Saturday, 22 February 2014

'Oh Sienna!' Lidl Suddenly Diamonds review: a BOSS Orange dupe for a Paltrow sum


Regular readers will know that I have been a bit of a champion down the years of the discount grocery chain Lidl's perfume range - I have featured three so far on Bonkers: Suddenly d'Or (a close match of Ghost Luminous), Suddenly Madame Glamour (a masterly copy of Coco Mademoiselle), and in the men's arena, G Bellini X-Bolt (a convincing dupe of Hugo BOSS Bottled). Some people might have moral reservations about such parasitical copying of designer fragrances, though the whole concept of supermarket 'own label' products is predicated on the imitation of their more expensive brand equivalents - to varying degrees of flagrancy.  So speaking for myself - and coming from a food marketing background where I once presided over £11m's worth of own label coleslaw(!) - it is a commercial strategy to which I am pretty immune.  Moreover, the Lidl perfumes are such remarkable copies that I feel somewhat in awe of the perfumer responsible, assuming it is just the one.  All I know is that the range is made in Switzerland, and it took me forever to ascertain even that.

So anyway, I was in Lidl at the weekend buying pork medaillons and whatever else caught my fancy, whilst trying very hard to resist the domestic security alarms, walnut veneer-lookalike coffee tables, home gyms, twin packs of shocking pink vests (more shocking than they look in this photo, trust me), cosy 'leisure suits' (size 16 only), remaindered Valentine's baking moulds and Dumbo books - when I spied the latest Lidl perfume release - Suddenly Diamonds - another women's fragrance this time.




The first thing that struck me was that they had changed the bottle design - it was a chunky rectangular bottle this time rather than the cheap, plasticky teardrop-shaped one used for the previous two Suddenly scents. It was reminiscent in fact of the bottle style of a number of designer and even niche perfumes, so that was an improvement right off the bat.




The name 'Diamonds' proved to be a bit of a misnomer, mind - well, in fairness ALL the Lidl scent names to date have been misnomers(!) in the sense that they are not remotely suggestive of the perfumes they are copying.  Suddenly Diamonds is not an imitation of Emporio Armani Diamonds, for example, but the orange writing on the bottle pointed instantly to BOSS Orange.  After all, G Bellini X-Bolt was a dupe of a BOSS scent last time, so maybe the marketing people at Lidl thought they were on a roll with poor Hugo!


BOSS Orange edt and edp in Boots

But Boss Orange??  That would not be my pick, unless it is in fact a runaway bestseller and I simply had no idea. Admittedly, Coco Mademoiselle was always going to be a hard act to follow - Chanel No 5?  Marc Jacobs Daisy?  Lady Million? One of those annoying Be Delicious scents? - I don't actually know what the best sellers in the market are these days.  It would probably upset me if I did.  Maybe BOSS Orange is particularly easy to copy, because having got hold of a sample of it and the Lidl I am very impressed at the likeness.  More between the BOSS Orange edt and Suddenly Diamonds than the smoother, more rounded edp.  Hey, I didn't even know there were two!  Both the BOSS Orange edt and Suddenly Diamonds have that bright citrus opening, followed by a syrupy orange-y cotton candy, musky drydown, which kicks in pretty soon in fact. The Lidl scent is in a slightly 'deeper register', if that makes sense, ie is slightly less fruity and bright and kind of 'flatter' and more musky maybe, but I am splitting hairs really, as the resemblance is compelling.

BOSS Orange edt

Top notes: red apples 
Middle notes: white flowers, African orange flower
Base notes: sandalwood, olive tree, vanilla



BOSS Orange edt and edp testers cosying up in Boots

If BOSS Orange is your thing, for £3.99 you really can't go wrong.  It will cost you about eight times as much in Boots, say. Oh, and the 'Paltrow sum' of the title is a bit of artistic licence, for Gwyneth is of course the face of BOSS Nuit pour Femme, while Sienna Miller features in the BOSS Orange campaign. But they are both Boss girls, so obviously I couldn't resist it.

