The Sniff Box – Perfume In Plain English

More recent releases…

So many new men’s fragrances come out every year that it would be a full-time job to review them all – and probably not a very rewarding one. But while I’m keen to celebrate my favourites on The Sniff Box, it seems only polite to give brief reviews to some of the recent releases that I’ve kindly been given by perfume companies, even if they don’t (in my view) merit a longer review.

I took the first of these, DKNY MEN ENERGIZING EAU DE COLOGNE SPRAY, into an office where I was working and asked my male colleagues to tell me what they thought of it. After some consideration and a surprising amount of sniffing, they came back with, ‘It’s the kind of bottle you’d expect to see in a teenage boy’s bedroom, but actually it’s not as bad as we expected.’

Personally I think it’s almost indistinguishably generic and very synthetic-smelling, with none of the refreshing citrus of a classic eau-de-cologne, though it is faintly cucumberish or melony. The bottle, incidentally, is an unfeasibly tall rhomboid with a naff transfer of the Empire State Building up one side, a clear plastic cap and a spray button in electric blue. Teenage boy’s bedroom, in other words.

RENSHAW, from Murdock, is the latest cologne from a small British brand which has grown out of a chain of trendy barber shops owned by Irish-born Brendan Murdock. Renshaw was launched during Wimbledon week and, appropriately for a perfume with a tennis theme, smells like grass with a splash of sharp sweetness – though in this case it’s grapefruit, not strawberries. It’s perfectly pleasant, and probably perfect for its intended audience: describing itself as ‘British Cologne’, it’s a little bit Boy’s Own – not too fancy, complex or expensive.

The name JIMMY CHOO MAN gives me the uncomfortable image of a bloke in high heels, which I hope is unintentional. This first (but almost certainly not last) men’s perfume from the high-fashion shoe brand comes in a curved grey-glass bottle with rather 1970s-looking silver lettering, topped off with a matching metal plate and a metal-topped cap wrapped in faux snakeskin.

As for the fragrance itself, it smells at least as chemical as the DKNY Men Energising Eau de Cologne. Generic, in a word, and quite hard to distinguish from, say, Paul Smith Extreme Sport or a hundred other men’s fragrances from the last decade. Though it’s not being released until September, I won’t be holding my breath, though I might be holding my nose.

 

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