spray again and that’s not really good enough. On a night out, it wouldn’t stand the test of time and that is the point of aftershave.
At least the bottle is a decent size and looks good. A bigger worry is that the fragrance, when recognisable, has a faint whiff of Vauxhall Nova and baseball cap, a quality which may go some way to explaining the attractively low price tag. For me, then, it’s at its best when I cannot smell it, and that really does make it irrelevant as an aftershave. I can see the appeal for many, but I can’t recommend this product.
40ml, RRP £29.504/5
40ml, RRP £29.50. Both available from larger Debenhams stores, larger Boots stores, House of Fraser, selected independent department stores and online at www.superdry.com5/5
THESE Superdry men’s colognes come from France and really do live up to the marketing hype of day and night numbers.
Both look good in their soft touch packaging classy containers.
They have quite distinctive smells, with the Steel being a refreshing, bright fruity-like scent which suits a business-like day mood.
It comes in a sleek silver top and blue glass container.
The Black lives up to its name and is a much deeper musk-like scent with hints of sweetness, wood and leather for a more relaxed evening mood.
It comes with a black top and tinted glass container.
Both scents are strong but pleasant and will easily last for many hours – the entire the day or evening. They also retail at a price which undercuts many of the designer labels and offer a alternative well worth considering.
The classy look, price and handy travel-size packaging is a winner for anyone on the look-out for something out of the ordinary.
Red or Dead Release Me eau de toilette
50ml, £24.50, available at The Perfume Shop
THE packaging to this perfume is funky and on trend. Fragrance trapped in a bottle like a bird in a cage, it’s edgy and caught my eye.
As for the fragrance itself? Well it’s fruity and fresh certainly. It’s flirty and feminine also. The package blurb tells me it opens with vibrant top notes of rose and plum, and I think the rose statement is true. I can’t say I would know what a plum smells like, though!
The fresh scent is perfect for weekend day wear, to give a spring to any girl’s step. But no marks for longevity, I’m afraid, as I feel I need to top up this perfume several times during the day. And that means it’s out of the question as a perfume I would wear on a night out – as fitting the bulky bottle into my teensy handbags for quick resprays just isn’t an option. Good value for money, though.
National Trust Garden Wild Rose and Camomile eau de toilette
100 ml, RRP £19.50, available from www.nationaltrust.org.uk, National Trust shops and leading department stores3/5
THIS eau de toilette is from a range of distinctive fragrances from the National Trust which uses extracts from British fruits, flowers and plants. The wild rose and camomile perfume is inspired by the Trust’s internationally renowned garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent.
I initially thought this was really nice and refreshing, but after a while it became a bit sweet for my nose. I reckon it might appeal more to the older lady. My mother really liked it – she’s a pensioner.
But it is good value at £19.50 for 100ml, so I would look out for others in the range which is available in National Trust shops and leading department stores.
BCBG Max Azria eau de parfum
100ml, £56, from the The Fragrance Shop, www.thefragranceshop.co.uk5/5
WITH its pretty floral bottle, this looks stylish and smells stylish.
This is definitely one for the classy lady and has a romantic feel about it so it’s also great to be given as a gift. Although its scent is subtle and not overpowering, it has a certain depth about it which means it’s also suitable for evening wear.
Containing a mix of kir royal, wild strawberry and black cherry, it also includes a “sensual and sophisticated” note of jasmine, lily, rose and violet.
I wore this time and time again and always felt confident with the fragrance as it wasn’t too overwhelming but was strong enough in its scent that I could detect it being worn hours later. It’s on the pricy side, but then many perfumes are and it’s good to try something fresh and modern.
Coleen Butterflies eau de toilette
50ml, £24.50, available at The Fragrance Shop, www.thefragranceshop.co.uk3/5
I FELL in love with the bottle of this perfume by itself, as it sports lots of little gold butterflies. With the perfume itself being pink, it was just so girly and therefore ideal if you were giving this away as a present.
I am also a secret admirer of Coleen Rooney, who launched this perfume.
I just hoped the scent itself wouldn’t let it down. And if I’m honest, after regular wearing, I still can’t make up my mind whether I like it or not. It’s certainly a summery, girly and floral scent, as it contains citrus, rose and hibiscus, interspersed with subtle hints of black pepper, nutmeg and vanilla flower. “Creamy cedar”, rosewood with a subtle hint of amber and tonka bean are also thrown into the mix.
It’s ideal for wearing during the day, but its staying power isn’t the best. I often found myself having to have a respray after several hours. Overall, I will continue to wear this perfume, so I figure I must like it. I certainly think it would make a lovely gift, especially for a teenage girl, and it’s not too pricy either, so you’re not going to feel guilty if you feel the need to use it several times in one day.