Now I absolutely hated BOSS Orange when it first came out - in fact the musks gave me an instant headache.  When I tried it again in the interests of this scientific inquiry it wasn't as bad as I remember, though absolutely not what I would wish to wear.  I don't hold with assigning demographic parameters to fragrance as a rule, but this does smell 'young'.  Younger than Sienna, even, and she is just the wrong side of 30, I see.

I must say I am rather disappointed by Lidl's rather lacklustre choice of BOSS Orange after the completely brilliant coup of choosing Coco Mademoiselle, and it has got me wondering about what scent I would like them to imitate in future. Well, I'd be interested to see what kind of a job they made of No 5 at that price point, hehe, though my guess is that it's more likely to be another ho-hum designer scent again... ;-(

In closing, I would like to pay a special tribute to the BOSS Orange bottle, which would cost a bob or two to replicate, even if the Lidl folk were that bold, and I am sure they wouldn't be.  It reminds me of those lovely nobbly glass bricks you get in hotel bathrooms.

Source: antrad.net


39 comments:

  1. You are a very brave woman. I just could´t. Shudder. Nevertheless a fabulous Saturday afternoon read. Is there any difference between Gwyneth and Sienna? I was under the impression they were clones.
    Hugs. CQ

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    1. Hi CQ,

      I was quite brave, I suppose, given my previous reaction to BOSS Orange, but it had to be done, and it wasn't as bad as I remembered even though I struggle with overly musky scents. Gwyneth is a bit more serious and straight than Sienna, I think - more wheat grass and yoga, type of thing - while Sienna smiles a lot as she kicks back in her Ugg boots and floral tea dress. Or that is my impression.

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  2. Hey Bonks! Funny top note there - red apples! Is there only one type of red apple in Switzerland? ;)

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    1. Ooops, those are the notes for BOSS Orange. You would think that after all this time, I would learn to make sure I am caffeinated before replying to blog posts! Oops. Anyhoo, the 'red apple' comment still stand other than "Switzerland" because I have no idea where BOSS makes their perfumes!

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    2. Hi Carol,

      The 'red apples' thing - even for BOSS Orange - is a rather odd note. I almost put '(could have fooled me!)' after it as I detect no apples whatsoever, never mind ruddy ones. ;)

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    3. Oh, and that was an easy mistake to make to mix up the two - after all, one is the dupe of the other, hehe...Maybe Suddenly Diamonds has undetectable red apples in it too? :-)

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  3. Great spot, V. Wouldn't it be fun if Lidl did a Guerlain knock-off? Suddenly L'Heure Azure, maybe?

    Is it Lidl or Aldi that are known for having kayaking and equestrian equpment from time to time? Must be exciting never knowing what you're going to find when popping out for the weekly shop.

    I like those nobbly glass bottles too.

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    1. Hi Tara,

      Chuckling away at your L'Heure Azure quip. Lidl and Aldi both have random consignments of non-food items. I was in there again today eyeing up some very whizzy bathroom scales that calculated BMI and all sorts, which were next to an iPod connector cable, next to some highlighter pens and lightweight thermal jackets. It is an Aladdin's Cave of stuff, I tell you! There were guitars in there the other week(!), and my friend Clare gets alerts from her mates every time cycling accessories are sighted in either Lidl or Aldi. ;)

      Aren't the nobbly glass bottles attractive? Especially with the light shining on them in Boots.

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  4. They should do an imitation of CK Euphoria, Dior J'Adore or D&G Light Blue :)

    Many-many years ago I liked Boss Orange for Men (and even got it for my vSO) but I don't think I've ever tried the women's counterpart. And since I have no plans to waste my skin or time even on the "original" I won't try the copy either but it was fun reading about your experiment.

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    1. Hi Undina,

      Oh funny... I have been lying in bed this morning thinking on about this question of what other perfumes they could imitate, and came up with two of the three you mention - Euphoria and Light Blue. J'Adore is a great idea too.

      It is quite - I'm going to say 'exciting' - trying a new Lidl scent, because whether you care for the one it's copying or not, it's always an amazing job!

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  5. Was the longevity acceptable with the Lidl? I always assume that however convincing dupes may be in the top notes, the fall apart and disappear after half an hour. Which may be a good thing.

