Suddenly d'Or (a close match of Ghost Luminous), Suddenly Madame Glamour (a masterly copy of Coco Mademoiselle), and in the men's arena, G Bellini X-Bolt (a convincing dupe of Hugo BOSS Bottled). Some people might have moral reservations about such parasitical copying of designer fragrances, though the whole concept of supermarket 'own label' products is predicated on the imitation of their more expensive brand equivalents - to varying degrees of flagrancy. So speaking for myself - and coming from a food marketing background where I once presided over £11m's worth of own label coleslaw(!) - it is a commercial strategy to which I am pretty immune. Moreover, the Lidl perfumes are such remarkable copies that I feel somewhat in awe of the perfumer responsible, assuming it is just the one. All I know is that the range is made in Switzerland, and it took me forever to ascertain even that.
So anyway, I was in Lidl at the weekend buying pork medaillons and whatever else caught my fancy, whilst trying very hard to resist the domestic security alarms, walnut veneer-lookalike coffee tables, home gyms, twin packs of shocking pink vests (more shocking than they look in this photo, trust me), cosy 'leisure suits' (size 16 only), remaindered Valentine's baking moulds and Dumbo books - when I spied the latest Lidl perfume release - Suddenly Diamonds - another women's fragrance this time.
The first thing that struck me was that they had changed the bottle design - it was a chunky rectangular bottle this time rather than the cheap, plasticky teardrop-shaped one used for the previous two Suddenly scents. It was reminiscent in fact of the bottle style of a number of designer and even niche perfumes, so that was an improvement right off the bat.
The name 'Diamonds' proved to be a bit of a misnomer, mind - well, in fairness ALL the Lidl scent names to date have been misnomers(!) in the sense that they are not remotely suggestive of the perfumes they are copying. Suddenly Diamonds is not an imitation of Emporio Armani Diamonds, for example, but the orange writing on the bottle pointed instantly to BOSS Orange. After all, G Bellini X-Bolt was a dupe of a BOSS scent last time, so maybe the marketing people at Lidl thought they were on a roll with poor Hugo!
|BOSS Orange edt and edp in Boots|
But Boss Orange?? That would not be my pick, unless it is in fact a runaway bestseller and I simply had no idea. Admittedly, Coco Mademoiselle was always going to be a hard act to follow - Chanel No 5? Marc Jacobs Daisy? Lady Million? One of those annoying Be Delicious scents? - I don't actually know what the best sellers in the market are these days. It would probably upset me if I did. Maybe BOSS Orange is particularly easy to copy, because having got hold of a sample of it and the Lidl I am very impressed at the likeness. More between the BOSS Orange edt and Suddenly Diamonds than the smoother, more rounded edp. Hey, I didn't even know there were two! Both the BOSS Orange edt and Suddenly Diamonds have that bright citrus opening, followed by a syrupy orange-y cotton candy, musky drydown, which kicks in pretty soon in fact. The Lidl scent is in a slightly 'deeper register', if that makes sense, ie is slightly less fruity and bright and kind of 'flatter' and more musky maybe, but I am splitting hairs really, as the resemblance is compelling.
BOSS Orange edt
Top notes: red apples
Middle notes: white flowers, African orange flower
Base notes: sandalwood, olive tree, vanilla
|BOSS Orange edt and edp testers cosying up in Boots|
If BOSS Orange is your thing, for £3.99 you really can't go wrong. It will cost you about eight times as much in Boots, say. Oh, and the 'Paltrow sum' of the title is a bit of artistic licence, for Gwyneth is of course the face of BOSS Nuit pour Femme, while Sienna Miller features in the BOSS Orange campaign. But they are both Boss girls, so obviously I couldn't resist it.
Now I absolutely hated BOSS Orange when it first came out - in fact the musks gave me an instant headache. When I tried it again in the interests of this scientific inquiry it wasn't as bad as I remember, though absolutely not what I would wish to wear. I don't hold with assigning demographic parameters to fragrance as a rule, but this does smell 'young'. Younger than Sienna, even, and she is just the wrong side of 30, I see.
I must say I am rather disappointed by Lidl's rather lacklustre choice of BOSS Orange after the completely brilliant coup of choosing Coco Mademoiselle, and it has got me wondering about what scent I would like them to imitate in future. Well, I'd be interested to see what kind of a job they made of No 5 at that price point, hehe, though my guess is that it's more likely to be another ho-hum designer scent again... ;-(
In closing, I would like to pay a special tribute to the BOSS Orange bottle, which would cost a bob or two to replicate, even if the Lidl folk were that bold, and I am sure they wouldn't be. It reminds me of those lovely nobbly glass bricks you get in hotel bathrooms.