Burberry The Beat for Men ~ fragrance review

Burberry The Beat for Men fragrance advert

The inspiration for Burberry's The Beat for Men, according to Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey, was music, specifically the music of the bands Razorlight, the Fratellis, Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian. “I think there is so much crossing over between creative mediums,” said Bailey. “Art, design, fashion, music — they all feed off each other and inspire each other. So I sat with the perfumers and gave them a ton of music. I think it’s a bit lazy to say, ‘The guy is 18 to 25, lives in that type of house…’ I don’t care how old or how young the guy is. It’s the attitude, and what taste the direction goes in. So the perfumers listened to the music as they were creating the fragrance, and they got it instantly.”*

After implying The Beat’s target audience’s age didn’t really matter, Bailey said “being young and effortless” was the attitude he wanted for The Beat; the fragrance should “be about movement, energy — a younger, cooler, more urban Burberry.” According to The Beat marketing materials, the men in The Beat ads ARE dissimilar in occupations and backgrounds but they all look somewhere around age 20 and weigh in at, what, 130 pounds? They are cute, but would benefit from a nap and some fish and chips (at least on the day of the photo shoot).

Burberry The Beat for Men fragrance advert

The Beat for Men was created by perfumers Olivier Polge and Domitille Bertier, and The Beat’s listed notes are leatherwood, Bourbon vetiver, cedrat, black pepper and violet leaf (do those sound like “rock ’n’ roll” notes to you?) Don Loftus, president and CEO of P&G Prestige Products in the U.S., likes The Beat’s musical connection: “Both music and fragrance create a mood and change your point of view, so we think it’s an innovative way to approach the development process.”*

The Beat opens with citrus, violet leaf and a touch of vetiver; the aroma is fresh and fruity in character — but strangely “subdued.” Into this slightly “green” world, marches what must be “leatherwood”…smelling suspiciously like cedar-cumin. The Beat’s pepper note is subtle and its woods are mid-strength (and just a tad “sweaty” and vanillic). There’s nothing to dislike about The Beat; it’s well done, but certainly not edgy, let alone cutting-edge. Christopher Bailey likes the word “effortless” and the The Beat is “effortless”: layer some DSquared2 HeWood with Gucci Pour Homme and you approximate the scent of The Beat — but with a livelier tempo and louder volume.

Burberry The Beat for Men is available in 50 and 75 ml Eau de Toilette.

*Women's Wear Daily, 8/22/08

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm almost completely certain I smelled this, and yet I can't remember for the life of me. I know for sure I smelled the women's version, and did not like it. This doesn't really surprise me though; I don't think I've ever liked a Burberry fragrance.

  2. Anonymous says:

    PC: I've never gotten too excited over a Burberry fragrance either.

  3. Anonymous says:

    is burberrys new head designer hedi slimane? (jk)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Kevin you are too generous. Those models do not look 20! I work in a high school and 14 yrs old kids look older than that.

    Those of us looking a smidge older and tipping the scale at… sligtly over 130 will have to ignore this add.

    However, I think that this is one that I might get simply because of the flask. I do love this flask sooooo much!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Kevin: I once weighed 130. Yes, as an adult. (What can I say… I am SHORT.)

    I like a few Burberry fragrances quite a bit, and I'll be keen to try this one, even if it's not “edgy.” I agree that the bottle is really nice. I should add that I've come to love HeWood and definitely must have a small bottle at some point. Thanks for the review.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Errggh .. I find the tone of the ad — and the models — highly unappealing! I do have The Beat for women, though, and I have to admit I've grown very fond of it. No, it's not exciting or cutting edge, but it's nicely done and has a warmth to it I like. Therefore I was curious about the men's fragrance. Thanks for the review!

  7. Anonymous says:

    This seems to be for a very specific demographic, like the people who like Pete Doherty or something

  8. Anonymous says:

    Meh. I would totally wear a fragrance called Leatherwood, though. And I am not sure I am on board with calling those wan, delicate creatures “men.” How 'bout Beat for Boys?

  9. Anonymous says:

    You raise an interesting point. I think the target consumer's got to be someone who wants to *date* one of those boys. So it's … 16-year-old girls and gay men? And me. I'm old enough to be their mommy, but I'll take the pretty one in the upper-left-hand corner.

    — March, your #1 cougar fan

  10. Anonymous says:

    Krok: but CLEANER for sure! (or at least cleaner looking!)

  11. Anonymous says:

    March! HAHA! So THAT'S your type! Since I live with a JEALOUS type, I can't tell you which one I like best….

  12. Anonymous says:

    Platinum: I'm always guessing people older than they are…NOT a good trait let me tell ya! One of the men is an artist's manager…so I assumed no artist would let himself be managed by a TEEN! HA!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Joe: yes, height makes a difference…who knows how tall the models are? I may have misguessed their weight. Get a 30ml HeWood. I actually LOVE the HeWood/Gucci Pour Homme layering…very energizing.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Jill: you're welcome. These ads just feel “blah” to me…I'll have to look and see if there's a film ad.

  15. Anonymous says:

    March…something about 'Beat for Boys' sounds X-rated…and ILLEGAL!!!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don't like any in the first picture but Johnny Epstein looks kind of cute.

    According to his myspace he is 25

  17. Anonymous says:

    Am intrigued. Not a fan of He Wood nor Gucci Pour Homme though. Nice bottle.

