103 by Bon Parfumeur

It’s summer for days with this vivacious little floral number that packs great bang for your buck.

Listed notes

Bergamot, genisteae (broom), hibiscus, jasmine sambac, neroli, frangipani, apricot, white sand, vanilla, musk.

The brand

Bon Parfumeur are a fantastic brand to get started with if you are either new to outside-the-mainstream perfumery or if you like your scents with an elegant simplicity about them. Their range just about spans the perfume spectrum and the fragrances are designed to be worn either alone or layered to create something unique to you.

Personally, we are a bit suspicious of layering systems at The Sniff, because it just seems like a gimmick for companies to get consumers to buy two or three bottles with minimal effort. Thankfully, unlike some high street layering systems we could give the ‘side-eye’ to, Bon Parfumeur scents are good enough quality to stand on their own. We are choosing to see the layering option as being a handy side feature, should you be so inclined, rather than the main reason you should commit your cash to buying them.

The other good thing about Bon Parfumeur is that their scents won’t break the bank. If you want to layer you can buy two or three 30ml bottles for the same price as some other single bottles. If you want to wear them alone, you’ll have change left to stuff into your piggy bank for the next time you need a perfume fix.

We’ve previously reviewed the elegantly simple 001 by Bon Parfumeur.

Top notes

103 is a lavish, vivacious floral which creates a little bubble of summer around you as soon as you apply it; it’s full of such happy vibes. Wear it if you are craving some summer sunshine, to celebrate that the sun actually has come out for once, or if you just want to feel all girly and carefree.

Applying 103 brings the soapy, coconutty genisteae note to the fore immediately. It’s heady, intoxicating and smells like something you would never in a million years find growing at the seaside in the UK – it’s far too exotic for that. You’d be wrong, however, as this is the family of plants that encompasses both gorse and broom, which dot our sandy seaside margins with their bright yellow flowers. There’s a saying, “the gorse will stop blooming when kissing is out of fashion” ie never. It’s also said that you can find the pretty goldfinch-coloured flowers even covered in snow in the depths of winter.

That’s what the top notes of 103 give you: a burst of brightness at any time of year. If it’s summer when you wear it then it will make you immediately feel like you are on holiday with the suntan lotion coconut rising from your skin. If it’s winter, it will immediately take you shooting right back to those memories. This is happy, carefree vibes in liquid, fragrance form.

Heart notes

Something a bit weird happens somewhere between the top and the heart of 103. For a short while it all gets a bit too much and becomes a bit sickly. The floral notes get more intense, and sweeter, and they seem to begin vibrating at a higher and higher frequency and just when you think that you might have to wash it off…it calms down beautifully. It could be the vanilla that goes a bit awry here, or just the conjunction of all the big, sunny florals together perhaps? This slightly overbearing phase doesn’t last long though, so bear with it. 103 at this point has the intensity of a first love which is very appropriate given how sunny, youthful and girly this scent is.

The coconut, soap-like qualities that the scent started out with now fade as a chorus of sweet florals begins to swell, in particular jasmine sambac and neroli. These are bright, floral, warm, honeyed and almost clean in tone. To us, the jasmine appeared on the more floral and flighty end of the spectrum rather than the unctuous, sexy, dangerous and serious note that it can sometimes be. Here, in 103, it’s always summer, never winter; always sunshine, never rain. That’s the vibe you need to imagine if you want to imagine what this scent is like.

Base notes

To our minds, the base of 103 is the real triumph. Once all the shouting of those big white florals have died down, and the overly-sweet-but-very-transient phase has passed, what we are left with is a really very enjoyable musk and jasmine petal scent. And, if you like your jasmine on the floral side, then you’ll find the base absolutely delightful – we certainly did.

We’ve all seen those adverts where a beautiful girl leads the viewer through the sand dunes, the sun is shining as she holds on to her sun hat, hem of her white floaty dress flipping as she walks, long hair trailing down her back, face all smiles and even white teeth. That’s exactly what 103 reminded us of. There is no darkness here, no seam of mystery, veiled desire or wanting. Instead what you get is all chocolate-box happiness, pure and simple. And it’s glorious to revel in that for a while. If you could instagram the vibe of a perfume then it would look like someone else’s perfect life and perfect summer. And who doesn’t want to believe that their life is like that now and again?

The other stuff

The longevity of 103 was a really good. It lasted for absolutely ages, well into the late afternoon and even evening. We were really pleased with the longevity, it’s excellent especially at this price point and perfume concentration.

The sillage is also good. The scent projects to beyond handshake distance and leaves a very nice wake when you pass someone wearing it. Again, high marks for this.

In terms of what gender this would most be suited to we would have to say, without reservation, that it is strongly on the feminine side of the spectrum. It oozes stereotypical femininity, but if you are a guy who’s rocking it then you go to it.

If you want something that has a similar vibe to Honour Woman by Amouage or even the beautiful Melodie de L’Amour by Dusita but simply aren’t willing to commit that sort of money to a bottle, 103 is an excellent, and much cheaper alternative.

Buy it

103 is part of the whole range of Bon Parfumeur scents stocked by Bloom Perfumery, London who kindly provided us with a sample of this scent. 103 is priced at £45 for 30ml EdP.

103 is also available from the Bon Parfumeur web boutique.

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