I love love love perfume. It can lift your mood, set you up for the day or the evening, and it shows a bit of personality. It’s the finishing touch before heading out of the door. I’ve even been known to blend my own fragrances to get something unique, and in blind testings, I seem to have expensive taste.
Unfortunately, when funds are low I can’t justify the expense of a designer brand. I wouldn’t wear an illegal knock-off one, as you don’t have any idea what’s gone into them, and they tend to have no staying power and smell very little like their supposed twin. However I would wear a similar one, rather than a direct rip-off, especially if it was from an established brand and it was reasonably priced.
That’s why it made my day when Milton Lloyd offered me the chance to review a range of their fragrances, including some from their new Colour Me selection. If you haven’t heard of them before, it’s probably because this company doesn’t advertise, which obviously helps to keep the prices down. They’ve been going since 1975, and specialise in smell-alikes, or ‘renditions’. Rumour has it that these are the most long-lasting renditions available, and I’m inclined to agree.
Most of the 50ml fragrances sell for around £4.00, and some of the newer ones cost £5.00 from the official World Class Fragrances website, but you can sometimes find them on sale at other retailers for less than this. They also have 10ml perfume roll-ons for £3.00, body sprays, gift sets and 100ml bottles. The packaging and bottles are fairly plain, but you buy these products for the smell, not the bottle. It’s a great way to treat yourself or try something new without going over budget.
Fragrances for women
I’ve included the official description, as well as my own notes.
Colour Me Pink
- Fragrance type: Oriental-floral
- Top notes: Floral, rose – white rose, almond blossom
- Middle notes: Fruity, spicy – geranium, heliotrope, lilies
- Base notes: Vanilla, musks
- “enveloping, romantic perfume”
Smells a bit like: A generic floriental-vanilla-musk fragrance that’s very easy to wear, and while it’s a soft scent it’s also very long-lasting. There are lots of these around among the big brand names: Tresor by Lancome, D&G Rose the One, Love by Ralph Lauren, and Tocade or Byzance by Rochas, to name a few. With the almond, I’d probably have to say it’s most like Hypnotic Poison by Dior, although that’s a vanilla rather than floral oriental fragrance.
This is probably my favourite of the women’s fragrances that I’m reviewing, and it settled down to a very pleasant balance of soft spices, vanilla and light musk (a bit like the base notes of the oriental-vanilla Armani Lei / She) on my skin that lasted over eight hours. I would happily repurchase this one.
Colour Me Purple
- Fragrance type: Chypre-fruity
- Top notes: Watery, floral – bergamot, watermelon
- Middle notes: Rose, jasmine, fruity – jasmine, rose, violet
- Base notes: Woody, vanilla – oakmoss, amber, patchouli
- “elegant, rich, modern”
Smells a bit like: Well, I can’t place this one, but it does smell really, really familiar – think I used to work with someone who wore something like this every day. At a guess I’d have to say Hugo Woman by Hugo Boss. On my skin it is much more of a light floral with a hint of watery fruit than a chypre, quite pleasant, and well balanced, with medium projection and lasting power.
Colour Me Red
- Fragrance type: Chypre-fruity
- Top notes: Floral, spicy – bergamot, peony, freesia
- Middle notes: Fruity, oakmoss – red fruits, violets, jasmine, carnation
- Base notes: Woody, vanilla – orris, sandalwood, vetiver
- “rich chypre woody… elegant and distinctive”
Smells a bit like: a massive chypre fragrance, very strong and long lasting – one of those love it or hate it scents, very much in the vein of Gucci Rush. This is probably one for evening wear, not for the daytime. I have to confess that I’m not a fan of this type of heavy fruity chypre, as it doesn’t work well with my skin chemistry.
Loves Me, Loves Me Not
- Fragrance type: Floral – green – fruity
- Top notes: Green, strawberry – wild strawberry, violet leaves, ruby grapefruit
- Middle notes: Violet, floral – violet, jasmine, gardenia
- Base notes: Vanilla, musks – vanilla, musk, white woods
- “feminine natural freshness”
Smells a bit like: Daisy by Marc Jacobs. To my nose, this is a light, fresh strawberry-musk fragrance that dries down to almost a skin scent. It actually smells a bit nicer on me than Daisy, and I’ll keep wearing this one through the summer months as it’s pleasant in the heat.
- Fragrance type: Aromatic-floral
- Top notes: Aromatic, floral – cardamom, pineapple, papaya
- Middle notes: Watery, green
- Base notes: Musky, woody – musk, amber
- “clean, pure and contemporary fragrance with a fruity twist”
Smells a bit like: CK One, without the distinctive massive lemon hit, and watery accords that slightly edge into lily of the valley on my skin. Very light, unobtrusive fragrance for office and weekend wear, feels ‘clean’ and has moderate lasting power.
Fragrance for men
In warmer weather, I sometimes wear some of the lighter fragrances that are essentially designed as aftershaves. The lack of sweetness in most of them is pleasant and refreshing when it’s muggy, so I was happy to try a few out myself, as well as handing them over to my fella for testing.
Colour Me Gold
- Fragrance type: Oriental-fougere
- Top notes: Floral, fougere – ruby mandarin orange, grapefruit and peppermint with aromatic herbs
- Middle notes: Citrus, spicy – rose absolute, cinnamon and spices
- Base notes: Amber, woody – leather, patchouli, white woods and amber
- “distinctive masculine fragrance”
Smells a bit like: Paco Rabanne 1 Million, although I’d say it isn’t a direct dupe but they are fairly similar in the dry down. This is quite a grown-up fragrance, more for the men than the boys, and has moderate projection and lasting power.
Colour Me Green
- Fragrance type: Oriental-fougere
- Top notes: Citrus, aromatic – bergamot and lemon
- Middle notes: Floral, woody – rose, lily, jasmine and patchouli
- Base notes: Amber, vanilla – vanilla, woody, amber
- “fresh citrus… rich floral…long lasting”
Smells a bit like: Well, I can’t place this one either, but it does smell kind of familiar. The dry down is very ‘manly’, even though the profile lists lots of flowers and vanilla. Famous examples of oriental-fougeres include Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier and Joop! Homme, and this one seems to be a bit closer to Joop!, although it isn’t a dead ringer. It might actually be a bit more like Dunhill Desire with less apple, which is more oriental-woody than fougere. Anyway, not exactly to my taste if I’m honest, but it’s really strong and long lasting.
Colour Me Silver Sport
- Fragrance type: Woody-aromatic-watery
- Top notes: Citrus, fruity – mandarin, orange, neroli, aldehydes
- Middle notes: Cedar, jasmine, spicy – black pepper, white musk, tonka bean and almond
- Base notes: Woody, amber, vanilla – balsams, vetiver, cedar
- “fresh, invigorating…sensual”
Smells a bit like: a Chanel pour homme type of fragrance. It looks like it’s leaning very closely towards Chanel Allure Homme Sport, but it also reminds me a little of Egoiste Platinum in the drydown (amber, vetiver, galbanum, cedar – and created by the same parfumier). NB: This fragrance is not the same as ‘Colour Me Silver’ in the same range.
Does smell far more expensive than it costs – I’ve been wearing it as a unisex fragrance on sunny days, and absolutely love this one. It’s light and sophisticated, and lasts a long time on my skin. A definite repurchase.
Full disclosure: I have been supplied with free samples of fragrances for this review. All comments, opinion and theories about fragrances are my own.
If you enjoyed this review, I’ve written another article about some of Milton Lloyd’s newest fragrances for women and men. Please feel free to have a read of that too.
Have you tried any bargain fragrances like this before?