Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A sports cologne showdown

Those who read my blog will most likely be aware of my general disdain for flankers, sports cologne flankers in particular. Now, I am not claiming to be unbiased or unprejudiced here. Truth be told, there could well be some decent sports perfumes out there. Indeed, there must be, seeing as they seemingly fly off the shelves and are released with monotonous regularity. Whatever, I don't dig them, so tough shit.

In this year of the Olympics, there seems to be more than the usual number of sports cologne releases. I sincerely hope the trickle does not turn into a stream.

Today I sampled two recent releases in this genre, Chanel's Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme (mouthful alert) and Dolce & Gabbana's The One Sport.

The showdown begins with a couple of sprays on each wrist and off I go. Both perfumes' openings stray into very familiar sports cologne territory. Think high-pitched, nostril-searing citrus. I've never been a fan of Allure or any of its flankers, and I felt that familiar sense of deja vu here, at least for the first half an hour or so. I could comfortably say that I preferred the first stages of development, such as they are, from The One Sport. 

The One Sport gradually developed more of a marine/salty feel, but in fairness it didn't remind me all that much of the nineties. Into the heart notes and I was finding it has more in common with citrus/mossy men's perfumes from the seventies and eighties, without ever putting a foot firmly in those camps. At this stage I would say it is round 1 to The One Sport, with round 2 probably a tie.

However, the dry down is where it all changed for me. The One Sport dries down to a fairly benign citrusy base. Allure Homme Sport on the other, became warmer, a touch sweeter and in all honesty, a nicer and more complex perfume. With the patchouli, cedar, musk and slightly amber overtones, it strikes me even as slightly oriental in feel, which was a bit of surprise, but a nice one. I don't quite know how to measure my rounds here, but for extra complexity and interest, I would allocate two rounds to the dry down, both of which go to Allure Homme Sport. I therefore declare the winner, two rounds to one, Allure Homme Sport.

Look, in all honesty, I am not blown away by either of these, but in fairness they are both decent mainstream fragrances. I just don't know why they had to be called sports fragrances - it's an irritating term. I was pleasantly surprised by the Chanel, which goes to show one shouldn't always pre-judge a perfume, tempting as it may be to do so.

I'm not going to be buying a bottle of either of these soon, but at the same time they are perfectly good perfumes, which I can see selling well.

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