Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Milano, The New Classic, and a rainbow range of classic Classics - news Travalos slowly!

Back in February I wrote a post about the chronic difficulty I have when choosing perfumes to 'commit' to a Travalo. In passing, I happened to remark that you don't come across the more vibrant coloured Travalos anymore - the reds and pinks and golds, for example - other vivid shades I am more shaky on, as I may be getting genuine Travalos confused with their many imitators. Anyway, very soon after that post, the PR company which represents the brand offered to send me samples of a couple of new products, as well as pointing out that I was mistaken on the colour front, for the Classic Travalo model is in fact available in no fewer than 10 shades!

So I had this information, and sat on it, partly because I got the urge to blog about other thing first - the German tour and whatnot - but also because I figured that a post about atomisers is a fairly specialist subject, and people might want a little pause before I weigh in with another one. Then, just the other day, Bonkers reader Crikey left a comment on that post from February, with a link to Escentual, and the amusing remark:

'Oh, hmm...it appears the colours are blooming again.'

Well, as I say, I am not quite sure from the PR lady's email whether the colours went away and have now come back again, or whether they have always been in the range, but I have just been living in a monochromatic backwater.

Anyway, the nudge from Crikey was enough: it was high time to share with people the good news that there is in fact a veritable rainbow palette of Travalos - and maybe there was all along.

The next piece of news concerns two new products in the Travalo stable - The Milano and The New Classic. Well, The Milano has been available in Duty Frees and on board a number of airlines since last October, but presumably it is now hitting the wider retail world.

These two Travalo variants are based around a different design principle, for while they still sit on the top of a perfume bottle and draw the liquid up using a pumping action, the actual cartridge inside the Travalo is detachable. This doesn't mean that any less commitment is involved - oh, no, the new plastic cartridges are not intended to be cleaned out and reused - however, you can take the cartridge of the New Classic Travalo out of its original housing and swap it with the one inside The Milano. (This luxury model bears an uncanny resemblance to the Hermes perfume travel cases, though it retails for £35 and has some kind of leatherette fabric rather than calfskin - it is, however, also available in bright orange!)

Source: Hermes

So yes, The Milano might come into its own if you happened to be in Milan, or if you wanted a more refined-looking style of atomiser to whip out in the toilets of a smart restaurant, say, as you touch up your makeup and reapply your perfume. A little bit along the lines of a lipstick case, not that I have ever used one of those. But in this way you can 'dress up' your perfume in the evening, toggling between night and day in packaging terms. I guess we are back to that Italian perfume I blogged about last year - Social Parfum - that came with a variety of extra boxes you could buy as accessories, and which I dubbed the 'Sindy doll school of perfumery'. Well, this is effectively its little sister, the 'Sindy Travalo'...

Oh, and of course if you had multiple New Classics, you could also switch between them. I wonder if I would swap the New Classics over, say if I wanted to take two scents away with me that both happened to be in silver Travalos before. I could pop one of the silvers in another colour for ease of identification during my trip - and/or a bit of variety. I foresee a problem with that though, namely that I have just about memorised what scents are in each of my existing Travalos(!), and the same would apply if I committed perfumes to a bunch of New Classics some day. Yes, given my aversion to labels, if I swapped the housing on them I could get mighty confused about what was where. ;)

Gargoyle doing the honours again

Additionally, The New Classic has 'a new spray head technology, which produces a finer mist to disperse perfume efficiently over a wider area'. I'll be honest, I have yet to test this out, as I haven't put any perfume in it (commitment problems!), but I'll also be honest and say that I don't think I have any need to disperse perfume over a wider area, though it might be more economical to do so rather than hitting my 'décolleté' (I use the term loosely) with multiple squirts instead. Yes, I think I should conduct some field trials on this and get back to you, keeping an open mind on the matter.

L to R: Classic, The Milano (case & cartridge), New Classic (ditto)

I cracked! I decided that it is half a job if I don't put this claim to the test, so I committed a New Classic Travalo to En Voyage Perfumes Zelda and compared it with a regular Classic containing Kenzo Flower Oriental. Off the bat I must say that I am not wild about the plastic cartridge, which looks a bit cheap to my mind, but not only does the New Classic definitely spray a finer, more widely dispersed mist(!), but it filled up much more quickly than the traditional Travalo, or so it seemed to me.

New Classic - just one spray!
You can just about see in the photos that a larger patch of skin is covered by one spritz, albeit it will be weaker where it lands. So I guess it comes down to personal preference whether you want a light sheen of scent across more of your person or a few stronger concentrations at pulse points. My hunch is that you would probably end up spraying fewer times, so it could be a good way of eking out your stocks if that was an issue with a particular scent, not that the New Classic is being marketed that way.

