CAR-BRANDED eau de toilettes are nothing new — Jaguar has been producing them for more than 30 years, for example — but it wasn’t until more recently that they have shaken off the novelty image to become genuinely desirable fragrances.
The top car makers have become high end lifestyle brands with related products from household furniture to fashion, and eau de toilettes, perfumes and colognes are now very much part of the ownership experience. Those who buy the cars may want to extend their endorsement of the brand by buying related products, but the more affordable items — scents included — can open up the brand to those who may only be able to dream of owning the cars.
Whatever reason you have for looking at the car-branded eau de toilettes on offer, and whether you’re buying for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, you can be reassured that the ones we’ve picked below are top quality fragrances. Well, two of them are, anyway.
Bentley Momentum Unbreakable Eau de Parfum
- Price: £69.50 for 100ml
- Buy it at: Harrods.com, click here
Launched in May 2021, Bentley Momentum Unbreakable is a “bold and spicy, yet creamy and floral scent” aimed at men with an “unbreakable spirit”. It’s built around what Bentley calls Dreamwood, a sustainable natural ingredient that reproduces the smoky, creamy scent of sandalwood.
The embossed cardboard box feels solid and looks attractive, while the skyscraper-inspired cuboid bottle is as tough as they come, with a natural ‘mica schist’ stone plate veneer that matches veneer options available for Bentley cars.
- Top notes: Violet leaves, mandarin sfuma, lavender
- Heart notes: Immortelle, geranium, orris
- Base notes: Dreamwood, vetiver from Haiti, papyrus, patchouli
Our verdict: Bentley’s fragrance was liked by most of our test team, with one person noting its “more traditional” scent and woody base notes. It was pleasant in the air though and the smell on the skin seemed to mature as it dried. The most distinguished of our trio, as befits the Bentley name, but surprisingly not the most expensive.
Porsche Design Pure
- Price: £89 for 100ml
- Buy it at: Porsche-design.com, click here
Available from September 2021, Porsche Design Pure is the brand’s new signature fragrance and embodies “masculine purism” and the high quality of Porsche Design products, according to release information.
We were sent the 50ml flacon, which is smaller than the 100ml bottle Bentley sent us, and so less visually arresting and less weighty, but the label-free design is innovative, with a clever, integrated spray head, clear lines and precise curves. The grey transparent glass allows a good view of the fragrance itself.
- Top note: Grapefruit, Pink Pepper, Ozone Accord
- Heart note: Clary Sage, Cashmeran, Lavandin
- Base note: Mineral Amber Accord, Vetiver, Patchouli
Our verdict: Take a bow, Porsche Design — Pure eau de toilette was our test team’s favourite scent by far, with all involved saying they loved its fresh smell, and noting it being a more modern scent than Bentley Momentum Unbreakable, though some said they’d wear both. The Porsche fragrance was especially good on the skin.
- Price: N/a
- Buy it at: Not currently available in shops
Ford created this fragrance to coincide with the launch of its new Mach-E electric car, and on the back of research that suggested more than a quarter of UK drivers (26%) will miss the smell of petrol when they switch to plug-in motoring.
As such it should be considered more of a marketing move than a serious entry into the world of fragrances, particularly as Ford says it has no plans to sell it to the public. But still, the company did describe it as “a high-end fragrance”, created by “renowned fragrance consultancy, Olfiction” with help from Pia Long, an associate perfumer at the British Society of Perfumers, and offer Driving.co.uk the chance to sample it, so we felt it worth trying alongside two of the best.
Fragrance notes: “Her starting point was to look into the chemicals that are emitted from car interiors, engines and petrol,” says Ford’s press information. “This included benzaldehyde, which is an almond-like scent given off by car interiors, and para-cresol which is key in creating the rubbery scent of tyres. There were blended with ingredients like blue ginger, lavender, geranium and sandalwood that added metallic, smoky and further rubbery accents. An ‘animal’ element was also included, giving an impression of horses to underline the Mustang heritage.”
Our verdict: We received a small sample in an unlabelled bottle, which may have contributed to the feedback, which was less than positive. While some noted that it did smell of petrol, all agreed that this is not a smell they want as a fragrance. Its pungent scent was compared to that of TCP antiseptic liquid by one tester, while others recoiled on opening the bottle. Ford will need to go back to the drawing board if it wants to bring a fragrance to market.
How we tested these fragrances
Our test team comprised eight members, male and female, and each allowed to sample the fragrances in the bottles provided, as a buyer would experience them. The test team members were encouraged to try the fragrances in the air, on paper and on the skin to get a good sense of the full breadth of notes, and reported their views immediately after spraying and then as they evolved.
This article features products that have been chosen independently byjournalists, and our reviews are unbiased. We may earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to affect our opinions.
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