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Monday, 27 June 2011

Lidl Suddenly Madame Glamour: Has Keira's Coco Campaign Been K.O.'ed By A Cardboard Case?

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...


UPDATE

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"...!

UPDATE 2!

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

77 comments:

  1. Oh, dear; I find myself in the awkward position of *hoping you will go on a road trip* in order to perform of all things *research.* If I promise not to text you a fresh 42-page document in need of being printed out and distributed to everyone on staff at the -- what is it? Lidl? -- would you allow me to egg you on in the name of Perfume Knowledge??

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  2. Hi ScentScelf,

    Egg away - I already have the eggy bit between my teeth. Yes, if I don't come up trumps on Wednesday in my local area, over the course of my next two trips this summer I will scour every Lidl I come across between here and Slovenia till I secure a bottle. : - )

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  3. In the spirit of sharing, V, I've got an earworm of Dusty Springfield singing "Lidl by Lidl by Lidl by Lidl" now!

    Never knew that they sold perfume, though. I'll check the local store (to save you the journey) but it is a smallish store so I can't promise anything.

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

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  4. Hi all. I picked up a bottle from my local Lidl in Maidstone today after reading about Madame Glamour in the NOTW yesterday. I was expecting them to be sold out but there were loads of bottles on the shelf. I am actually very impressed with it, it smells like it should be expensive and i can still smell it after i sprayed it 4 hours ago. I would definately recommend it :)

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  5. Anna in Edinburgh, which Lidl are you checking? The S Clerk St one? I could rekkie the Gorgie Rd one, if SCS is a blank.

    Mind you, I would like to know what their memorably named aftershave - 'Eruption' - resembles.

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  6. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks so much for coming through to tell us you snagged a bottle, and that it lives up to the hype. Not that it has all that much to prove at £3.99, but it sounds like it smells considerably more expensive, AND has staying power. Unfortunately Maidstone is the opposite end of the country to me, but I am pleased it is still knocking about in certain stores. Maybe I will get lucky on Wednesday when I try again. Thanks for the feedback!

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  7. Hi Anna,

    "Lidl by Lidl" - oh dearie me! The Germans call it "Leedl" actually, but maybe they also have an old pop song with that pronounciation in it... : - )

    Thanks for recce-ing your local store - looks like Hazel in Edinburgh is also on the case. Between you you have got it covered, it seems!

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  8. Hi Hazel,

    Taking care not to confuse SCS (S Clerk St) with SCS the furniture superstore... : - )

    Thanks for carving up the Lidls of Edinburgh between you and Anna. Is an aftershave called Eruption even safe to put on skin?

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  9. Hi again Anonymous of Maidstone,

    Forgot to ask whether you reckon Madame Glamour smells like Coco Mlle, if you are also familiar with that scent?

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  10. Hello V (and Hazel),

    The Gorgie/Dalry Lidl didn't have it on the shelf; just a few bottles of Suddenly Fleurs (I think it was) and Suddenly d'Or. To show willing, and to encourage them in the perfume trade, I bought the Suddenly d'Or edp.

    No sign of "Eruption", sadly;-)

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

    PS They say "Leedl" in Ireland too, but I've still got the Divine Dusty singing in my head.

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  11. Well ladies - I bought a bottle of "Suddenly" Madame Glamour, and surprisingly it's very nice -Lets not debate a bottle of £3.99 purfume, it's never going to be Amazing. But it's O.K for work. post me your address and i'll send you a bottle. Kerry Randall - Bridgend Wales.

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    Replies
    1. I did yesterday for a xmas pressy.. x but love it myself xx

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  12. Hi Anna,

    I have a bottle of the Suddenly D'Or and it is a pretty good dupe of the Ghost scent, though it doesn't set my world alight. I hope you feel it was worth £4.00! The Fleurs one didn't really grab me, I seem to recall.

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  13. Hi Kerry!

    Thanks for coming through with that feedback and the kind offer to post a bottle. I wasn't able to click on your link to get your details but if you could drop me a line at flittersniffer@gmail.com I will give you my address and we could sort out payment logistics etc. Cheers!