Classic - look bottom left!

To complete the test drive I then took the cartridge of Zelda out and popped it very gingerly - and with considerable trepidation! - into The Milano, which has a hole at the bottom for the end of the atomiser to breathe maybe, and help prevent collateral scenting of the metal housing. I even plucked up the courage to stick the top back on The Milano, albeit only for a few seconds. I can truthfully say it did not impregnate the Milano housing with Zelda in that time, though I did wonder if repeated use of The Milano with different scents might end up leaving traces here and there.

Then a couple of things bothered me about The Milano, namely that once the cartridge clicks into place, which it does do quite securely, the nozzle swivels round more easily and quickly than you would expect - the full 360 degrees, like something out of The Exorcist. And the overall weight of The Milano troubled me - it is very heavy for its size, and I would not want that weight in my handbag, especially not in a smaller evening purse such as one might well be carrying in the smart restaurant of my imagining. ;)

UPDATE! I have just weighed The Milano (in its empty state) vs a Travalo of the classic kind (filled with perfume) - 58g plays 15g, so a lot heavier all right.

So in summary, I was pleasantly surprised by the faster pump action and impressively well distributed spray mist, but I don't truly see the need to swap the cartridges around into a rather clunky, if undeniably stylish holder.

On a side note, I did really like the layout of the email from the PR company, which looked exactly like a blog post, with the pictures integrated into the body of the text, rather than having to go off and click on some big images in pdfs and what have you.

Look at all those colours! I feel the atomiser equivalent of a kid in a sweet shop moment coming on...! Oh and Crikey, did you place your order yet....?


  1. Ah Vanessa, I have missed reading your enjoyable blog posts while I have been on my long (unintended) perfume hiatus. You know, I have no portable atomizers but I do think that the Milano is quite catchy to the eye (can something by catchy to the eye? i know things catch the eye, but catchy to the eye seems rather bizarre). Either way, its very pretty. I am not sure, but I might appreciate a finer mist as I like softer scents, but I don't know how I would feel about the weight. But since I've never used a portable atomizer, I really struggle to imagine if it would bother me. In fact, I don't know if I'll ever get a Travalo (or one of their surely lesser competitors), but if I do, I will most definitely think of you. :) Hope you've been well!

    1. Hi Sun Mi,

      Glad you are back on the scene! I can imagine you have your hands full with the house renovations and a baby. The Milano is indeed catchy to the eye - and easy on it, as well. I think I quite fancy the sound of the orange one, possibly for its prestigious Hermes associations. More to look at though than to use. The finer mist is impressive. I should conduct more field trials when I am not wearing anything else first, as I was last night! Do report back if you ever take the plunge and acquire a portable atomiser of any kind. ;)

  2. Wow, you're nothing if not thorough in your evaluation of the Travalos, which is much appreciated. The Milano IS pretty, but for all the reasons you mention and the extra price, I'm not certain it would be worth it for me. I also still have the problem of scent commitment, besides I'm not that good at using my decants actually, so when I take perfume with me, I tend to take decants in order to use them up (hopefully :-) )
    And you reminded me, I have still to test Zelda.

    1. Hi Asali,

      Thanks! I do feel I should weigh the two as well, and update the post. I would love to know the difference...

      I know that one about taking decants away to use them up - occasionally I even manage it, which is cause for celebration. Who knew the satisfaction to be found in tossing an empty vial?

  3. The Milano is pretty indeed, but what a peculiar colour! It would take me years to find the right perfume for that. As you can imagine, I am a bit special about the whole colour and perfume thing ;)
    And that's my problem with the other colours as well. If they were opaque, not metallic shiny, I would happily buy one or two for scents that have a strong matching colour connection, but the metallic effect puts me off. I'll stick to silver and black.

    1. Hi Sabine,

      I am not drawn to that colour, I'll be honest. It's not quite teal, is it? LOL at you being special - but I quite understand.

      We do differ on the metallic shiny front though - I love those brightly coloured ones! They have almost as much aesthetic value to me as The Milano in fact - certainly The Milano in baby turquoise...

    2. Baby turquoise is a good decription. You could also call it bathroom tile mint.

    3. Sabine, I have since thought of Wash 'n' Go shampoo bottles - I don't know if you can relate to that. The minty bathroom tiles is a good idea too. Especially in this room of The Control Tower (Signal Room):


  4. Nice work by the PR company there. Smart to be both paying attention and then following up neatly.

    And why yes, I did place an order. One orange and one green travalo should arrive tomorrow. Along with a stonking great big bottle of CDG2M. (I still have one black one that I'm still dithering about with regards to filling. I managed to find a blue one to replace my travelling l'HB stash.)

