Good things come in small packages, so goes the old saying, and, using the new Ben Sherman men’s fragrance as an example, I say good things come in ugly packages, too. I think the Ben Sherman bottle is the most unsightly perfume bottle of last year; it looks like a cubist choo-choo made out of cheap, lightweight plastic.
Though the bottle is beyond Avon-Ugly, Ben Sherman, the fragrance, is one of my favorite men’s mainstream releases of last year. The perfume features notes of tangerine, bergamot, lemon, lime, mint, cardamom, nutmeg, incense, patchouli, cedar, vanilla musk, vetiver, hay, coffee and amber.
Ben Sherman starts off with cardamom-flavored coffee, rich and almost ‘malted.’ The scent is “cloudy”/creamy (like a liquor-y coffee cocktail). I smell a hint of smokiness as the fragrance develops: incense plus cedar and spearmint. (There is a kinship between Ben Sherman and Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Coffee during Ben Sherman’s early development.)
Ben Sherman starts off by presenting dense “base notes” and proceeds to lighter weight, shimmering notes. As Ben Sherman’s rich aromas fade, a summery lime, vetiver and hay accord appears; this is my favorite part of Ben Sherman, and this happy aroma has me yearning for a vacation in southern Italy or Provence…somewhere with warm breezes, blue skies and fields full of wildflowers in full bloom. (I know…my fantasy must wait six months for the seasons to change.)
Ben Sherman Eau de Toilette has good lasting power and sillage; it’s currently a Nordstrom exclusive in the US and is available in 50 and 100 ml ($55/$78).