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  14. You are so hilarious! That title is gold! :D
    The Lidl, by Lidl song, well, since you put up the question whether the pronunciation Leedl also conjures a pop song - well, a Leedl (Liedl) IS a song, a small one. ;) Perfect.
    Will have an eye out for the perfume, if it warrants a post from you, it certainly warrants a sniff. :)

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  15. Hey Olfactoria,

    Liedl - small song - of course!!

    Let me know if you catch up with this one in Austria. They don't have the News of the World over there, so unless the Krone gets hold of the story, there shouldn't be a run on stocks as over here! : - )

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  16. Well, you're oficially an enabler. :)
    A friend of mine works for Lidl and is currently in Germany so I asked him yesterday to procure a bottle of this in the name of research purposes. ;) It cost 4 euros and I believe he's visiting for the weekend so it should be here then.
    So, for research purposes, I'd be happy to send some over if you can't find it.

    P.S. I'm still hoping you'll be close enough (and long enough) in SLovenia for at least a coffee. :)

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  17. Whey hey, Ines!

    Glad to have prompted a pan-European flurry of Lidl perfume buying. They should be sending me a bottle really, for helping get the word out!

    Thanks for standing by with a sample, though it looks like I may be able to get it now. I am still hoping to hook up with you later in the summer - I start making appointments soon and will plan the Central European trip for when people are not on holiday, basically, some time in August if people were around, or failing that, early September. "Close enough (and long enough)" sums it up. I will do my level best to make those two things happen as it would be great to meet you!

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  18. I'm just sitting here on the Lidl deck, lounging about, watching the European traffic go by, and enjoying the reports...

    ::Breaks into song: "Lidl, whoa oh oh ohhhhh oh oh oh oh..." and does the Lidl shuffle::

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  19. "Lidl bit of this, Lidl bit of that, oh-oh..."

    Such an entertaining post! Isn't it interesting how the gap between discount supermarket / drugstore perfumes and the pricier ones promoted in department stores is narrowing.

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  20. Hi ScentScelf,

    Would that be the Lidl deck of the bay by any chance?

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  21. Hi axum,

    Thanks for stopping by - and breaking into song like a few of the other commenters! Lidl seems to be having that effect on people.

    And yes, the quality gap appears to be closing. I suppose it is often the same noses, just with more or less cash to splash.

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  22. Hello,
    Apparently on The Wright Stuff yesterday they did a blind test between this and Coco Mademoiselle and they chose the Lidl version as the best scent! I will be going to check out Lidl today but I don't hold much hope as I also heard someone talking about it at the gym this morning. If they don't have it I was planning on buying Thierry Mugler Angel, can't have a wasted trip ;)

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  23. I bought this scent after the article in the NOTW on Sunday. I have never smelled Coco Mmlle but was willing to try the Lidle scent in the name of research! I am pleasantly surprised. For such a cheap perfume it lasts all day, does not have that chemical, powdery smell that cheap perfumes have and it was still in place (and dare I say it smelling nicer than ever) in the evening when I got home.

    As a previous poster said, it won't set your world alight but for the office it's perfect. And if it is similar to Coco M. then why pay for the packaging!

    PS my store in Enfield had plenty and I may now go back on Saturday to try the D'Or!

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  24. Hi Carol An,

    Nice to hear another test session confirms the original findings. Good luck with your Lidl foray - I take it you would have to go to another shop to get Angel, though in truth you never know what products are going to turn up in Lidl from one day to the next. Apparently the staff don't know either!

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  25. Hi Anonymous in Enfield!

    Thanks so much for the field report and am happy to hear the Madame Glamour met - and possibly exceeded - your expectations. Check out a Coco Mlle tester next time you are in Boots and see how you think they compare.

    Fruity florals are not a favourite fragrance family of mine especially, but I thought the Suddenly D'Or also avoided the overtly cheap, chemically scent you mention.

    Meanwhile, Madame Glamour has made it to Lidl in Cannock, but that is rather out of my way, so I am rooting for it to turn up in Stafford tomorrow, as Customer Services (whom I rang back this morning) suggested it might!

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  26. Vanessa, sounds like you will be inundated with samples before too long. I am definitely going to try the Suddenly D'Or.

    I must say, as I sit here on this midly warm day, I am getting delightful wafts of this Suddenly Madam Glamour. I am afraid to mention it to too many people in case my Enfield branch runs out!! I think I would definitely buy again.