    I enjoy the randomness of Aldi; don't have Lidl. And I was at Aldi today and picked proper maple syrup for about half what I'd expect to pay elsewhere. I'm going to experiment with a recipe which involves beans, maple syrup, bacon (fine so far) and - dried porcini mushrooms. Hmmm ...

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    1. Hi Anne-Marie,

      Good question re the longevity. My impression was that it was good this time (unlike Suddenly Madame Glamour), possibly because the Lidl one has a shedload of tenacious musk molecules in it. Will conduct another side-by-side test just to make sure.

      Well done on your maple syrup coup! The proper stuff is expensive as you say. I must say I didn't know that you had Aldi over there. Loving the sound of the beans and bacon in your recipe - also not sure about the mushrooms...;)

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    2. Thanks, I'm iffy about the mushies too but I'm gonna give this a try. If it's a success it could be both nutritious and kiddie friendly.

      We've had Aldi for years, although it took a long time for people to get used to the idea. I've started using Aldi's SPF30 moisturiser - works well, low-fragrance (always great with SPF products) and cheap. CHEAP! There is a unique sort of happiness which is specific to the experience of finding a great Aldi product. Ice cream. Muesli. Small bananas (too undersized to sell in the other supermarkets, probably.) Oh wait, this is a perfume blog right? Sorry ...

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    3. Hi Anne-Marie,

      Please don't apologise - I could talk about Lidl and Aldi all day. I'm not surprised you raised the point about Aldi's moisturising cream - they have been featured in the UK press for having some incredibly well performing creams for next to no money. Must look out for the one you mention - am in need of a higher factor moisturiser at the moment. Hard to find over SPF 15 locally. And I love small bananas! Aldi also do excellent fish with as high as 83% actual fish vs crumb etc. Many top brands are around the 65%. So many bargains to rave about...;)

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    4. Hi again,

      Have done a longevity test now, and the Suddenly Diamonds held up very well, indeed longevity was even slightly longer than the BOSS Orange, I sense because those darn musk molecules are so persistent, of which it seemed to have more...

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  6. I need to come back "home" and go to this Lidl treasure trove. I've never heard of it. Its funny, I've been planning a trip back to London and then over to Paris to hit all of the perfume greats, but it sounds like I need to add places like Lidl and Boots (Boots!) as well. Speaking of Boots, I was in the university bookstore at the beginning of last semester lining up with 8 million other bored students (7.99 million of which were at least half my age) and as we shuffled along inch by grim inch towards the cash registers, was assailed by a display of NO.7 makeup!!!!!! Now incase you are saying "um - and?" and wondering why this comment warrants so many exclamation marks, No. 7 is not seen over here other than at very few Target stores (sort of like a Tesco - or maybe even a Lidl!! - gawd I'm an exclaiming fool this morning). So this was sort of like seeing a long lost friend who simply popped up in the most unlikely place. I nearly risked losing my place in line to go and check it out, but I remembered my joyful visit to the No 7 counter in Target when I first knew it was there, only to be disappointed that nothing I wore back in the 1800s was available anymore.
    Anyway, funny you should write this post as I've been considering going in a citrus direction and am amassing vast amounts of info on such frags before I do so. These will go in the "hell no" column...

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    1. Hi SallyM,

      I do think Lidl and Boots are an essential part of any visitor's itinerary - even more so for a Brit returning to their roots, as you would be. ;) I also have a Swedish friend whose absolute favourite retail destination in the UK is Boots, from where she always returns home with a suitcase full of bargain toiletries.

      Loved the story of your No 7 encounter - my foundation and compact are from there, and their Protect and Perfect cream is legendary! But what an odd place to see a load of No 7 makeup?? Target (which I have come across) would indeed be a more credible haunt. And I know what you mean about the non-availablity of favourite shades / types of make up. No 7 killed their sludgy grey blue eye shadow to my great chagrin, and I am not sure that the trusty taupe 'Truffle' eyeshadow is still extant, prompting my defection to MAC pots and Max Factor Masterpiece cream shadows. 'Coffee', anyone?

