Thursday, 8 August 2013

Higher or Lower: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb vs Zara Black Peony

Most people find it extremely hard to review perfumes because it is difficult to describe a scent as people pick up slightly different smells. If there is a fragrance that we particularly detest (for my boyfriend's dad this would be mint) then that will be the one we are most aware of but equally if there is something we enjoy or have emotional attachment to, lemon sherbet for instance, then that will also be most noticeable. I have become particularly adept to noticing the differences between perfumes, my mum was an aromatherapist and when I was small I was encouraged to smell all the essential oils that she worked with, this early exposure to all things smelly has allowed me to pick out individual scents when mixed with others. It is much easier to spot an individual scent when you have smelled it separately.

Flowerbomb and Black Peony
Having said that, I'm no expert and I am certainly no fragrance snob. I know what I like and what I have been particularly liking recently is Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf. It is very different to the perfumes that I usually like, I prefer much woodier scents that are almost manly. Flowerbomb is far from manly. It is a very balanced floral scent, there is no single note that smacks you in the face. One note that I always do pick out in Flowerbomb though is jasmine. Jasmine is a very strong floral, to me it is nauseating but whenever I wear Flowerbomb I find myself addictively sniffing my wrists. That's what I mean about balance, there are other notes in there which balance out the potency of the jasmine, I think this is mostly down to the woody and dark scent of bergamot. Bergamot is used to alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, which is probably why I find this perfume so uplifting. Bergamot smells like oranges, but not too sweet or too sharp. It's almost a smell like if someone had cooked oranges and reduced them down to a thick smoky syrup.

Flowerbomb is such a unique, and expensive fragrance I almost couldn't believe it when I saw that people were comparing a £65 perfume to one from a clothing chain costing just £8, I had to check out the claims. I've seen eBay listings which further reinforce how much people think the two smell alike. The Zara Black Peony perfume is so well liked that one fan even made their own advert for the perfume!

For me though Black Peony was not going to be my saviour. Although there were some similarities, there were some blatantly obvious differences too. After I'd got over the initial alcohol smell that overwhelms the first few seconds it did smell a lot like Flowerbomb, I could smell flowers, jasmine, dark wood and a little bit of sugary vanilla. After about 2 hours though the lovely dark jasmine scent had disappeared and been replaced with a sickly sweet coconut smell. Usually I can smell a muted version Flowerbomb on my clothes days after I have used it, which is incredibly impressive, so when Black Peony made my wrists smell like a Bounty after just a few hours, I was fairly disappointed. I knew full well it wouldn't last as long as Flowerbomb because it is a EDT. It would have been fine if it had just disappeared but it didn't, it transformed into something reminiscent of a Barbie perfume. So this time sadly the lower end has failed when compared to the higher end, or has it?

Loverdose or Flowerbomb?

Honourable mention: Loverdose by Diesel
For me Loverdose is a much better dupe for Flowerbomb. Although it does have a more heady jasmine scent, it lasts a lot longer than Black Peony and stays true to the floral scent. The jasmine over powers the woodier scent slightly but it is still there, this is what I think helps it to last so long on the skin and on clothes. Ultimately I think Loverdose is the best option at £30 per 50ml and you get a lot for your money and it is much closer to Flowerbomb than anything else I have smelled.

What perfume dupes have you found?


  1. love this perfume

  2. cool article


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