    PS my usual perfume is Mitsouku by Guerlain and Chanel No. 5 so you couldn't get much different! So a definite thumbs up from me esp the price!

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  27. Hi again, Anonymous of Enfield!

    I was most interested to hear about your other perfume likes. Mitsouko I admire but find too "difficult" personally. But good old Luca Turin of Perfumes: The Guide considers it to be the best perfume ever made, so for a Mitsy devotee like yourself to give such a ringing endorsement to a four quidder scent from Lidl is accolade indeed!

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  28. I have "read" Pefumes: the Guide - as in browsed through my favourite perfumes to see what he has to say about them!

    I do hope you won't be disappointed when you finally get hold of a bottle of Suddenly! Please don't blame me!

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  29. Hi Anonymous of Enfield,

    Don't worry, I won't blame you - I had already worked up a head of steam / curiosity about this perfume without outside encouragement! But it is very helpful feedback.

    : - )

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  30. oh V, you cannot imagine how my heart lifted when I saw the Lidl photo on opening up. Sad I know, but it's the end of a long day and Lidl is my corner shop :) I'll have a look tomorrow, as I need to stock up on 95p Dove deodorant and a few other things. Shall I pick one up for you if they have it, or are you sorted now? I love Chanel 5 too so I'm quite excited and perfume for under a fiver barely counts as spending.

    On the song front, one of my friends creased me up with "Lidl shop, Lidl shop of horrors..."

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  31. Hi mixedbabygreens,

    I hope you are lucky - I don't have your part of the country down as a hotbed of NOTW readers, certainly.

    I shan't know if I am sorted till tomorrow when I check with my local store to see if they have had a delivery, so if you were planning on going in the morning don't defer on my account! I am sure I will catch up with some eventually, even if I have to go all the way to Cannock, which I hope to avoid. The petrol would cost more than the scent. : - ) Though as you rightly say, "perfume for under a fiver barely counts as spending".

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  32. Sadly, my local Lidl has no perfume at all, not even the Ghost-alike. I'll keep an eye out for it coming in.

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  33. Hi mixedbabygreens,

    Well thanks a lot for trying! My local Lidl has still not had it in, though I bid on a bottle on Ebay this morning. : - )

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  34. ananymous enfield17 July 2011 at 08:48

    Anonymous Enfield here. Just to say that I now wear this every day and EVERYONE comments on how lovely it is. It is still lovely at the end of the day - not chemical at all. Alas I cannot get hold of any more at present although I have a round trip route I do every week to my 3 local(ish) LIDLS.

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  35. Hi Anonymous Enfield!

    Love your new name - it is appreciated to be able to distinguish between the various anonymouses who post here! : - )

    So glad that Madame Glamour is coming up trumps and you are getting some complimentary feedback. My local Lidl never did get this in, would you believe, and Cien deodorants have now taken up permanent residence where the perfume should have been (and where the original two scents used to be - now also sold out).

    I was lucky to catch one of the remaining bottles in neighbouring Cannock - it was a smart move to go when I did, because that may well have been the last of their stocks for a while.

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  36. AnonymousEnfield (Sue) here - So have you tried it yet Vanessa? What do you think? Takes a couple of days to get used to it but I bet you'll love it (for what it is and the value of it!) I popped into one of my local Lidls this morning and bought 2 bottles as they've just taken delivery of stock. I guarantee it will be sold out again by tomorrow though!

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  37. Hi Sue!

    Well done for scoring some more bottles! You may not have caught up with my later post on this saga, where I talk about my side-by-side test vs Coco Mlle. Here's the link, or you can find it in the "popular posts" sidebar.

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/2011/06/lidl-suddenly-madame-glamour-sniffing.html

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  38. Bought a bottle on Saturday, shelves were full. I have to say it's lovely and my 18 year old daughter also thinks it's great. I did have a bottle of Chanel in my loo as an air freshener, but this has now been replaced by Madame Glamour. Three hours after spraying, the downstairs bathroom is filled with a fresh classy fragrance.

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  39. Hi Anonymous,

    How very luxurious to use Chanel scent as an air freshener! : - )

    I am glad you are finding Madame Glamour to be a worthy successor. Would you and your daughter also consider wearing it on skin?

