Friday, May 11, 2007

Burberry by Burberry : Perfume Review

Last night an email prompted me to prepare a skin scent review for today. I wanted to challenge myself by picking something I do not personally wear and I thought I had the perfect contender in my samples drawer: Murmure by Van Cleef & Arpels. Such a misleading name... The darned thing was nothing short of a scream, a foghorn in the dead of the night! Disappointed, I decided to fall back on a well-known friend instead: Burberry by Burberry.

In a series of puzzling marketing moves, the perfume released in 1995 and originally known as Burberry was subsequently renamed Burberry London, only to have its name changed once again recently to plain old Burberry when the new Burberry London scents were released by the British fashion house. The folly of those moves becomes especially apparent when one considers than not all online listings have been brought up to speed with the changes, resulting in considerable confusion. Fans of the fragrance have affectionately dubbed it Burberry Classic, or less eloquently in times of exasperation, as “the one in the pebble shaped bottle”. This is not an undeserving description of the flacon. It is indeed very reminiscent of a large pebble, not only in shape, but also in weight and feel. Its smooth surface fills the palm of one hand very adequately and its substantial weight somehow turns the process of application into a simple luxury, if only because of the slight extra effort one has to exert when using it. It is not a bottle you can just pick up for a quick spray and then drop back onto your dressing table thoughtlessly, and it is this that forces application to be more thoughtful than usual even in the most casual of perfume wearers. The masculine stopper and the simple lines of the flacon set the stage for the clean luxury of the perfume itself.

It all begins with almost effervescent, sparkling fruit. Mouthwatering peach and apricot shine brightly with the addition of fresh mint and brisk bergamot. Despite the full-bodied appeal of these fruits, Burberry always remains rather dry even at the top of its development, with the helpful combination of apple and tagetes. Even though I am not a fan of fruit notes generally speaking, Burberry is one of the few examples that brings out a different aspect of how fruit can be done and manages to get it right for me. It is the dryness of this fragrance that always keeps me interested and intrigued, explored further with the addition of geranium and cedar in the middle notes. Together with sandalwood, musk and amber, these notes conspire to make this fragrance intensely powdery. The end result feels completely parched of any moisture; it is a sheer powder that covers the skin with comfortable cleanness, warmed by a generous dollop of bourbon vanilla. It adheres to the body like a second skin, blurring the lines between one’s own personal scent and the fragrance itself. It is at once comforting and sensual, classy and familiar, like the bosom of a sexy, curvaceous woman in a cashmere sweater. In fact Cashmere would have been the most apt name for this perfume in my oppinion, done so much better than Cashmere by Chopard. While on the subject of perfume comparisons,
Skin by Trussardi smells very, very similar to Burberry, but it is far inferior and nowhere near as dry. Speaking of which, it is still early days, but I do wish to start archiving these reviews at some point – and aside from the more obvious house-name archiving, I would also like to make a perfume-alikes / comparisons link. Something to look forward to in the future.

Pictures courtesy of, and respectively.


Abigail said...

This is a lovely review! I've always had a weakness for the Burberry scents- as well as scents with musk and amber. Though, strangely, I ended up preferring Burberry Brit.

I do like the comparisons, it helps add some life to the words.

Linda said...

Hello Divina,
I'm new to your website and love your words as well as being a fragrance fanatic. I just want to leave a quick comment now, but will be back soon! Burberry makes lovely perfumes, I think, and I'll be on a sniffing trek tomorrow so will seek them lout!

helg said...

I should probably remind myself of just how Burberry original smells!

I did like the new Burberry ones for men and women (men's especially) quite a bit, though!

Divina said...

Hello girls! Thanks for the comments, so nice to wake up to them in the morning!

Abigail: I must admit I have not yet smelled Brit (!) Your comments prompts me to try it, as a matter of fact I will get to it today. Planning a daytrip again like most Saturdays ;)

Linda: Welcome! I guess we'll both be sniffing around today! Please do share your finds from today, I'm curious :)

Helg: I do have a feeling you will enjoy it!

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

Divina, what a beautiful perfume blog! I've bookmarked you and I'm looking forward to reading you regularly. (And thanks for visiting me as well at Tea, Sympathy and Perfume).


Divina said...

Welcome, Mary! I wish you all the success with your new blog and look forward to your own perfume insights.

Isman Tanuri said...

Hello Divina,
I've just stumbled upon this randomly, googling about this particular Burberry perfume, precisely because of this strange marketing moves.

By the way, I am a guy and I have worn this same Burberry perfume every day for the last 11 years, talk about devotion and love of a scent :)

Haev a nice day!

Divina said...

Hi Isman, I am sure you wear it very well!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I have desperately been trying to understand why my favourite perfume had changed bottles and scents! The new Burberry London just isn't what it was. Now i know, it's gone back to being just Burberry.
Thanks again.

Divina said...

You are most welcome! It is one of my favorites too, always makes me feel good!