Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her ~ perfume review

Burberry Brit Rhythm for Women

So, Burberry as a fragrance house, yay or meh or nay? I've been mostly in the meh camp. The original Burberry Brit was a fun, pear-based fruity floral before pear became so annoyingly ubiquitous, and although it wasn't my thing, I thought a couple of the flankers (particularly Brit Red and Brit Gold) were pretty good. The Beat was ok, although I thought the limited edition Beat Elixir version was so much better that I didn't see why it wasn't released as the "main" fragrance (it's the only Burberry fragrance I own, and I still wear it from time to time). I did not much care for Burberry London, and ditto for Burberry Body.

All of which might explain why I did not have especially high hopes for Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her. It didn't help that Kevin was not enthralled with the men's version (I didn't get around to smelling it, but we agree more often than not). And the rock music inspiration / backstory, hey, that's getting a little old, isn't it?1 The Beat hardly lived up to its 'edgy, carnal, slightly wild' musical inspirations, and I rather doubted Brit Rhythm for Her would live up to this number, from the capsule fashion collection Burberry launched in conjunction with the fragrance:

Burberry Brit Rhythm studded leather jacket

The jacket, by the way, is $4995, and there are also shoes, jeans, handbags, sunglasses and whatnot, many of them with fewer studs and a smaller price tag. The Brit Rhythm advertising, meanwhile, featuring Suki Waterhouse, is curiously unmusical (see the commercial here) — it seems to be about being a star more than about rock music.

But the Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her fragrance was a pleasant surprise. No, it's not edgy, and no, it's not what I'd pick to live up to the jacket, but that's business as usual, right? If you want an edgy fragrance, you're not likely to find it from a designer brand promising an edgy fragrance — the brand's description of Brit Rhythm as having "a rock ’n’ roll edge" with "powdery softness" is accurate mostly about the latter part, the powdery softness. It's a very soft, powdery, 'veil of scent' sort of thing, à la Cartier Baiser Volé, Prada Infusion d'Iris, Lolita Lempicka L'Eau en Blanc, & etc. & etc., although it's warmer than most, and here, the theme is lavender. Sort of. Nathalie Cetto, one of the two perfumes who developed Brit Rhythm (the other was Antoine Maisondieu), noted that:

We are very proud — this is the first feminine fragrance created around lavender. English lavender is more aromatic [than French], and it was important for us to have an English ingredient.

Fine,2 but in case you're either afraid of lavender, or a huge lavender freak, do be aware that it's a very modern, completely de-clawed lavender, with absolutely nothing sharp or spiky about it (it's almost certainly a molecular fraction). Brit Rhythm is bright, citrus-y, and mildly fruity at the start, with plenty (and then some) of pink pepper. The floral notes are vague and easy, the lavender is mild and quiet, like a lavender soap, and the whole thing is laid over a middling-dark bed of powdery, slightly earthy iris and musky woods (the notes: English lavender, pink pepper, neroli, orris, blackberry leaves, orange blossom, petalia (peony), vetiver, musks and woods).

Verdict: I like Brit Rhythm. It's just warm enough to stand up nicely to cold weather. It's not too young or too pinkified or too silly: right there, it's likely to be better than half the new releases this year. Still, I wish they'd given it a little more oomph —  just a little more bite to the lavender, maybe, or a stronger orange blossom note, or both? As it is, it's nice enough to wear, but a wee bit too bland to inspire love or loyalty, especially given the multitude of perfumes in this style on the market right now. A darker, more intense flanker would be welcome, although the way things are going lately we're more likely to get a green-hued Brit Rhythm L'Eau.

burberry-brit-rhythm-her-trio-s

Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her is available in 30, 50 ($70) and 90 ($90) ml Eau de Toilette, and in matching body products including 50 ml Hair Mist ($40).

1. Burberry designer Christopher Bailey says that Brit Rhythm “is aiming to capture the emotion, excitement and attitude attached to live music. It’s really that kind of adrenaline feeling that you get from music. The effect of hairs rising on the back of your neck. The moment where you are anticipating your favorite band coming on, or when you are listening to a beautiful piece. It’s a sexy fragrance because I think there is a sexiness to that kind of rock ’n’ roll world.” Women's Wear Daily, 12/20/2013.

2. Although if you'd like a reminder of a few of the feminine lavenders that preceded this one, see the comments to the fragrance announcement.

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29 Comments

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  1. sayitisntso says:

    Never been tempted to sniff even one Burberry scent. It’s simply not a brand that appeals to me. But yea! for the 30 ml size. It is me or am I seeing that size option offered more regularly?

    • Robin says:

      Yes, much more regularly the last couple years, & also more 10 ml rollerballs, but still I only rarely see them in stores.

  2. TF says:

    I was also surprised by this one, since I don’t really like Burberry’s other scents. Although I am no lavender afficionado (I most just use the essential oil to help me sleep), I am happy that there is finally a mainstream lavender fragrance for women out there (don’t really know of any others). Hopefully it will introduce the note to the younger generation Burberry seems to be targeting.

    • Robin says:

      So did you like this one though, or was it still too much lavender?

      • TF says:

        Oh, I did like it! Not enough to buy, but I found more interesting than the average release.

    • Merlin says:

      I find lavender essential oil to smell better than many lavender perfumes out there. (including Antiheros and Gris Claire).

  3. Bronyraur says:

    I always imagine a rock and roll scent to have leather or rubber with rose and/or patchouli in it. ElDo’s Rossy De Palma comes to mind!

