Wednesday 1 October 2014

Discovery Club by The Fragrance Shop Autumn Winter Box 2014 review

The Discovery Club by The Fragrance Shop is a UK based beauty box made up of five perfume samples and two aftershave samples (this can vary from box to box).

Included within the box is also an information booklet that provides info on each of the fragrances and also contains money off vouchers for each of the perfumes included if you decide to purchase a full size bottle. You usually receive £5 off each fragrance but occasionally you receive a £10 off voucher!

It is delivered each quarter and only costs £5 per box or £20 for the year.

The main benefit of subscribing to the Discovery Club is that you can test out a range of new fragrances in the comfort of your own home. There is no pressure to buy, and you can get a true representation of what a perfume/aftershave smells like on your skin over a period of time.

The latest box is the 2014 Autumn/Winter box, and here is what it includes:

Jean Paul Gaultier - Classique Intense

I have completely lost track on how many flankers have been released for Jean Paul Gaultier’s original Classique from 1993, but this one is definitely following a recent trend in the fragrance world - it is an intense version.

Francis Kurkdijan, the nose behind this flanker, has stated that they wanted this intense version to maintain the character of the original, with a modern twist. Therefore, this fragrance contains 40% of the original formulation and 60% newly added components. 

The opening of this fragrance consists of pomegranate, gourmand and tiare flower, with the latter being the most dominant to begin with. 

The heart is floral, containing orange blossom, rose and jasmine. The base is made up of vanilla and patchouli. 

Overall, after the tiare flower opening, the floral notes and vanilla really step up. It is also very intense, so that element of the name definitely is lived up to. 

With that said, even though it is intense, it doesn’t necessarily feel like an intense version of Classique. There are enough differences between the two to not straight up acknowledge it as the ‘intense Classique.’ But to put that aside for a second, it is still rather beautiful.

I can see a lot of people loving this fragrance because it’s simply difficult to detest.

You can buy yourself a full size bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique Intense for £59.50 for 50ml from The Fragrance Shop. 

The website currently shows the advertising picture, but at the time of writing I can't find an option to purchase it. Here is a link to the JPG section of the website as it should be where it shows up for purchase.

EDIT: I have been notified that the reason for lack of option to purchase is due to it being sold out online. Do check it out still if you are reading this at a later date as it will likely be back in stock!

Kenzo - Jeu d’Amour

Jeu d’Amour by Kenzo is the most recent flanker for the original Amour fragrance which was released in 2006.

The fragrance is described as being a “flirty fragrance that celebrates the romantic lovers game.” 

I like the way that they have tied up this explanation with the advertising campaign that features French actress Louise Bourgoin posing with the card, which suggests that she is gambling. The whole idea of the gamble and the risks attached to this “flirty” love game makes the fragrance sound really intriguing. However, it doesn’t quite live up to these exciting expectations.

Whilst the original is said to be quite heavy with vanilla and rice notes, this flanker doesn’t state that it contains either of those notes. Instead though, the tuberose is quite noticeable. 

On first spray, this fragrance is quite fruity, but less in a ‘fruit-overload’ way and more of a fruit tea sort of way. That’s probably due to the tea note in the opening, which is complimented by blood mandarin and pomegranate. 

The heart is where the tuberose is included, along with freesia. It is rounded up with a base of sandalwood and musk.

After a couple of hours I struggled to smell the fragrance myself. I asked other people around me if they could smell it and they were unable to as well. 

Throughout the time that I could smell it though it was fruit tea floral with a subtle sweetness. That’s the best description that I could come up with! So not so much risky, exciting love game and more Twinings fruit herbal tea in the garden. Whilst that is still rather enjoyable, it could have been so much more.

Also the sillage was fairly low-average. 

It’s a very lovely, light fragrance that doesn’t have much staying power, so if you are looking for something light and breezy and are okay with re-application throughout the day, then you may be interested in giving this a go.

You can purchase a 30ml bottle of Kenzo's Jeu d'Amour for £38.50 and a 50ml bottle for £54.50 from The Fragrance Shop. You can receive £5 off with a voucher from the Discovery Club.

Loewe - Quizas Seducción 

Loewe’s Quizas Seduccion is the most recent flanker to Loewe’s Quizas line of fragrances which began in 2007.

This edition is described as being a “fruity floral aphrodisiac."

Upon first spray I found the berries to be rather dominant. Berries and an underlying sweetness. 

After a couple of hours I could strongly smell the vanilla, caramel and tuberose with the berries and white floral notes noticeable also, but less so. 

I can sort of see the seductive aspect of this fragrance as it is quite sensual. It seems to be playing the same sort of song as Agent Provocateur’s Fatale; dark fruits and sweetness. However, the advertising campaign seems to have taken a totally different route to Fatale; no scantily-clad female exerting sexuality, just a minimalistic, simple black bottle on a black background.

