Monday, December 29, 2008

Burberry - Brit for Men

A few mainstream designer houses have a fragrance portfolio that is unexpectedly impressive, producing progressive and quality stuff long after their clothes and overall aesthetic jumped the shark. A very good example is pre-Light Blue Dolce & Gabbana. Even though the designers themselves are somewhat of a sellout joke nowadays, licensing their names to pretty much anything and targeting teenagers with their tacky logo ridden garments, their perfume section is still going strong. From the tobacco heavy pour Homme via the musky amber bomb By trough to the pleasant citrus of D&G Masculine and the comforting woods of The One, Dolce & Gabbana fragrances are simply good.

Another case in point – Burberry. Even though Burberry still produces exclusive clothing and high quality luxury items, especially under the Prorsum label, the brand undoubtedly has been somewhat watered down the last decade. Similar to Tommy Hilfiger in the early 90´s, Burberrys fell for the temptation of catering to logo loving casuals and football hooligans, thus making the brand associations less appealing for the trench coat- and luxury bag buyers. Under the excellent supervision of Christopher Bailey they are back on track though, and the perfume side is strong as ever, Brit for Men being an excellent illustration. Other high-quality Burberry fragrances include the violety sweet Touch, the boozy green London and the highly versatile minty fresh Burberry for Men.

M
any are a bit underwhelmed when first sampling Brit. And sure, this is not a sillage monster or Joop! competitor. Instead, Brit is a very cleverly updated modern oriental. It´s sensual and soft and clearly designed to be enjoyed by a loved one close to your skin. Like many L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrances, Brit sports a remarkable longevity though; the powdery sweetness lingers subtly for hours.

An immediate association for me is gingerbread, the Swedish Christmas kind with plenty of cardamom. Other notes mingling happily together with the sharp ginger include spicy nutmeg and green zesty mandarins. The heart notes are dominated by a bold rose, obviously a conscious choice of perfumer Antoine Maisondieu. Rose, along with lavender the most characteristically English of notes, was of course a must ingredient to incorporate in this national homage.

National references aside, Brit also serves as a bridge between traditional perfumery and modern. Carelessly blending time honored barbershop tradition with cheeky synthetic accords. The end result is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Maisondieu has created the ideal Hammam Bouquet of the 21: st century. Playful, dandyish and delicate.

Year of Launch:
2004
Gender Classification: Masculine
Reminiscent of: Boucheron Jaïpur, Paloma Picasso Minotaure, Chanel Allure Homme
Longevity & Sillage: Limited output, above average longevity
Overall Rating: 8/1o

4 comments:

Khalid said...

I just got Burberry Brit and I absolutely love it.
Nice post!

/mmm said...

Thanks Khalid!
It´s a great one indeed, versatile
and pleasant.

/m

lo said...

I had Brit a couple years ago and just got some again. I really like wearing it.

Surfacing said...

Good write up MMM, I enjoyed reading it. Brit is a solid release by Burberry. Quite rarely do I enjoy the kind of longevity in a fragrance as it gives, so that is another positive.

I initially bought a bottle and did not think much of it. But for some reason this winter I find myself reaching for it once in a while. And this is after barely using it last winter.

Thanks again for the blog. Overall I think it is very nice =)