After last week's discussion of niche snobbery, I have vowed to make a bigger effort to include mainstream department store fragrances. Burberry Brit was released in 2003, and its "sister" scent, Brit Red, followed in 2004. Both were created by nose Nathalie Gracia-Cetto, both have won Fifi awards, and both have been huge sellers. There is also a Brit for men, and a Brit Gold will be released this year for the holidays.
Burberry Brit has notes of lime, icy pear, green almond, white peony, sugared almond, mahogany wood, amber, vanilla beans and tonka beans. It was described as "fresh green floral" when it was released, but I do not find it particularly green, it is far too sweet to be called fresh, and it is not predominantly a floral. The top is citrus with lots and lots of sugar. It is joined very quickly by candied pear and almond. I find the opening stages almost unbearably sweet, but keep in mind that I am wearing it now in 90 degree weather. I first tried it in colder weather and I didn't find it quite so overwhelming.
It soon warms up to a soft vanilla woods scent with a bit of amber; the citrus and fruit notes for the most part disappear with the top notes. The sugar remains, but it does calm considerably. I have seen this described as spicy, but I find it rather bland.
Brit is not particularly distinctive or interesting, and it is not something I would wear, but I can't say that the appeal of this kind of scent is completely lost on me. I have my own representatives in this kind of "cozy-comfort" category, namely La Perla Eclix and Molinard Tendre Friandise. I am not sure that either is any more distinctive than Brit. Next experiment: try them all 3 together.
Brit Red has notes of green mandarin, rhubarb, gingerbread, jasmine, rose, vanilla, patchouli, benzoin, sandalwood and vanilla bean. Red starts with sweet citrus top notes, but the tartness of the rhubarb and the spicy gingerbread notes make this less blandly sweet than the regular Brit. The rhubarb mostly fades on the dry down, but the gingerbread remains and is joined by the floral notes, mostly rose. The base is similar to Brit, but with a softer wood note and the addition of patchouli.
Brit Red is still too sweet for me, and has more patchouli than I care for, but it does strike me as a sexier, more interesting scent than Brit.
I love the tongue-in-cheek (or maybe not?) plaid bottles. Burberry scents are widely available at department stores and online discount sites.