1770 by Yardley London
Notes: Rich woody amber fragrance with citrus, fig and spicy black pepper top notes complemented by a floral, cocoa bean and woody heart with a warm base of patchouli, vetiver, moss and musk.
My take: Bizarrely, this starts off for the first minute with a smell that would make your mother weep, but that first blast is so wildly different from how it settles you would be out of your mind to cast this to one side, it is actually one of the nicest and cheapest fragrances I've had the pleasure of smelling in my many years of collecting aftershave. It does have a slight chemical aroma for thirty to sixty seconds and it masks the notes. I can't put my finger on what it reminds me of, but thankfully you really get a melting pot of notes that blend beautifully.
The top notes of citrus remain for a good thirty minutes and while it starts off warm it does get deeper and warmer as it starts to dry down. For me personally I like this after an hour when it has fully dried down and you can pick out the vetiver and musk.
The wood amber provides a solid base that means this isn't an aftershave you spray and forget about. You can throughout the day smell this on yourself, well I can and I love it. More than eight hours after a few sprays and you can still pick up hints of this. I've worn it consistently to work over the last few weeks and it has attracted positive comments. Hardwearing with a great blend of notes.
Cost: £14.99 for 50ml
Buy from: Yardley London
The Dreamer by Versace
First of all, congratulations to Ness who won the 100ml bottle of The Dreamer in my giveaway.
Notes: Head: Juniper, Mugwort, Tarragon, Heart: Ambered Lily, Flax Flowers, Iris, Dry-down: Amber, Tobacco Flower
My take: This starts off light with a slightly fruity twist that comes from the juniper. It fades yet gets warmer and last for ages.
It has depth and warmth but the fragrance almost evolves through a series of stages. The ambered lily and iris blend with the juniper after around an hour to make this less fruity on the nose and actually it’s like a mild floral explosion for around thirty minutes until it moves into the dry down. The amber and tobacco flower provide an excellent base that compliments the tarragon and lily to make this well worth a look.
Cost: £19.50 for 100ml
Buy from: Allbeauty
Ambre Noir by Yves Rocher
Notes: Essential oils of patchouli, vetiver, bergamot, cardamom seed, mandarin, cedarwood, elemi and lavender, violet leaves and tonka bean absolutes.
My take: First impressions were good, it is very light and fresh. To me, I was sure that the main top note was a light and very subtle lavender which blended with the mandarin to give a rather fruity citrus aroma (if you really do keep sniffing away you can pull out the sharpness of the mandarin just momentarily).
Within fifteen minutes the top notes die down yet the aftershave becomes sweeter on the nose - weird, but a good kind of weird. This sweetness remains for moments, less than five minutes.
At this stage, the amber and tonka beans blend beautifully. It’s almost a weird union of the warmth of the amber and the sweetness of the tonka bean. Without the amber this would probably have the same sweetness as Versace Eros, Joop or Valentino Uomo, instead it starts to dry down to a lovely warm reliable fragrance very much on a par with Fahrenheit by Dior.
As I have said, the fragrance on dry down has the warmth of Dior’s Fahrenheit, it has a depth of both spice and wood to make this probably a bit too earthy and masculine for me to wear out and about at night, but perfect for daywear on a regular basis. That depth and the dry down base keeps Ambre Noir sitting on the skin really well and for over ten hours which is always a plus.
At every stage of wearing this what I found was a series of ingredients that blended so well it was a pleasure to wear Ambre Noir, and I rarely say that.
Cost: £17.90 for 50ml
Buy from: Yves Rocher
All three sit in my collection and while I have bottles that cost in excess of £100 for the most minute amount these all come in good quantities (over 50ml) for under £25 notes and have above average lasting power, lovely fresh and consistent fragrances and in the value for money stakes rank highly in my opinion. While I received the Yardley and Yves Rocher aftershaves as PR samples they are staples in my collection and all are perfect for daywear. You won’t repulse people wearing any one of the three and in my view these would make perfect gifts this Father’s Day for people who don’t want to or can’t break the bank.
Do you think any of these three aftershaves would be a good pick for your dad?
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