BEX London is a new British niche line that I’ve had the opportunity to sample. The names basically represent the post-codes in London and all the details regarding the relation to the scents is explained elsewhere online It’s an interesting concept – like a British Bond No.9.
EC2 opens in a typically masculine cologne way, citrus fruits and bergamot with a sharp bitter edge, give way instantly to a citrus/spicy blend of
black pepper, a warm nutmeg and woodsy notes.
Some raw cedar comes in and a bit of vetiver I think. It’s really not my thing – a typical masculine, safe, straightforward. It has a slight sweaty vibe and smells just like a Lynx deodorant.
After 20 minutes on the skin it is barely detectable – a very faint cedar, a sweaty Iso-E-Super type feel and some cologne notes.
I love the opening to N6. A huge blast of fruits hint towards apples, blackberries and a peppery spice, give way to a floral heart.
N6 is essentially a fruity floral, with sweet rose and jasmine in the heart mingled with the fruit juices from the opening. The delicious start disappears relatively quickly and a warm amber/sandalwood comes in within minutes.
After 5 minutes, the fruits have gone, the floral heart falls flat, and the amber/sandalwood dominates with a little sweetness hovering above it. A touch of bitter greenery (maybe oakmoss) adds a little more needed support. Very promising at the start, but within minutes all the goodness has vanished and the fragrance becomes about as plain as the bottle. 20 minutes on and no fruit is in site, a very slight bitter stain is left on the skin.
SE1 has a nice bergamot/citrus opening with a marine accord up top. The citrus is like a thick cut of grapefruit with a bitter/sour edge.
A saltiness also comes in pretty quickly, with some very nice clean vetiver. A green cardamom adds a little exotic spice to the marine accords – also adding some density. There’s a great “driftwood” note, that I really like. It’s more prominent than that in say – Mr.Hulot’s Holiday, and has a real seaweed/soggy beach smell. I really like this note, and alone it makes SE1 my favourite of the bunch.
As with all of the BEX fragrances, SE1 remains pretty linear after the first five minutes. Whilst it is a lovely marine scent (with one of the best driftwood notes I’ve come across), it isn’t the best there is out there as a whole fragrance, and nothing original in the overpopulated genre.
W1X‘s opening is a soft doughy iris, powdery violet, sweet rose and slightly indolic jasmine all bursting in at once – a lovely floral bouquet, more sultry than Putain Des Palaces due to the jasmine, but in the same vein at first. None of the florals dominate, but all kind of float around each other blasting out some dusty pollen here and there.
The base is too sweet however, with vanilla and an almost caramel sweetness. Some sandalwood adds a slight creaminess and support. The drydown is pretty unoriginal, once you’ve appreciated the opening, that’s all your joy over and done with. The richness slowly evaporates and you are left with a floral sweetness over vanillic woods – enough said I think.
So there you have it. I REALLY didn’t mean for all these “reviews” to be so brief, but they are straightforward, uncomplicated fragrances, that after 10 minutes or so practically smell the same.
I hate to slate the brand because I’m all up for independent perfumers and brands trying to make it in the industry, but – these attempts are much more style and concept over substance – even more so than Boadicea, Bond No.9 and all other polarizing brands. Really erm…. not good.
BEX fragrances all available in 100ml sizes for £81