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  7. I agree with Tara, Guerlain dupes required immediately, though if my Suddenly Mitts Shoe Co. came without the beautiful bottle I'd be saddened. Would a price of £3.99 cheer me?
    I too ventured into the land of uber cheap perfume this week with a blind buy of a set of 5 miniatures by Worth, £12.99 on Ebay (a few years old but not vintage). Two were vile, one was interesting but turned into citronella after only an hour, another was really quite good and the last was a jasmine dominant vanilla and you know how I feel about those! I feel a blind test with willing participants coming on. I wonder how they'd hold up against some niche brands in a grand sniff-off?

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    1. Hi Sarah,

      LOL at 'Suddenly Mitts Shoe Co' - wouldn't that be hysterical?! They would probably call it something totally unrelated though, like 'Suddenly Marsupial'. No, even that is too close - make it 'Suddenly Antelope'. I do surely think the price of £3.99 would cheer you...and what if they brought out an extrait for £6.99? ;)

      Interested to hear about your blind buy Worth mini-set. I rather like the sound of the jamsine dominant vanilla, hehe. I am sure you have the makings of a fun comparative experiment with that lot. Keep us posted!

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  8. What a great review! I also love the randomness of Lidl and enjoyed your description of a typical eclectic shop there.

    I had real trouble getting hold of this, but I did manage to bag a bottle in the end. I am going to review this myself soon, so I will try and erase my memory so that I don't subconsciously plagiarise!

    My take on "dupes" is that they are an illuminating light on the fact that many mainstream bestsellers are made for mere cents and pence, and the mark up is usually the marketing and packaging. Lidl has proved that good scent can be made cheaply, if you don't care what shape the bottle is or what name is on the box. I always say if you like it wear it, and never mind what the bottle says.

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    1. Hi Samantha,

      I look forward to your review! I didn't really say much beyond agreeing that this smells like BOSS Orange, so the field is wide open for further takes on this, I'd say. ;)

      Surprised you had trouble getting hold of Suddenly Diamonds, unless you meant you don't live near a Lidl? I thought it was a standard line already carried in every store.

      And I so agree that these Lidl dupes really focus the mind on how much of the consumer's money goes on the 'trappings' of a perfume...quite staggering really.

      Though in fairness to the original brand owner, they forked out for the original creative / development work, and that is a charge that the company replicating the scent can largely bypass.

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  9. Oh and if they're duping again, I'd love to see Gucci Envy or an attempt at a Shalimar style scent. But I guess I can dream.

    You mention bestsellers- I was in my local House of Fraser recently and asked about bestsellers. The SA told me: Lady Million, Jimmy Choo Flash and Marc Jacobs Daisy. Behind her was a big display of Hermessences and opposite her were a load of Guerlains. Sadface.

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    1. Hi Samantha,

      Well, I am all for an Envy dupe as you might imagine. Not such a fan of Shalimar.

      I actually would have guessed those particular bestsellers you mention, or some version of Jimmy Choo, certainly. I gather the men's version of Million is also a big seller.

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  10. Hello there. Just came upon your interesting piece about Suddenly Diamonds from Lidl. Actually Lidl DO DO a copy of Chanel No. 5 and it is absolutely dead on!!!! It is called Suddenly Woman 1 and is in a lovely square chunky bottle. It lasts and lasts and lasts, and really DOES smell like Chanel No. 5 EDP. They are bringing it back this year in time for Christmas, November I have been reliably informed. I too would love some "Suddenly Mitt Shoe Co" and Mitsouko is my favourite no. 1 perfume, and then No. 5. I am flabbergasted at the likeness to Chanel No. 5. Nobody ever suspects I am wearing Lidl, as I always wear No. 5 and it is much admired.

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    1. Hi there,

      Thanks so much for the heads up on Suddenly Woman 1 - what a wonderfully prosaic name for what sounds like a great copy of No 5. I don't know how I missed it(!), unless it was only stocked in the bigger stores. Will definitely keep a look out for it in the run up to Xmas!

