If like me, you’re fed up with the constant wave of flankers (please see my review of the two new CK One flankers) then I hope you will take this post as some kind of remedy, a tonic if you will. I could spend hours and hours moaning about how I hate flankers and name and shame some of the worst, that would be very easy, and not entirely true. What I would like to do instead is just make a few personal recommendations of what I think are some of the best.
What is a Flanker?
Most of you reading this blog will be familiar with flankers but for those who aren’t; a flanker is essentially a fragrance released using the same (or similar) name as another fragrance by the same house, think of it as a sort of sequel, so for example; Live Jazz is a flanker to the original Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent. The actual juice can be very similar, slightly similar or completely unrelated to the original fragrance.
Flankers are a cheap way of marketing a new fragrance without having to spend a huge amount of money on new concepts, bottle moulds and advertising. They are also a great way of marketing a ‘new’ product to consumers who are already fans of the original fragrance.
Not all flankers are bad, some brands use the opportunity to create a new interpretation of an established fragrance and these tend to be the flankers that work best, they bring something new and interesting to the table.
Ahh flankers, there is nothing within the glorious world of perfume more guaranteed to make my eyes roll. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty good flankers on the market, take Guerlain’s Shalimar Parfum Initial or Chanel’s No 5 Eau Premiere for example. But on the whole the majority of flankers stink (see Marc Jacobs Bang Bang), they are a cheap way of marketing a new fragrance without having to come up with a new name or bottle and tend to carry no ingenuity whatsoever.
CK One Shock for Him and for Her are the latest in a long line of flankers to Calvin Klein’s iconic Unisex fragrance CK One, originally launched in 1994. With CK One Shock they have released “Two sassy new fragrances that flaunts youth innate sense of provocation”  Calvin Klein has proved to be the king of flankers over the years, the majority of which have been pretty terrible so I did not approach these two with high hopes.
I want Candy, I really do, out of all of the fragrance launches in the last few months Prada Candy is one of the only ones (other than Amouage Honour Woman of course) to push me to start screaming ‘I MUST HAVE THIS!’
Candy is the latest release from Italian fashion house Prada, and it follows such excellent fragrances as; Infusion d’Iris, Infusion d’Homme and L’Eau Ambrée and therefore it has quite a lot to live up to. The fragrance is described as “a different facet of Prada’s femininity, where excess is everything.” 
Well, I don’t now about ‘excess’, but this is most definitely a very gorgeous and chic fragrance.
Diesel fragrances have always rated as ‘Not bad but Not Great’ on my scale of perfume awesomeness (which runs from Viktor & Rolf Antidote to Guerlain Shalimar BTW). They’ve always been competently put together, pleasant enough fragrances that smell utterly mainstream. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, after all there is nothing wrong with decent smelling mainstream fragrances, but as perfumistas we expect more, don’t we?
Loverdose is the latest feminine release for the Italian brand and it follows Fuel For Life as the second feminine launch since the Diesel fragrance line was completely revamped.
Loverdose is described as follows:
“Loverdose is the sexy & addictive new fragrance from Diesel. It represents a woman who is sexy, playful and irresistible. She receives an overdose of love from those around her, but she wants more. She desires pleasure, adrenaline & passion.” 
I have to admit that I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to By Kilian, I have pretty much dismissed the line up until now, predominately due to the high prices (a rookie perfumista error, I know) but my financial restraints prevent me from considering über expensive fragrances, so I don’t try them just in case I fall in love, which is pretty much always the case.
But thanks to some excellent reviews by my Evil Scent Twin, Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels I have found myself officially intrigued. I wanted to see what all of the fuss is about so I managed to blag a few samples from the By Kilian counter in Harvey Nichols.
Seeing as I’m such a latecomer to the By Kilian party, it seems fitting that I should start at the end, with the last fragrance in the L’Oeuvre Noire (The Black Masterpiece) collection, Sweet Redemption (The End).
I don’t know about you, but when I wear fragrance I wear it for myself and myself alone. Sure, I love to share my passion with others, that is a huge part of my hobby, but when I wear perfume, I wear it because I enjoy it.
And I wear what I like!
Ever since I bought my first proper perfume (Kingdom by Alexander McQueen) I have loved ‘feminine’ fragrances. Looking through my collection it’s obvious that the ratio of feminine and masculine is weighted considerably towards the feminine. To this day I find myself drawn to the feminine releases much more than masculines. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy wearing masculine fragrances but they just don’t wow me the way a lot of the feminines do.
I guess that I’m the King/Queen of fragrant gender bending.
I’m not a gin drinker, actually scrap that. I wasn’t a gin drinker, but on Tuesday I was coerced (there really wasn’t much coercing going on) into drinking a number of gin cocktails at the bloggers launch for Penhaligon’s new fragrance Juniper Sling. This experience has taught me three things; firstly, Penhaligon’s know how to throw a party, secondly, their gin cocktails are unrivalled and thirdly, gin and fragrance go very well together.
Juniper Sling was created by master perfumer Olivier Cresp (the man that brought Angel into the world) and it is described by Penhaligon’s as “a playful, chilled and mysterious homage to the Bright Young Things of London’s roaring twenties.” Now this may give you the impression that Juniper Sling may be slightly old-fashioned, but this is absolutely not the case, Penhaligon’s have created a modern twist on a classic theme, just look at the bottle with it’s metal bow, a purely modern take on their usual flacon.
Those of you who read my review of the original Bang on Wednesday will know that I found it to be a thoroughly well executed masculine fragrance for the mass market, so you can imagine that I was quite looking forward to Bang’s first flanker; Bang Bang.
The name is amusing, ‘Bang Bang’, I thought; ‘Double the Bang? This must be a more intense version of Bang’, are you with me? Well you may be, but Marc Jacobs isn’t, Bang Bang is described as a ‘refreshing and dynamic’ version of the original.
If the thought of a ‘refreshing and dynamic’ masculine sends you into a dull-perfume induced coma then I promise to wake you at the end of this review.
This Friday I will be reviewing Marc Jacob’s latest fragrance Bang Bang, so for the sake of continuity I thought it would make sense to review the original Bang fragrance, which in my opinion is the better of the two, but we shall get to that on Friday!
Bang is Marc Jacob’s second masculine release after the eponymous Marc Jacobs for Men (the less said about that the better). It was released in 2010 to a lot of fan fair and positive criticism from the perfume blogosphere. Bang was a big launch for Jacobs, the fragrance was accompanied by a rather aggressive marketing campaign, which showed Mr Jacobs in all of his, ahem, glory.
To blind buy or not to blind buy, that is the question. Shakespeare said that didn’t he? Well, he said something along those lines anyway. The blind buy is for those thrill-seeking perfumistas who like the adrenalin rush, it’s like playing Russian Roulette, except with perfume instead of the bullets and a fraction of the danger.
What is a Blind Buy?
I’m sure most of the lovely people reading this post are familiar with the blind buy but for those who aren’t, a blind buy (or blind trade) is simply where a fragrance is purchased completely untested.
From my experience, a blind buy can happen for many reasons; perhaps there has been a lot of buzz on the internet about a particular fragrance or the notes list sounds right up your street or even a favourite house/brand releases a brand new fragrance that you simply must have.
I’m sure you’ve all been there, reading reviews from a variety of blogs and websites and thinking ‘I know I’m going to like this’ before reaching for the credit card.