    • Robin says:

      That would work! And I shouldn’t have implied nothing from mainstream would work, there’s always Bvlgari Black, and I think Hypnotic Poison or Gucci Rush would work too.

      • TF says:

        Concur with the Bvlgari Black! I love Hypnotic Poison but usually wear it when I want something comforting (it’s like a cozy sweater to me) so it’s not what I comes to mind when I think of rock and roll!

        • Robin says:

          Yeah, I guess it’s a comfort scent. Ok, Midnight Poison then :-)

          • Merlin says:

            I nominate Bal a Versailles. And if masculines are allowed, Farenheit, perhaps:)

          • Merlin says:

            But then if we go retro – I guess Paloma Picasso might win. Unfortunately I can’t wear it as it makes me sneeze. Vroom vroom, move over – I’m a biker with allergies!

          • Robin says:

            All of those would work!

  4. Merlin says:

    Some other ladies lavenders were mentioned in the announcement post, so I agree its not the innovation that Burberry was suggesting. But, it is relatively infrequent compared to florals like, jasmine, rose, iris, peony, lily, and maybe even osmanthus. As always my favorite variations are either ‘masculines’ or unisex, lol! Caron Pour un Homme (for a man, really?) and if Lutens Fourreau Noir in wax sample is anything to go by then –

    Think I’ll give the Burberry a skip! (by the way I loved the bottle/flask of The Beat Elixir – the actual perfume started rubbing me up the wrong way and I had to gift it, but I did regret having to lose the bottle!)

    • Robin says:

      I would agree — it’s rare.

      I put on some Beat Elixir while I wrote this, & do still like it. Not the opening as much as the dry down, admittedly…I love that smoky tea note.

      • Robin says:

        And will add — the Elixir version, at least, has way more oomph than Brit Rhythm. If I remember the “regular” Burberry Beat accurately, which I well may not, it was about as tame as this.

      • Merlin says:

        I had just started falling down the famed rabbit hole and everyone I asked seemed to like the Elixir on me. I almost liked it but found something slightly jarring. Instead of reconciling myself to the odd aspect (as I had hoped to do), the jarring just became intolerable. So the lesson at that point was – love it yourself, or don’t bother. The second lesson might be – keep it around for a decade in case you change your mind. But I’ll only fully learn that lesson if i actually smell it and suddenly find myself in love, lol!

  5. smartylicious says:

    I liked the original Brit, to this day I think it remains one of the best mainstream/dept. store gourmand scents, although it is mostly about almond to me than it is about pear. I thought it was well done, especially at that time, and the I liked the original Brit for Men too.

    Not a fan of Brit Rhythm though. I’m meh about it, on me it smelled very linear and pretty much like clean sheets and soap. Which of course is not a bad smell at all, just not enough to justify buying a fragrance for me. I get the same effect by just taking a shower and wearing clean clothes LOL

    • Robin says:

      You know, I did not think all that much of Brit when it came out, but in retrospect, it’s so much better than many others of its kind. Shame they don’t still make the Red & Gold versions. Great bottles, too.

      I’m going to be really surprised if Brit Rhythm has many repeat sales.

    • Poppie says:

      I am crazy over lavender in most of it’s forms, it is my go to comfort and relax scent, I think it goes back to the Argo brand laundry starch my mother used when I was little. Happy, safe associations.

      My favorite is the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Lavender that they came out with a couple of years ago, it is hard to find now. It’s not a deep or really complex scent, just one that is, to me, smooth, clean and comforting. I spray it on my pillow when I can’t sleep.

      Other lavenders, like soaps, dry flower sachets, and the essential oil, tend to be bracing and wake up scents for me — some annoyingly harsh enough to make me sneeze, but I still like them when the ‘edge’ dries down.

      I have to try this one.

      Any suggestions for laundry products that leave a lot of residual lavender?

      • Robin says:

        I know Downy makes a lavender, but haven’t tried it, sorry!

  6. kaos.geo says:

    I’m curious… how does it stack up to Brin de Reglisse? (My current favourite lavander)
    My other fav lavander is L’occitane’s….. the 500ml aluminum bath foam is lovely

    • Robin says:

      Oh, gosh, not even close. But I’m a huge fan of Brin de Reglisse.

      The L’Occitane is way more focused on lavender than Brit Rhythm. It’s hard to emphasize enough how soft the lavender is in BR.

  7. egabbert says:

    I’ll give it a sniff. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few flankers lately … what’s going on?!

    • Robin says:

      I have too…there are so many of them that a few are bound to be good, right? This one is a flanker in name only, though, it has literally no relationship to the original & the bottle isn’t even all that similar. Which is too bad, I loved the original plaid bottle.

  8. hajusuuri says:

    My favorite Burberry Brit flanker is Burberry Brit Sheer. I actually used up a 50 mL bottle and bought a back-up pre-falling into the rabbit hole.

    I had tried Rhythm at Nordstrom 2 weeks ago and thought it was pleasant enough although not FB worthy. I’ll probably buy the travel atomizer and get it filled with Rhythm.

    Robin, dd your Nordstrom reinstate this option of filling a travel atomizer?

    • Robin says:

      I don’t even know, I haven’t asked them lately. I’ll try to remember to find out next time I go.

      And I can’t remember Brit Sheer, but I know lots of people love it. Is it just a lighter version of Brit — pear + almond?

  9. JackJReese says:

    Does anyone else find it strange that an ENTIRE clothing line released in conjunction with the perfume sells the rock and roll theme to epitomize the perfume.. but said it’s more along the lines of powdery softness and citrusy? So confused.

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