I am interrupting my current slew of travel posts for an important news flash!
Since the early days of Bonkers, I have been a champion of the "way cheaper than chips" range of perfume from European (mostly grocery) discount chain Lidl. I was the first - and quite possibly the only - reviewer to detect a marked similarity between its fruity floral Suddenly D'Or and Ghost Luminous.
Now a 50ml bottle of Ghost Luminous will set you back about £25 vs Suddenly D'Or's phenomenonally bargain price of £3.99. And now it has come to my attention that Lidl may have topped this discount feat with its latest fragrance release, the rather cheesily named Suddenly Madame Glamour. For according to an article in the News of The World, which broke the story yesterday (as we have come to expect the NOTW to do with any matter of vital public interest : - ) ), in blind tests involving 150 women Lidl's Suddenly Madame Glamour knocked the sequins off that iconic stalwart, Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle (with a price ticket of £61). A staggering 91% of respondents - whom we must assume were a representative sample of the population at large - preferred the cheaper scent.
Of course the lavish TV ad campaign for Coco Mademoiselle is fronted by the elfin beauty Keira Knightley, so the NOTW couldn't resist a teasing reference to her brand being "sniffed at". Lidl, meanwhile, doesn't do any advertising that I have noticed, other than to stuff flyers into my local newspaper. It is therefore all the more of a coup for Suddenly Madame Glamour to have apparently trounced a scent with such a luxurious advertising spend versus one which, like most Lidl products, will be merchandised in its cardboard outer case (the so-called "ready to sell" retail concept). Which isn't very glamorous at all, come to think of it!! But there again the price makes you feel like a million dollars. Or makes you feel that you have saved over 50 quid, at least...!
And wouldn't you just love to know who the perfumer is who has gone and pulled off this wizard stunt?
So does it smell like Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle? I infer that Coco Mademoiselle is the scent Suddenly Madame Glamour most closely resembles, or else it wouldn't have been directly pitched against it. But maybe not - Coco Mademoiselle may simply have been chosen as an example of an extremely successful scent from a well known brand, arguably the most famous perfume house of them all.
Sadly I haven't managed to get hold of Madame Glamour yet. With its cheap and cheerful store model, my local Lidl doesn't advertise its phone number, and the central customer service line is (perhaps predictably) "busy helping other callers". If I get a chance later today, I will drive down and see if I can score a bottle, but I fear it may have already sold out, as the NOTW article suggests.
Has anyone reading this tried it? Got a bottle even? Will you let us know what you make of it? My curiosity about this scent is so great that it has unleashed an uncharacteristic flurry of questions!
Now I don't have the note information - I had quite a job getting hold of the ones for Lidl Suddenly D'Or, though I managed it in the end - but the press release for Suddenly Madame Glamour mentions "fresh citrus and floral notes merging to an alluring, exotic oriental accord", adding that it is a "timeless, affordable and classic fragrance".
Does that sound like Coco Mademoiselle to you? Hmmm...not sure...perhaps it was just picked for its iconic stalwartness after all. What is interesting about all this is that I have always thought of Coco Mademoiselle as a crowd pleaser, as a scent that it is awfully hard not to like. It is not as though in that blind test Suddenly Madame Glamour was up against Jicky or Rochas Femme - or Caron Narcisse Noir, God forbid. Or some terrifying oud number of which there are any number of candidates to choose from.
So if Suddenly Madame Glamour has pipped such a universally popular fragrance, that really is quite something...
I have now caught up with this scent and conducted side by side tests with Coco Mademoiselle, to which Suddenly Madame Glamour compares very favourably on the whole. See my later post on 30th June here for the lowdown on the "big sniff off"...!
On Radio 4's You and Yours programme today (28.11.13) there was a feature on cheap / supermarket perfumes that are good imitations of more expensive scents, and Suddenly Madame Glamour got a resounding thumbs up! You can catch the broadcast here.
Photos of Lidl stores from en.wikipedia.org and notbornyesterday.org, photo of Keira Knightley from beyondhollywood.com