At £170 each they’re not cheap but with a brilliant perfumer behind them and VB’s magic beauty touch could they be your new signature scent?
Victoria Beckham has expanded her ultra-successful beauty range with the launch of three, genderless, fine fragrances, dropping on Friday 29 September. Each is inspired by a specific moment in her life and housed in chic flacon-styled bottles. But at £170 for 50ml and £245 for 100ml, are they worth the money and most importantly, do they smell nice?
The turquoise bottle is called Portofino ’97; the year that Victoria started her romance with David and the place they would jet off to in secret to begin their romance away from watchful paparazzi. This scent is based on the idea of sea breeze, candles, fresh flowers, sunshine and youth and contains notes of bergamot, black pepper, amber and patchouli.
The white bottle is called Suite 302, the room number at The Ritz in Paris where David and Victoria would stay for weekends away and the location where they spent many subsequent wedding anniversaries. It’s a scent that’s meant to conjure up the idea of glamour, opulence and sexiness and contains a mix of black cherry, rose, violet, black leather and tobacco leaf. The heaviest scent of the three.
Then there’s the yellow bottle, San Ysidro Drive. Named after the Beverley Hills road in LA where the Beckhams lived in 2007. Beckham has described it in an interview with Vogue as: “a time of healing. It reminds me of Malibu and hiking and surfing with the kids. The life we had there.” There are notes of pink peony, passionfruit, black amber and vanilla.
Mrs Beckham is very much at the heart of marketing the scents, which makes sense as they are her memories after all. She stars in three different shots to represent each one with her finely tuned biceps on show in each and all of them sultry and sexy black and white images, photographed by cult American photographer, Steven Klein that are quite reminiscent of old Calvin Klein fragrance ads.
And they come with fine fragrance prices of £170 for the 50ml bottle and £245 for the 100ml bottle. These perfumes are a considered buy. Just as her clothes, handbags and skincare collaboration with Augustinus Bader are. But not like her brilliant Satin Kajal Liner, £26, which we would say is the shining star, and arguably most affordable pick, of her makeup range.
But back to the perfumes. They have been created by famous fragrance ‘nose’ Jérôme Épinette, who you may not have heard of but will have definitely smelt his work as he is the creative genius behind nearly all of the Byredo scents. And Épinette is the logical choice for Beckham to have collaborated with because he is in fact the nose behind one of her favourite scents (excluding her own) Vilhelm Parfumerie Room Service EDP, £220 for 100ml which she has often included on her Instagram. They worked together by Victoria starting with the stories and the memories and Épinette building the fragrances around them. So, to go back to the price, you are paying for top-quality ingredients, master perfumer skill and therefore a scent that should be compelling enough to pay more than a mass-market scent.
And that leads us to the big question: what do they actually smell like? Read our honest reviews below:
SJ sniffed: Victoria Beckham Suite 302 EDP, £170 for 50ml
“If, like me, you like your fragrance on the heavier side, you will love this because this is an absolute powerhouse of a perfume and like no other. It’s super musky and the notes of leather and tobacco are what hit you first, but there is a slight sweetness that cuts through from the cherry and rose notes. It’s heady and strong but it’s gorgeous.
For me, this is a perfume with two personalities. It’s the sort of scent you want to wear wrapped up in cosy cashmere jumpers on a cold crisp winter’s day, but it’s also the bottle you’d reach for when you’re dressed up and heading out for a night of cocktails, dancing and fun (the inspiration is Victoria and David’s romantic nights in Paris). I’ve only worn it on the school run so far, which I’m aware is none of those scenarios, but I had two women stop me asking what I was wearing which I believe is the greatest compliment for the perfume wearer, but also the perfumer creator. Bravo,Mrs Beckham, bravo!”
Amy sniffed: Victoria Beckham San Ysidro Drive EDP, £170 for 50ml
"The luxurious yellow bottle that's inspired by Beverly Hills is fitting for this perfume. It looks and feels expensive and you can imagine spraying it on before strutting down Rodeo Drive. The first few notes that hit you are heady and strong; amber and saffron. But then as they dry down, the more sunny and citrusy floral notes from passionfruit and pink peony lighten everything up making it less overwhelming. I liked it far more than I thought; it's not like anything else I've ever smelt, which is what I look for when spending this type of money on a perfume. A great investment to share between you and a partner as it can definitely be worn by anyone."
Inge sniffed: Victoria Beckham Portofino '97 EDP, £170 for 50ml
"If Portofino ’97 had a working title, I’m sure it was ‘Sex with Becks’. Described as ‘the seductive scent of desire on a secret escape’, it really tells the story of DVB’s first foreign hook-up in Italy, and if the notes of incense, patchouli, vetiver, black pepper and bergamot are anything to go by, they didn’t leave their hotel room much. The scent is all spicy sweetness that’s really quite lush, like dripping fruit and honey used as a rather blatant analogy for something else. If it reminds me of anything, it’s Baccarat Rouge 540 by Francis Kurkdjian, and I like it a lot."