The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Classics Collection

21 February 2016

The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Classics Collection

The Discovery Club is an intuitive idea from The Fragrance Shop, in which they send out a selection of perfume samples each season, perfect for helping you with your next fragrance purchase. Also included in the box is a selection of vouchers, giving you money off the perfumes including, just as an extra little incentive. I kicked off my quarterly subscription at the end of January, meaning I'd just managed to catch their winter drop, The Classics Collection.

The idea behind the Classics Collection box is to introduce some of those classic and best-selling fragrances that you will have seen and heard about, but never tried. The box comes with 6 female fragrances, and 4 male, which means they are great to share out with boyfriends, brothers and dads.

The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club Classics Collection

I'll only really be covering the female scents here, but the male ones you do get are Paco Rabanne 1 Million, Hugo Boss Boss Bottled, Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme and Lacoste Eau de Lacoste L. 12. 12 Blanc. These are all extremely popular options, so are perfect to road-test before buying a gift for the man in your life. 

The female scents are Paco Rabanne Lady Million Eau My Gold!, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Lacoste Touch of Pink, Jimmy Choo Original, Nina by Nina Ricci and Hugo Boss Woman. Despite being called the "classics collection", the box contains a mixture of old school favourites and newer releases too. All of the scents in the box are new to me, with the exception of one which was one of my close friends' signature scent a few years ago. 

Nina Ricci Nina Perfume

The first scent I tried was Nina Ricci Nina. This is a scent that I have seen in both department stores and via their television commercials but never actually tried out. This was a really interesting scent in terms of the scent pyramid and how the perfume transitioned and changed on my skin. On first impressions, it has a very generic perfumey-ness about it. I can't think of any other way to describe it, other than that scent you get as you walk into a perfume hall.

The top notes of lemon and lime are instantly detectable and give off a sharp fizziness. This soon settles down to reveal a sweeter heart of red toffee apple, deepened with applewood and musk. I like the idea behind this fragrance; the whole fairytale, forbidden apple vibe.

Nina isn't my favourite scent as I don't find it original enough overall, but I love the transition between the citrus and sweet toffee apple heart. It is reminiscent of Prada Candy Florale, one of my favourite every day fragrances for spring, with the mix of caramel and peony.

Nina Ricci Nina

Eau de Toilette
Price: from £29.50 for 30ml
Launched: 2006
Creator: Olivier Cresp, Jacques Cavallier

Scent Pyramid

Top notes: Amalfi Lemon, Lime
Heart: Granny Smith Apple, Peony, Praline, Datura
Base notes: Virginia Cedar, Musk, Apple Tree

Paco Rabanne Lady Million Eau My Gold! Perfume

I was quite surprised to see the inclusion of the 2014 release Paco Rabanne Lady Million Eau My Gold! rather than the original Lady Million. However it is a scent I was keen to try. Eau My Gold! is decribed as being daring, pushing the boundaries and flirtacious, and is very much geared towards going out for cocktails and celebrating. 

The fruity mango top notes are prominent in the opening, and the scent then moves into a very generic floral heart. The cedarwood, amber and musk base is intense, and solidifies this as a night time fragrance.

I was expecting to like this due to the inclusion of the mango notes, but the fragrance overall is very bold and quite linear. I like to be able to smell individual notes in a perfume, and enjoy the transition from one note to another, like with the Nina Ricci perfume. I've smelt similar things on other people and it has never been my cup of tea, so I'm not in a rush to try it again.

Paco Rabanne Lady Million Eau My Gold!

Eau de Toilette
Price: from £46 for 50ml
Launched: 2014
Creator: Anne Flipo

Scent Pyramid

Top notes: Bergamot, Mango, Neroli, Mandarin Orange, Grapefruit
Heart: Violet, Orange Blossom
Base notes: Amber, Musk, Cedar, Sandalwood

Dolce & Gabbana D&G Light Blue

Dolce & Gabbana D&G Light Blue is probably one of the only true classics in the box. Despite owning a million and one (unintentional) dupes, I had never tried the original, yet I could recognise it a mile away.

Lemon is the most distinctive of top notes, being fizzy and fresh. A sweeter rose heart comes through adding warmth, which is then juxtaposed with a touch of cool bamboo. The scent becomes warmer again with amber, and softens with musk.

I instantly really liked Light Blue, and I think it is because it was so familiar. There are a million and one dupes (Ghost Eclipse, Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt), but I think the original has to have the crown. It is long lasting on my skin and I love how the fresh lemon manages to linger right until the very end.