  18. Anonymous says:

    PC, I have an almost similar problem. I keep trying the Burberry line, but nothing remains in my memory and nothing stays on me. I dont know what accounts for this ? I tried to like Burberry Brit Red, but the scent died within minutes. Weird ! But I smell other perfumes and they definitely stay and I can remember how they smell after going home from the store. Burberry and I seem to not notice each other :)

  19. Anonymous says:

    Kevin´s comment made me laugh out loud !!!!! TRUE !!!! hahahahaha

  20. Anonymous says:

    PolarB: thankfully, other perfumes abound, right?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Right ! I have TRIED so much to love this set of perfumes, but it doesnt love me back. LOL So I have decided to let loose my selective amnesia. :)

  22. Anonymous says:

    I'll have to agree with you there – I'd be afraid that I was going to snap one of them in half. I definitely prefer men who have more muscle than I do – maybe they're going for a more unisex scent? Hence the androgynous boys?

    Or I'm just way, way out of their demographic on this one.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Anybody remember the Calvin Klein ads from the 90s where half-naked, questionable-aged youths were photographed in front of 70s style wood paneling? It looked like cheap kiddie porn shot in some pervert's basement. I don't know why but this ad gives me a similar squicky vibe.

  24. Anonymous says:

    LeMaroc: I remember, but I don't get that vibe at all from The Beat advertising…just looks like the guys are looking down at someone who's fainted during the photo shoot. “Hey, man, you OK?”

  25. Anonymous says:

    And I'm pretty certain he fainted from hunger.

    I think “get them some sandwiches” might be an appropriate remark.

  26. Anonymous says:

    probably fainted from HUNGER …..they do look pretty scrawny….maybe they'll bulk up a little when they reach their late teens…..oh, wait…I forgot…these are men….maybe to the Brit's.

    Am I being mean? oh well….I don't care! Someone get those boys some sandwiches!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I'm not sure why I get that but it's the first thing I thought of when I saw it. But I also get that same “squicky” feeling when I see a pic of Pete Doherty or Tom Meighan (Kasabian). I'm all for androgyny but give me David Bowie or even The New York Dolls over these guys any day! (Sorry, I know, my age is showing.)

  28. Anonymous says:

    hahaha Joe! Either we think alike or it's lunchtime…..let me think….yes! I am hungry…someone bring ME a sandwich!

  29. Anonymous says:

    LOL – maybe that's what that feeling is – they look so hollow and starved it makes my low blood sugar kick in! Yep, that's me on the ground after a hypoglycemia attack.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Or Peter Murphy ;)

  31. Anonymous says:

    Ohhh, yes! And Daniel Ash. And David Sylvian.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Yes! I remember everyone getting upset at the ads because of the “look”….

  33. Anonymous says:

    I'm 19 and 110 pounds (and 5'0″ so its not as bad as it sounds)

    I don't know how much my friend weighs but he's 19 and skinnier than those models. He has some type of problem that causes him to not gain weight, so technically he isn't “healthy” but its how he naturally is.

    some people are just skinny!!!!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    krok, I agree, some people are just naturally skinny and I don't think anyone is implying that these young guys are intentionally starving themselves to look that way. The point under all the joking is probably more that they are quite thin and very young looking thus making the target demographic very young indeed.

    As for your guy friend who is so skinny naturally—as long as he is eating healthy foods and in sufficient quantities (and his family doctor says he's okay with no serious underlying illness) then he'll be just fine. My youngest brother is 6'4″ and skinny as a stick!!! Eats everything in sight (seriously: hide food you want for yourself!) and everyone was so worried until he hit about 25 or 26 then he sort of filled out (a little) —he's still very slim and still eats like horse but that's just the way he is.

  35. Anonymous says:

    but this is specifically for for the people who like Kasbian, they even said so.

    I wouldn't consider these models to be androgynous…

    this is more androgynous to me


    he treats the Comet Awards like it is a Burberry photoshoot, they might as well gotten him to model for the ads. I doubt Burberry would want their product attached to his name though lololol

  36. Anonymous says:

    I wasn't offended, per se, I just thought they were u-g-l-y! And they were on the side of every city bus and in every magazine. Blech.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Okay, back to the juice…. I tried this on yesterday, hoping to like it as I find the women's too sweet. When you can smell the violet leaf for the first hour or two, it's pleasant. After that, it's the houseguest who won't friggin' leave.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Well At least you got to smell it!

    I ran to my local Sephora after reading this acticle. I wanted to smell it too.

    They treated me like I was just landing on Earth from Jupiter.

    “Oh no sir! There is no such thing as Burburry The Beat for men. It's only for women. You must have read it wrong. If there was such a thing we would know!”

  39. Anonymous says:

    platinum: goodness! (and you live in San Francisco, right?)

  40. Anonymous says:


    Toronto Canada!

  41. APassionateJourney says:

    I Looove this stuff! This or Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme might be my next scents

  42. Tom Smith says:

    Pard on the late comment – reading though archives.

    I would just like to point out that there really doesn’t need to be anything “edgy or cutting-edge” about it. Particularly given that the musical references and model photos are decidedly retro affectations, harkening to the Mod generation.

    It would follow that a scent to evoke such a tired and over-cited era of music would be relatively safe.

    Having said that, I do like the scent on my roommate. Not necessarily my cup of tea, but nice

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