It’s that time of the year when we hope to see the sun and if we’re lucky enough, we might get to travel somewhere it appears more reliably than in good ol’ Blighty.
There are a few fragrances which can put you in that holiday mood even if you haven’t got the time or money to hop on a plane somewhere warm and balmy. Or, indeed, recall a more relaxing time at the beach when you’re back stuffing yourself into the sardine tin that is a rush hour London tube carriage. My old favourite such scent is – brace yourselves – Miami Glo by Jlo. Yes. Trashy, suntan lotion-y; wonderful. I don’t currently own a bottle, but it absolutely puts me in that summery mood – very specifically, I picture the teenage me sunning herself at the Helsinki olympic stadium outdoor swimming pool, circa 1985, canary yellow Walkman in tow and smothered in Hawaiian Tropic.
The Fragrance Shop has just launched two exclusive fragrances: Radiant for women and Radiant for men (although I am going to suggest that you can wear whichever you prefer because gender bending with your fragrance wearing is very chic right now and always has been for those in the know). The perfumer for both is Angela Stavrevska from CPL Aromas.
And here’s the thing, although I expected the pina colada x suntan lotion accord, what these actually serve up is something a little subtler and it took me a day’s wear of both to finally home in on how the coconut here had been interpreted (both fragrances list ‘coconut water’ in the notes). To me, there is definitely a core theme of coconut in both. Room-temperature, fresh coconut oil, to be exact.
Radiant for women has a wonderful green-tinged muguet-jasmine floralcy, light herbal touch, soft woody notes and slightly soapy, sensual musks to accentuate the coconut oil impression and this makes it possibly the most easy-to-wear coconut scent I’ve ever encountered (I have found many coconut-themed scents a little sickly, fatty; too full of lactones). This is not.
I have worked a lot with coconut oil in some way (either when making cosmetics or when using it at home as the DIY beauty miracle product it is – for instance, as a pre-shampoo hair oil treatment), and I have found the scent a little bit overpowering, but somehow this perfume performed a magic trick and made me crave the smell of coconuts. It was the inedible, floral/herbal/woody aspect which seemed to tame the smell into something which exuded health and happiness. Wearing this made me smile. It also made me feel a little bit like I was one of those super slim and health-conscious Wholefoods-store-visiting juicers, just popping in for my organic coconut oil while wearing a subtle, feminine fragrance.
There is also a body oil spray in the feminine variant, which I bet will work extremely well with this fragrance and would be a gorgeous summer body treat.
Official notes list:
Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime; a cool sea breeze accord, coconut water, sweet amber, muguet, freesia, lavender, geranium, jasmin, sandalwood and clean, powdery musks.
Radiant for men has a bracing citrus opening – a Cool Water twist with coconut follows, and the drydown was dramatically different between my skin and a male test subject’s* (*my long-suffering husband who has had hundreds of perfumes sprayed on him “just to see what happens”). On me, the drydown went to powdery, sensual, sweet woods and amber with a hint of coconut – on his skin, the somewhat bracing freshness remained and his skin also brought out a much stronger, almost bitter woody-amber theme that was undetectable on mine. Now I know some people claim scents smell the same on everyone, but trust me, they really don’t. Sometimes the difference is minimal – in this case it was dramatic.
Official notes list:
Fresh coconut water, dry amber, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime; a crisp sunshine sea breeze accord, lavender, birch leaf, elemi, vetiver and clean musks.
As you might have guessed, the sandy-golden beige bottle is the women’s version and the blue one is the men’s. I have to say, these are fantastic bottles – heavy glass with lots of attention to detail. The Fragrance Shop describe the design as ‘sand-dipped’ and what might not be obvious from the photos is that there is a lovely ombre graduation of colour on both bottles, fading into clear glass at the top. The golden radiant sun emblem on the centre is heavy-duty and solid metal. These bottles will be beautiful to have around (just please don’t keep them in the bathroom – that’s where perfumes go to die).
Both are £30 for 100ml and available exclusively from the Fragrance Shop.
Disclaimer: Radiant for women and men provided by the Fragrance Shop for review purposes. My policy is not to review at all unless I like the fragrances in question and samples do not influence this decision in any way.