    The fancy Milano looks interesting, but, oddly half-hearted. Re the fancier Hermes, somehow I'd not noticed the extensive array of super-fancy-pants travel sprays around (aedes at £75, byredo at £80, look positively bargainous compared to the Hermes one). I am so not looking at those. At any of those. Nope.

    1. Yes, I really appreciated the way they followed up and was genuinely pleased about the news of the rainbow colours. I like the sound of the colours you have ordered, and am relieved to hear you got your back up bottle of CDG2M.

      I was only dimly aware of the Hermes travel sprays and must check out the others you mention. I am so not looking at any of those either, but there is a market for them, I daresay.

    2. Buying a direct replacement is quite exciting. It's the first time I've emptied a bottle in *such* a long time. Possibly since I moved on from the old habit finish-one-choose-a-new-replacement almost-at-random perfume wearing and buying. (Or, get bored of one, push the bottle to the back of a cupboard and forget about it, until I get the urge to buy a new scent. And then rediscover the old one in a house move a couple of years and be delighted to find it again. Or horrified. Depending.)

      I wonder if the market for those is "I know X likes perfume, but, er, I am confused and forget which so...LOOK expensive pretty perfume thing of luxury" giftage... that, or the people who spend £250 on a leather washbag. (I always wondered how they reacted to the inevitable blobs of toothpaste and powder smears that appear inside any washbag...)

    3. I feel your exhilaration! I can also relate to your other purchase MOs, haha. You may have put your finger on the market for The Milano - it is a 'pretty perfume thing of luxury' all right. And like you, I would have far too much trepidation to use a sponge bag that cost such an eye watering amount. Or a handbag. Substitute lipstick and ballpoint pen for toothpaste...

  5. V, I share your committment issues. When I bought Vega, Place de Vendome sent me three gorgeous, chunky atomisers with glass insides. Still empty!

    Oh and yes, nothing more satisfying than finally being able to toss an emptied decant.

    1. Hi Tara,

      Those chunky atomisers sound lovely - what a great store that is! Maybe you will have an idea by and by as to how to deploy them.

  6. The Travelos are such helpful additions to perfumista tools, and have been my decant bottle of choice for a while now.
    I enjoyed the first generations- but these do appear to be more attractive and they solve the truly ugly perfume bottle problem nicely.

    1. Hi Blacknall,

      Aren't they nice? Really eye catching and how true about Travalos that they solve the ugly perfume bottle problem - I hadn't thought of that.

  7. That colour of Milano reminds me of minty ice cream... I can't think which fragrance I would put in it but I actually like the look of it. :) I had some more encounters with Travalo look-alikes and I discarded them all.
    Today has been my first proper day off in ages and trying to catch up with all the posts I missed!!

    1. Hi Yuki,

      Minty ice cream is exactly right. Minus the choc chips. Another thing I thought of was a shampoo from the 80s? called Wash 'n' Go - the bottle was just that colour - in my memory at least.

      Happy that you have some time off now. ;)

  8. I'm officially jealous! :) I don't get often offers to get perfumes for testing - and that part I understand: I don't really review perfumes. But a couple of years ago I did an extensive comparison of 5 (!) different decanting atomizers - and not a single brand has offered me their products for [re-]testing (crying smiley) ;) BTW, back when I wrote that post Travalo had 10 colors.

    This new Milano in the color that you've got reminds me of Tiffany (though I see that the color is slightly different). $49 dollars for an atomizer though... I don't have a perfume special enough to warrant buying it its own carry-on bag to take it on a travel ;). (Well... With that attitude I shouldn't probably be surprised that brands aren't ringing my phone off the hook to offer their products for testing)

    1. Hi Undina,

      That is a shame that you were not approached with the offer of some atomisers to test. Especially given the degree of scientific rigour you would apply to the task - the brands are missing a trick there! If Travalo had 10 colours when you wrote that post, I just must have failed to find sales outlets offering the full range, which partly prompted me to seek out alternatives that were more colourful on eBay etc.

      I must check out that Tiffany atomiser - can't bring it to mind for the moment.LOL at your concluding line - you do tell it like it is, so maybe they would be a bit apprehensive about your judgement. Meanwhile, I have weighed the Milano vs a regular Travalo and will update my post to this effect.

    2. When I said Tiffany, I didn't mean the atomizer but a color palette and turquoise/silver combination.

      I must admit that weight would be the last thing that would prevent me from using an atomizer: I can probably kill somebody with my purse as is so extra 50 g won't make a difference ;)

    3. Oh silly me, I thought the Tiffany atomiser also cost £35 (dollar equivalent). Makes perfect sense now. LOL at your tolerance for weight! And you will be reassured to know that on my recent work trip to London I was careful to keep my handbag shut when I was out and about. ;) ;)