This suggests a more mysterious side to the fragrance - what is this all about? It seems to be more of a seductive scent that works on personality. It’s probably more suited to somebody who doesn’t feel that you need to be dressed in a little amount of clothing to exert sexuality.

The longevity is pretty good, lasting a fair few hours on me and still being noticeable without having to directly smell my arm. It’s more of a night time fragrance or one that you can wear during the cooler months if you decide to wear it during the day.

It’s a very intriguing fragrance, but may be too sweet for those who dislike sweet perfumes.

You can purchase a 30ml bottle of Loewe's Quizas Seduccion for £44.50, a 50ml for £62.50 and a 100ml for £85 from The Fragrance Shop. For this fragrance you can receive £10 off with a voucher from a Discovery Club box.

Loewe - Aura EDT

The original Aura EDP is a fragrance that I really enjoy. Therefore, receiving this was quite exciting as I was intrigued to discover the differences between the two.

The EDP is floral, woody and has an underlying leather note. This EDT formulation however has more of a citrus aspect to it.

The top notes are lychee, mandarin, lemon and rose water, the heart is made up of otto rose, jasmine, magnolia and raspberry and the base consists of amber, sandalwood and musks. However, Fragrantica also states that the base has a leather note like the EDP.

Upon the first spray, citrus is the most noticeable element of this fragrance. With that said, it is definitely kept interesting and tame with the lychee and rose water notes, meaning that it doesn’t smell like overwhelming, obvious citrus.

Whilst dominant in the first half an hour or so, the citrus steadily begins to fade over a couple of hours and then this is where the main similarities between the EDP and EDT kick in. 

Rose and woods are most noticeable after a time, and this is how the fragrance seems to stay until it begins to draw to its close, which is when amber and a faint hint of leather take the forefront. 

The lasting power is great for an EDT formulation, lasting all day on my skin. With that said, at the end of the day the only way I can truly smell it is to smell my arm rather than from a distance. 

Aura is a really enjoyable fragrance. I like the EDT just as much as I do the EDP, and both are perfumes that I would happily recommend. 

You can purchase a 40ml bottle of Loewe's Aura EDT for £48 and an 80ml bottle for £65. You can receive £5 off with a voucher from a Discovery Club box.

Jimmy Choo - MAN

MAN is Jimmy Choo’s first fragrance for men. 

The advertising campaign features Jon Snow Kit Harrington and the fragrance is described as being “elegant and contemporary, with a rock attitude.”

It also states that “Jimmy Choo MAN wears its masculinity with confidence.”

One thing for certain is that the overall advertisement is definitely getting the message across that this is a men’s fragrance. For men. From the capitalisation of MAN to “wears masculinity with confidence,” even the way that Kit Harrington has been directed to pose in leather, holding onto a female leg. It’s close to just grunting “I AM MAN” off the paper. 

Yes, this is a very stereotypical gender generalisation that is happening here. Whilst I have rather strong opinions around this sort of topic, I’m going to bite my tongue and continue (let’s admit it, female fragrance advertising campaigns are just as stereotypical sometimes, but already I digress).

The top notes are cited as being lavender, mandarin and melon.

The middle notes are pink pepper and geranium with pineapple leaf, whilst the base consists of suede, ambery woods and patchouli (for ADDED MASCULINITY).

As before, I handed this over to a male whom I know to be as in love with fragrance as I am; my dad. The following are his observations.

MAN is very fresh upon the first spray.
My dad stated that after a short while it began to smell rather spicy. This was when he enjoyed it the most, but he said that this wasn’t very long lived.

“It completely disappeared before I even had a chance to enjoy it properly,” he told me. “No one could really smell it either, and people who usually compliment my aftershave were unaware that I was even wearing MAN.”

He continued to explain that “it’s a very nice fragrance, but it needs far better longevity and power.” 

It’s a bit of a letdown in all honesty when an advertising campaign works so hard to enforce an opinion of a fragrance for it only to be let down by the fragrance itself.

Overall, whilst nice, MAN is a little weak with low longevity. If you are okay with re-application throughout the day though, you could still enjoy this fragrance.

You can purchase a 30ml bottle of Jimmy Choo's MAN for £28.50, a 50ml bottle for £41.50 and a 100ml bottle for £61.50 from The Fragrance Shop. You can receive £5 off with a voucher from a Discovery Club box.


The box as a whole definitely has its highlights, which is a good thing. If a box didn’t have any standout fragrances then that should be when we begin to worry.

The standouts from the Autumn/Winter box for me are Loewe’s Aura EDT and Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense, closely followed by Loewe’s Quizas Seduccion. 

With the £5 (and £10 in Quizas Seduccion’s case) off each fragrance, it seems that I may end up with at least one of those “one present for X and one present for me” type of moments coming up to this Christmas…! Thanks, Fragrance Shop!

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the Discovery Club yourself for just £5 a quarter! Check it out here.

Are you a Discovery Club subscriber? What are your favourite scents from this box?
Let me know in the comments below! 

Zoe. @Beautifinous

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