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  40. Sarah -
    My mum has been been waiting for this perfume since it was first talked about in the paper weeks ago, running back and forth to Lidl's, for about two weeks now! and she was told last week that our local shop wouldn't be getting it in again until NOVEMBER!!! She was very disappointed. . . . . .until today when we popped in Lidl's and they had got a suprise delivery of a box this morning!! She bought two, and she's glad she did because she loves it! ........only problem is, NOW I WANT SOME!!!

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  41. Hi Sarah,

    Well, I am glad your mum's scurrying to and from her local store has paid off at last - I did a bit of that myself, though struck lucky sooner, I'd say. The problem seems to be that Lidl branches often don't know what they are getting or when.

    Is there any way your mum could let you have one of her two bottles? In the spirit of family harmony - and given that 50ml is a lot of perfume for one person to get through - I'd say that would be the fairest arrangement!

    : - )

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  42. Sarah -
    I now own my own bottle! My local lidl had, had more deliveries since yesterday! 3 boxes, and they were going fast! one box was full (about 20) one had about 6 in and the other was empty!
    I have to admit I am addicted to the smell! lovely! (Yeah my mum would have let me have one of her's. . . . . if she ever stops straying it!) ;)

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  43. Hi Sarah,

    Well, that's a good outcome! I am glad your mum would have shared her stash, but now you have enough perfume to keep you both going for some time to come. Well, at the rate your mum is spraying the stuff, maybe not all that long after all!

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  44. I work in a Lidl store and when the story was released about the perfume we could not sell enough of it, everyone thought it was a new product but we have sold it for ages, just goes to show what a bit of publicity can do! And yes I did buy a bottle, it is very nice but does not have that all day linger that the more expensive perfumes tend to have, but at that price who cares!

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  45. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for dropping in! It is interesting to have someone comment who actually works for Lidl. Well, well - I didn't realise it is not a new product - that is certainly not the impression the media gave, as you say! When did it come out then, do you recall? I have not seen it in my local store till now, and I do look at that section as a rule, but its absence in my particular area is not necessarily indicative of anything!

    Oh, and I agree about Madame Glamour's lack of lasting power, but at the price who cares indeed!

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  46. Hi Vanessa, Sue here. just read your blog. No, it doesn't last as long as a more expensive perfume, but as you say for £3.99 I can live with that. Plus everyone around me seems to love it, sniffing me all the time. If I didn't know I'd showered that morning I'd get quite paranoid!!

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  47. Hi Sue,

    I am so pleased that your new scent is attracting all this attention - and that you know it has to be the perfume causig such a stir! They really have done a blinder with this one - I would love to know who is the perfumer who pulled off such a clever stunt, but I am sure we will never be told...

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  48. Vanessa, I know. Can't quite believe I'm wearing £3.99 perfume while my Mitsoukou is left lonely on my dressing table but there you go. I'm discovering my cheap side, what can I say!!

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  49. Hi Sue,

    Haha, yes, it is good to have a cheap side - keeps things real! : - )

    I am working over in Germany at the moment, and stocked up on another bottle of Madame Glamour in a branch of Lidl in Stuttgart - there was a tray full of them, with no one paying particular attention. Well, clearly there hasn't been the hype over there.

    Also spotted a duo of perfumes (one orange, one blue) called Chalon, which I had not come across before. Not much to write home about on a cursory sniff. Madame Glamour may have been Lidl's finest hour!

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  50. Just bought my first bottle of suddenly perfume. Saw the adverts in the shop, hadn't seen all the hype about it. The kind assistant opened a box for me to test.Was really surprised how lovely it smelt. Its a really lovely warm, sweet smell and i can't wait to pop along to Lidl and get some more before everyone in March, ambs gets a sniff at this wonderful bargain.

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  51. Hi Anonymous,

    Sorry, not sure where you are, but am happy you found a bottle in your local store - the sales assistant in the branch where I first found this had an open bottle at the checkout for people to use as a tester, which I thought was quite far sighted of them! The "try before you buy" principle is always a good idea with scent, even one bought in a supermarket! : - )

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  52. I went to LIdl in Feltham, saw this eau de parfum smelt it and it smells expensive, never heard of it before. Good buy.