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    2. Hi again, Vanessa. I was rooting through my drawers (!) the other day, and to my surprise came upon an unopened, sealed bottle of Suddenly Woman 1, when I thought I had run out!!!! I must have bought an extra one and forgotten it. I sprayed in on my right wrist and then some Chanel 5 eau de parfum on my left wrist and DH did not know the difference, he loves them both, and guessed they were the same. Woman 1 is a little more powdery perhaps than No.5 but that is not a bad thing. Woman 1 lasts a bit longer on the wrist and is an absolute steal at 3.99 euro. The thing is "to never tell" because some people are ferocious snobs when it comes to labels. I used to be but this is something else. I hope you find it. Keep me posted about it, and if you can't get it, I am sure I could grab a few more bottles and send some on to you, no bother. I love your blog..

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    3. Hi Anonymous,

      And sorry to keep calling you Anonymous, but that is how you appear, hehe. Really interested to hear of your recent side-by-side trial of No 5 and Woman 1! It is so true that some people are snobby about provenance, but it sounds as though this is yet another fantastic dupe. I can't get it for the moment - did you think it might reappear in store later this year? I also looked on Ebay but no joy. I am so curious about this one that I would be happy to buy a bottle off you, depending on where you are in Europe and whether you would be okay about sending it. Some countries are more offputting than others with their postal regs. Perhaps if you clock this reply you could drop me a line to flittersniffer at gmail dot com and we could talk about it further. I wouldn't want you to be out of pocket though! Thanks too for your nice comment about Bonkers - it is lovely to get feedback from readers - kind of galvanises you to keep at it, for when you write it does rather feel like you are talking into the black hole of cyberspace till someone pops up and says hello.

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  11. Hi Vanessa

    Woman 1 back in Lidl stores today as a special, £3.99 or 2 for £7....I bagged a cpl of bottles while I was in there this morning

    Cheers

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    1. Hey, thanks for the heads up! Will seek it out...

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  12. Unfortunately, my local Lidl only has Suddenly madame glamour.. so I guess the other two perfumes aren't available in every store :-(

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    1. Hi there,

      Oh boo - I rang Lidl Customer Services and they assured me that Suddenly Woman 1 was national, by which I understood every store. Maybe have a word with the manager - perhaps supplies are coming in nearer Christmas? As for Diamonds, maybe that is only the larger stores. Or is there another, bigger Lidl a bit further away, but still within striking distance, where you could try for these?

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  13. Well I assume Tooting fell off their map then!
    I'll check elsewhere and I'll definitely let you know.
    Love your blog btw. Keep it up.

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    1. Not in Tooting?! Why, that is a poor show - Tooting is far more of a 'retail destination' than where I live, so you would think it would have the full line. If you are still having trouble, PM me and I will surreptitiously siphon off a sample of Diamonds from a tester in store and send it to you. And I can easily make you one of Woman 1, as I have two bottles of the stuff that I am happy to waste in any way possible. Thanks for the comment about Bonkers - it is great to receive feedback from readers, as by its very nature blogging feels a bit like talking into the void. ;)

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    2. Thank you for the generous offer, but you were right. I visited the one in Tooting Bec this afternoon and they did in fact have all three perfumes. I got both woman1 and diamonds for 7£ and to my surprise I found out that they sell make-up as well in that branch. On my way back home, I stopped by the one near Tooting Broadway and there still was nothing but madame glamour.

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    3. Hurrah! I am glad Tooting Bec had got its act together and perfume house in order, as it were. Tooting Broadway really shouldn't be lagging behind, not with Christmas nearly upon us. They are missing a trick there. And makeup, eh? I have seen BB and CC creams in my Lidl, but not lipsticks or eyeshadows etc. Did you mean those creams, which are foundation substitutes after all?

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  14. No. I meant lip gloss, nail polish, mascara ...etc. I wasn't that impressed though. Colors were kinda limited.

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    1. Oh okay, I've not seen those in my branch. On a side note, there was a thing in The Times the other day really rating the makeup range of Poundland, I kid you not! That is my go-to outlet for nuts and Maltesers, to name just two things, but I hadn't ever clocked the makeup, I must say. ;)

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  15. Spot on! Looked cheap and very bad quality to my inexperienced eye :) That's why it took me like 3 seconds to check the whole rack out and I was ready to leave.

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