Post by Anne-Marie
Howdy folks, it’s Anne-Marie, here to chat about the issues that matter in this crazy perfume-y world. Today, it’s … yay! Flankers!
FLANKERS!! Let’s Talk About Flankers
A flanker, as I’m sure you know, is a perfume which ‘flanks’ a pillar release. It perpetuates the name of the original but otherwise they may have little in common. Often the flanker has much less money spent on it and will be chucked at the market to see if it sticks.
It tends to be a given that flankers are not worthy of the perfume lover’s attention, but here are some which I have enjoyed.
Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere (2007, and re-packaged in 2015). The first flanker (as opposed to different form or concentration) to the 1921 classic. It is beautiful variant, less aldehydic than No 5: sunshiny, and with a lovely lemony top note. A perfect all-occasion fragrance. Apparently sales were disappointing, and we have a new flanker to look forward to this year, No 5 L’Eau.
Shalimar: what can you say without making Shalimar lovers’ blood boil? Well, I love Eau de Shalimar (2008/9) and Shalimar Cologne Eau de Toilette (2015). The lime top-note in EdS is admittedly a little weird, but I find the fragrance very relaxing overall. The Cologne? Oh my – gorgeous! Lemon instead of lime, very bright but beautifully blended with vanilla. It’s addictive but not (for me at least) especially foodie. Neither these two flankers, nor any of the Shalimar flankers as far as I know, are as heavy on the smoke and leather as the original.
I bought Chanel No 19 Poudre (2011) when it came out but sold it eventually. The iris is superb, the powder is not stifling, and the fragrance wears like a silk slip. But the white musk in the base seems timid and produces a lack-lustre result overall.
Sometimes a flanker stands confidently next to its pillar. Hermes L’Ambre des Merveilles (2012) trounces the original Eau de Merveilles for me, perhaps because I simply have trouble smelling the Eau. L’Ambre has a miraculous floaty character: sweet but cool, warm but restrained. The only amber I truly love.
I’ve reviewed Hermes Kelly Caleche (2007) on APJ, so will just note here that it is a cool, elegant leather with little resemblance to the original Caleche, which I never loved. I’ll come right out with it: Caleche smells dated to me, and too short-lived to bother with.
Finally, Lancome Magie Noire (1978). Yes, it’s a flanker to Magie, released in 1950 and re-released briefly in the mid-2000s. Magie was a classic amber: good but not great. Magie Noire is devastating. A witchy mix of chypre and oriental. Dark, sensual and animalic, it’s haunting if worn lightly, but all-consuming if spritzed heavily. You might pay for this one with your soul.
Over to you! There are LOADS of flankers that you have tried and I haven’t. The good, the bad and the forgettable. Do share!
Until next time, happy spritzing!