In the world of perfume does expensive mean good, and thus relatively cheap mean poor? Not at all if the scent in question is Fortune by Brocard. This delightful, youthful little gateau of a scent is astonishingly inexpensive and impressively formed.
Ginger, grapefruit, lemon, nutmeg, orange blossom, cedar, tonka bean, musk, vanilla.
Brocard are a little mysterious as far as perfumes go. They don’t appear to have their own website and all we could find out about them were mysterious references to their history on Perfume Intelligence and what Bloom tell us about them on their Brocard page.
We also had no idea how inexpensive this fragrance was when we started testing it, although we did know the approximate price of one of their other lines. And price is important, but we felt that we should make it clear from the start that if you buy this fragrance you are getting a lot more for your money than you might imagine.
Fortune by Brocard is miles and miles away from a high street perfume of the same price. This is by no means in the same dreary league as the latest reality TV star’s eponymous scent. What you stumble upon when you try Fortune is a really nice fragrance that is interesting and worth wearing, that doesn’t make you smell like everyone else, but which will also not break the bank. And that is truly impressive.
Fortune smells like lemon cake. Those light little fondant fancy type lemon cakes that you can virtually fit whole into your mouth in one go. Not that we would ever do that, you understand, but we have heard tell of those that can.
Anyway, lemon cake comes through right from the first moment of application. This is a dreamy, sweet citrus though, it floats along gently rather than giving you that zesty slap in the face that some citrus perfumes do. It’s sweet and soft and makes you just want to stick out your tongue and taste it, it really smells like it would taste delicious!
We got quite a lot of citrus from the top of this scent; the lemon backed up by its sourer, fatter cousin the grapefruit to give it some welly, but at no point did this stray into the dangerous territory of furniture polish or washing up liquid. It’s much too sweet and breezy for either of those.
After the citrus the delightful hum of ginger warms everything up very nicely. It’s quite hard to detect the ginger, but it gives that little flush of heat that opens the citrus up and rounds it out, stops it feeling tired or one dimensional. It also doesn’t hurt the cakey impression that the scent has already built.
Like spices in a good cake batter – that is not heavily handled – the nutmeg emerges once the perfume has fully warmed and settled on the skin. Where the citrus began light and breezy, the nutmeg gives it further hints of woody, earthy warmth. By no means is this enough to turn the scent away from it’s gourmand start, but it adds an extra layer to the gingery warmth. If you like nutmeg, like we do, then you’ll be delighted by it’s subtle inclusion here, it’s enough to make your mouth water but not too much that it unbalances the perfume.
A caramel note also comes through in the heart, which could well be the tonka bean starting to emerge, but it’s again, another pretty puddingy note coming through. If you weren’t already salivating and reaching for the number for the nearest cake shop, this caramel sweetness might just tip you over the edge.
The orange blossom is quite subtle, but it adds a layer of creaminess to the base of the scent, which works really well with the vanilla and tonka bean. Together these serve to build a much more nuanced base which, whilst it does smell like lemon cake still, gently nudges the perfume towards a classier and more sophisticated end. The vanilla doesn’t overpower anything, which is good to note as it can be a difficult element to handle well.
Put simply, this perfume was a delight from start to finish. It’s subtle, unexpectedly pleasing, and uplifting to wear.
The other stuff
Fortune is quite a light scent, which means that on the one hand it is very easy to wear, but on the other it probably wouldn’t suit a formal evening function. It’s very youthful and fun and made us think that it was the sort of thing best suited to taking the kids to the park or for a lunch date with friends.
The longevity of the scent is actually rather good. It lasts definitely until after lunch and even later than that we were getting wafts of it persevering. Given that it is not a shouty perfume at all, this was both surprising and pleasing. It doesn’t smell like the sort of scent that will keep going for the majority of the day, but it definitely does.
The projection of the scent was moderate, it’s by no means the loudest scent around, but nor is it the quietest either. The projection did diminish a lot during the second half of the day.
This isn’t a brooding, serious perfume, but nor is it trying to be and therein lies it’s success. Producing something this flirty and frivolous at this price point surely must stand Brocard in good stead. We certainly hope so because there is definitely room in the market for a light, generous fragrance that promises so little and yet delivers so much.
This would be an excellent introduction to more niche scents for someone who wanted to dip their toe in the water without spending a fortune. It would also be an excellent present for the youthful women in your life – the sort of surprise gift that your cool auntie would give you that you’d open with slight suspicion only to find that it was actually awesome!
Fortune by Brocard is available at Bloom Perfumery London where it is priced at the staggeringly inexpensive £26 for 75ml EDP. What a complete bargain! This one is definitely on the ‘to buy’ list and we don’t even have to save up to buy it.