Dolce & Gabbana D&G Light Blue

Eau de Toilette
Price: from £41.50 for 25ml
Launched: 2001
Creator: Olivier Cesp

Scent Pyramid

Top notes: Apple, Cedar, Bellflower, Sicilian Lemon
Heart: White Rose, Bamboo, Jasmine
Base notes: Amber, Musk, Cedar

Lacoste Touch of Pink Perfume

Touch of Pink is the scent everyone used in secondary school; a more grown-up version of Impulse. It has been designed to capture the essence of a woman full of youthful sensuality, captivating and magnetic. On first impressions, this is a fruity floral scent with a sporty fresh element, similar to Marc Jacobs Dot or Ralph Lauren Tommy Girl.

The top notes are evidently fresh and citrussy. The fleeting floral notes creep through and add a touch of sweetness to the scent. The florals take a powdery turn as the vanilla base begins to emerge. I didn't find the vanilla to be particularly long-lasting, and the top notes definitely dominate the scent.

I thought Touch of Pink was an okay scent, not memorable, but grew on me as it moved more toward the base notes. It makes for a pleasant every day scent, but by no means special enough to be a signature. It'd be one I'd pop into my gym bag for a bit of a refresher (if I went to the gym that is...).

Lacoste Touch of Pink

Eau de Toilette
Price: from £27.50 for 30ml
Launched: 2004
Creator: Domitille Michalon

Scent Pyramid

Top notes: Orange, Coriander, Peach, Cardamom, Blood Orange
Heart: Carrot Seed, Coriander, Jasmine, Violet Leaf, Cardamom
Base notes: Sandalwood, Musk, Vanilla

Jimmy Choo Perfume

Jimmy Choo JIMMY CHOO was the premier fragrance for the iconic shoe brand. It was created to represent beauty, femininity and glamour and is a modern fruity chypre. It is a warm, heady and seductive scent that is best suited to night time wear. It is bold and brash, with a "look at me" approach, definitely not one for the office.

This is the one scent I was a bit miffed to see in the box. A friend used this all the time a few years ago when we first started going on nights out, and back then I could never see the hype. This one is headache inducing unfortunately.


Eau de Parfum
Price: from £40.50 for 40ml
Launched: 2011
Creator: Olivier Polge

Scent Pyramid

Top notes: Mandarin Orange, Pear, Green Notes
Heart: Orchid
Base notes: Toffee, Patchouli

Hugo Boss Hugo Woman Perfume

The last female scent in the box is Hugo Boss HUGO Woman. This is another I was surprised to see, as it was only released a few years ago. The original was released in the late nineties, and this EDP is marketed as a more concentrated version of the popular scent. This is a fruity floral scent with an unconventional boyish twist

Popped this on in a bit of a rush, pouring most of the stopper-closed sample on myself and headed out the door. Why can't they all be sprays? Despite that, it was a pleasant scent, and I was more than happy to wear it again.

The scent is made up of rich fruits, boysenberry and plum, given a citrussy twist of mandarin. This is combined with sensual florals and a black tea twist. The base notes give a certain warmth to the fragrance. This is very well blended and as unique as a fruity floral can be, given that the genre has been very much overdone.

Hugo Boss HUGO Woman

Eau de Parfum
Price: from £34.50 for 30ml
Launched: 2014

Scent Pyramid

Top notes: Boysenberry, Italian Mandarin, Grass
Heart: Jasmine, Black Tea, Plum, Iris
Base notes: Cedar, Sandalwood, Amber

My favourite in the box had to be Light Blue. Most of the others were just okay, with the exception of Eau My Gold and Jimmy Choo which I disliked. I'll also be throwing Touch of Pink, Nina and Hugo Boss into my pot of perfume samples in rotation.

I thought the Classics Collection was more geared towards modern classics, rather than "classic" classics. Being from The Fragrance Shop, we are looking at a very mainstream edit of scents. Whilst the male choices are pretty crowd pleasing, I think I would have gone down a different route for the female scents. I would have included some iconic scents like Thierry Mugler Angel or Alien and DKNY Be Delicious amongst others.

I love how affordable the Fragrance Shop Discovery Club boxes are, being only £5 for a seasonal edit of fragrances. These boxes are great for trying something new or even just for some scents to throw into your handbag. Plus, you get at least £5 off if you decide to buy a full-size.

Would you try a subscription box like this?


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