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  53. Hi Anonymous of Feltham,

    Glad you are happy with your impulse buy - I do agree that it smells very good for the money!

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  54. Bought the perfume today after my friend told me about it....just one squirt and filled the car on the way home and still there after about 5 hours...

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  55. Hi Anonymous,

    I hope Madame Glamour filled your car in a good way. If not, you may have to take the bus next time. ; - )

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  56. lol no it is lovely....hope to get some more

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  57. I'm just back from Italy and I bought 3 bottles of it on the recommendation of a family member. It's really lovely and does smell like coco m. I will be looking in my local lidl today to see if the have some there too!

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  58. Hi Anonymous,

    Glad you are pleased with your purchase - stock up while you can!

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  59. i work for lidls clydebank and had have sold hundreds and yes its every thing and more for much less less less cash, be back in store soon guys.xxx

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  60. There you go folks - head on up to the greater Glasgow area to be sure of supplies... Sounds like Anonymous of the Clydebank Lidl store is really on the case!

    Or rather, is on the *loads of cases* of the scent in question!

    : - )

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  61. Hi. I just bought 3 bottles today. It is gorgeous! It does smell expensive and lasts for ages. One tiny spray on my wrist I could still smell 8 hours later. So if you are anywhere near Perth, Lidl in Riggs Road have just yesterday got a whole new delivery in. Loads on the shelf today but I reckon they won't last long.

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  62. Thanks for the tip off, shelaghna - Scotland seems to be the place to get it at the moment!

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  63. LOVE IT! LOVEIT! LOVE IT! GREAT VALUE! GREAT SMELL!

    GILLY
    WEST YORKSHIRE

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  64. Hi Gilly,

    So pleased you are happy with your bargain buy!

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  65. I jus t bought a bottle from Lidl in Alfreton, Derbyshire.......i also spied an elderly woman buying 10 bottles! It is a nice scent though not very strong x

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  66. Hi ali p,

    LOL re the elderly woman - you have to ask yourself, has she done the maths?! Or maybe she have a lot of grandchildren who are going to receive this as a Christmas present...

    And I do agree that it isn't very strong, but for the price, you can't really complain, I guess!

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  67. Hi, Today i purchased a bottle of the Madame Glamour,from Lidl,I got back to the car and tried the perfume and was that astonished that i went back for another 3, I have had 2 bottles of Chanel coco Mademoiselle at a cost of £65 per bottle and can honestly say that they are identical, 5 hours later i can still smell the Madame Glamour so i am well impressed with it.........

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  68. Hi Janine,

    Another satisfied customer - and a Coco Mlle devotee to boot. For me the most significant difference is the strength, certainly, yet SMG seems to have decent staying power on your skin, from what you say. Making it even better value!

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  69. Iv just returned from Marbella....and had lots of lovely compliments about my perfume!!
    Bet you can't guess which one i wore?!?! xx

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  70. Hi ai p,

    Not a clue - you will have to put me out of my suspense....!

    ; - ) ; - )

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  71. got the scent from a friend who did the comparison with Coco Mademoiselle on her two wrists and thought the difference was minimal - and it is so I am starting to stock up (my friend bought herself 12 bottles in different stores, reckoning that it was still less than one bottle of CM - the staying power is not quite as good but still decent
    what a thing to pull off, wonder who the nose behind this one is
    marvellous

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  72. Hi Zoritta,

    Thanks for dropping by and letting us know what you think of the Lidl scent - am pleased to hear you too agree it is an excellent dupe. Funny about your friend visiting different stores to stock up - hope she didn't incur too much in the way of the travel costs, offsetting her savings somewhat - though it will still have been a major bargain!

    Yes, whoever the nose is wants a medal. If his/her identity ever got out, think how much in demand they would be!

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  73. I got given this for Xmas. The smell is nice but I had an allergic reaction to it - my nose and eyes were streaming for the rest of the day...so ais anyone fancies a free bottle, let me know!
    Mary

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  74. Hi Mary,

    I am sorry to hear of your allergic reaction - you must have quite sensitive skin, as most people have complained about this being too weak, if anything!

    It is kind of you to offer to give away your bottle of Suddenly Madame Glamour to anyone out there who is interested. I hope someone sees your comment and claims it. : - )

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  75. I am interested in claiming the free bottle

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