In the last year, one of my favorite pastry shops has become addicted to almond extract. They put it in short bread, pound cakes, croissants, brioche, pear tarts, financiers, you name it! Almond extract tastes cheap, and cheapens all it touches (one man's opinion). It also makes the above listed breads and desserts taste the same. Someone at BeauFort London loves "smoke" as much as my old bakery loves almond extract. And smoke, or at least the powerful smoke note BeauFort London apparently adores and craves, dominates BeauFort's perfume compositions and makes them all smell alike.
BeauFort London offers three fragrances in its Come Hell or High Water fragrance collection: 1805 (smoke, gunpowder, "blood," brandy, sea spray, citrus), East India (tea, tobacco, opium, whisky, "religion") and Coeur de Noir (black ink, spiced rum, "paper," leather, vanilla, pipe tobacco, birch tar, labdanum). Though the listed notes of these fragrances sound fantastic to me, the actual scents are almost identical due to a ferocious smoky note. 1805 smells of food smoke (reminded me of the aromas of Smithfield, Virginia, ham smokehouses), East India presents wood/yard-waste smoke (imagine you've been burning leaves for WEEKS, wearing the same sweatshirt, jacket and jeans: you're smoke-dried). Coeur de Noir lightens things up (by a molecule or two) with vanillic smoke (think campfire, with marshmallows aflame). Buy some Liquid Smoke and save a bundle!
Only after a hot shower did the underlying notes of these fragrances become detectable; perhaps the problem is in the "recipe?" If the smoke had been a backdrop and not the domineering note it is here, things would have been more pleasing and interesting.
Like smoke, perfume brands rise, then disappear. I wish BeauFort London the best, but hope, in its next release, smoke of all types will be banished. In the "old days" I just might have bought one of these perfumes unsniffed; I found the listed ingredients tantalizing. Now, in my perfume dotage, I know a list of intriguing notes tells me zilch about how a perfume will smell.
This year many (too many to mention!) fragrances have tempted me with their supposed notes and 99.9% have been disappointments when I sampled them. The prize disappointment award goes to Hermès Le Jardin de Monsieur Li (Jasmine? Kumquat? WHEEEEEE!); Robin here at NST talked me down from the ledge on this one, though she loved it herself. (THANK YOU, ROBIN!)
Please, share (admit to) a purchase you made based solely on ingredients...that brought bitter regret the moment you wore the perfume.
BeauFort London 1805, East India and Coeur de Noir are £95/$140 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum; they are available in the US at Twisted Lily.
Update: East India is now called Vi et Armis.
Note: top image is Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch — Folio 182: Der fünfte Engel bläst seine Posaune via Wikimedia Commons.