Scentbird, Inc., New York, NY 10001
The British have been stereotyped for decades for their social reserve and fastidious manners, but when it comes to perfume, those same qualities make for an elegant, sophisticated and confident impression. The house of Burberry is known more for their iconic, neutral-toned overcoats and tidy plaids, and their line of fragrance shares that classic feel.
Burberry London even wraps itself in a tiny sleeve of that plaid fabric around the bottle, so the association is made perfectly clear. But it’s what’s inside the bottle that matters most, and here is where Burberry’s fastidious image shines.
London is a classic floral, with soft overlays of clementine and honeysuckle at the top that add just the proper amount of citric energy to the powdered peonies and slightly green jasmine in the heart.
The overall impression of the perfume is that of a relaxed, offhand, and casually perfect presentation. The notes all come in a jumble at the beginning, with the tiare flower, peony and jasmine insistently blooming out of the mix in a powdery bouquet dusted with dry vanilla facets. The tart clementine and honeysuckle pop in and out like streetlights winking on at dawn on a foggy London street.
The powdered vanilla florals are content to waft around awhile in the heart, making their presence felt, but as this is a proper English perfume, not in a loud, bratty or dramatic way. A refined, serene “floralness” emanates out from the core of the fragrance, as if you’re passing by a vase of freshly-cut blooms in a drawing room overlooking an ancient estate.
And it’s this “floralness” that makes Burberry London so versatile when you are putting your look together. You can pair it with Burberry’s own neutral khaki palate for a clean, refined profile or wear something neon-bright and textured, and let it’s laid-back, wry smile keep your wardrobe’s insistent energy on an even keel. There’s no wrong way to wear this fragrance, in other words. “Safe as houses”, as the British like to say.
The drydown is made up of sandalwood, patchouli and musks, with perhaps the patchouli being the standout note. But these spices are just the foundation on which the delightful “floralness” rests.
Burberry London is not only emblematic of British propriety, but also of the weather there. There’s a soft, muzzy floral mystery floating around in the middle of this scent that will envelop your skin, and only slowly unveil itself in a languid, unrushed manner. This bottle, in its perky, plaid sweater knows you have things to attend to, but sits you down for tea and conversation first.