Banana Republic W is probably the first perfume I have reviewed that I actually bought for myself! Most of my perfume is bought for me by friends and family as I don't often treat myself to fragrances. W was released back in 1995.
I bought this about a year ago. Mine is a 50ml bottle of the eau de parfum. It comes in a fairly simple white box with Banana Republic W written across the front.
~ Price and availability ~
This perfume is available online at Amazon.co.uk for £9.33 for a 50ml bottle with free postage and packing and fragrancedirect.co.uk for £9.95 for a 50ml bottle (plus £1.99 postage and packing).
~ Bottle ~
The bottle itself is also rather simple. It is a rectangular shape which curves towards the front of the bottle. 'Banana Republic' is written across the front in black lettering, with a large silver 'W' behind this lettering. The lid is a dulled silver coloured cylinder which fits nicely over the spray button.
The bottle is very plain and simple and is not very feminine. It looks as though it could easily be a fragrance for men.
~ Scent ~
I really love this perfume. It smells light, fresh and floral. An uplifting scent.
It is described on Fragrantica.com, 'Banana Republic is a fragrance of white flowers with neighbouring green notes. This fresh, unintrusive fragrance for romantic mood is appropriate for daily use.' It is described on google shopping, 'This feminine scent posesses a blend of fresh leafy tones partnered with honeysuckle, waterlily and a woody, musky base.'
I can definitely identify the green notes, but the white flowers dominate this scent. It is really unique and different to any other perfume I have used. It is very feminine, unlike it's fairly bland box and bottle.
I think it smells quite expensive.
It strikes me as a summery day time scent. It is really light and I can imagine women of all ages wearing this scent. I think uplifting would be the best word to describe it.
I have found that it is long lasting as well so it really does tick all of the boxes!
~ Overall ~
I really love this perfume! It is so light, fresh and is really uplifting as well - that sounds like a daft thing to say about a perfume, but if you smell it you'll know what I mean - there is a positivity in it's scent! I strongly recommend that you sample this perfume. I can't imagine that anyone could find this scent offensive. It is reasonably priced, but smells expensive. It is the perfect feminine day time scent!
When I think of the Banana Republic brand I think about Clothes and more so Clothes in America. I got a few samples of Banana Republic Perfumes when I was in New York and they were decent sized samples. You can buy this online so don't have to be in America to get it!
After looking online I have found this in 2 different sizes and the prices aren't too bad. The 50ml bottle seems to sell for around £12.99, and the 125ml bottle can be as low as £20. A bit of an odd size 125ml and a bit of a bulky bottle to carry around in your bag, but if you wanted this one to keep in your house then it's a great buy.
The box for this is a simple looking sort of Cream-Yellow coloured box which looks quite simple. It doesn't look designer or expensive, but it isn't after all. The bottle is a thick clear glass which is like a short rectangle on it's side. So it's pretty wide and not too tall. The lettering is quite small and black, and the W on it is a silver grey colour. The lid is silver grey as well, and I think it looks a bit plastic-y.
So how does this smell? It's alright, but not the kind of scent that I go for. On the box it states that this is "The notes of white flowers give a sheer and refreshing scent". Sounds all ok, but does it smell it? The smell is quite strong and it seems to be a kind of powdery smelling scent. It isn't overpowering but when I first put this on I did put the usual amount of Perfume on that I would normally do and I could smell this straight away. The White Flowers smell like Lillies and the little White spray things that you get in bouquets of Flowers. I would say there seems to be a dash of vanilla in here and a hint of a Musky scent. It's alright, but in my view it just isn't all that interesting. I suppose for the price of it it is cheap enough if you like this kind of scent.
Not for me but sure it will be suitable for some people out there.
Banana Republic is a well known clothing chain in the US but as they only have four stores in the UK (all in London) it's not a brand that's particularly well known over here. Although I had heard of the brand I was slightly surprised when my sister gave me a bottle of the Banana Republic W fragrance as although I knew they sold clothes I wasn't aware they also produced a perfume.
The fragrance is an eau de parfum and comes presented in a white box with grey and white writing, and if I'm honest it's all a little masculine looking. The bottle stays on the masculine theme - it's a chunky rectangular shape which curves inwards slightly at the front. I'm quite a girly girl and like my perfume bottles to be pretty and jewel-like, so this design is not really a favourite with me. I found out that this fragrance was actually released around 1995/1996 and I wonder if perhaps the design is perhaps just something to do with trends of that time, because if you think of CK One which was released in 1994 and was the big fragrance back then, I can see similarities in the packaging - especially in regard to colours and fonts used on the bottle.
Being a store brand fragrance I didn't really expect much from this, so was surprised how much I actually liked it. I am not great at distinguishing different perfume notes, and I've found it hard to find out what the notes of this perfume are online, but I'll try my best to describe it.
When first sprayed there is a very fresh,clean scent from this which smells quite floral, but it's quite a leafy/green floral rather than a highly perfumed flowery type scent, such as that you might get from rose or carnation for example. I'm going to put myself out there and say I can smell a hint of water lily. I might be way off the mark, but that's certainly what comes to my mind! First impressions are that it is quite a pleasant scent- light and fresh, and I feel there is something quite summery about it.
When the perfume settles on my skin, I find that the 'green' scent really starts to come out. Again it's quite leafy, and although not too dissimilar from when it's first sprayed, I think that this is when you start to notice the depth of the fragrance and there seems to be a slightly warm undertone to the scent. It's quite unusual if I'm honest, I really can't think of any other perfumes or products to compare it to, but I find it quite uplifting and refreshing.
When it has been on the skin for a while, the base notes seem to come out and I'd say these are very slightly woody (possibly sandalwood?), yet again, it retains a hint of fresh leafiness right until the end.
On the whole I do think this is a lovely fragrance and it's one I wore a lot during the summer. Now that the weather has gotten colder I do prefer something a bit heavier than this one though. I'd definitely describe it as a day time scent, I can't really imagine it's one I'd wear in the evening with it being so light. When I have worn this scent it has mainly been to work or when going out shopping, so I'd say it is your 'every day' kind of fragrance, because although it's lovely I don't think it's quite special enough for nights out or special occasions. I must say though, I have actually had a few nice compliments on this one too, which is saying something as very rarely does anyone appear to take notice of the fragrance I wear!
The staying power of this is OK, but not brilliant. I'd say it will last around 4-5 hours before I feel the need to re-apply it. I'd actually say it's quite a subtle scent, it's in no way overpowering, and it's not one of those scents that will enter a room before you do!
Currently this is retailing at £9.90 for a 50ml bottle and £19.40 for a 125ml bottle from www.cheapsmells.com which I think are pretty reasonable prices. This is not a fragrance I have seen widely available on the high street, although a quick search shows the larger bottle is available from House of Fraser at the price of £30.50...reason enough for you to get it online!
To sum up, I would say this is a lovely day time fragrance for the warmer months and as an added bonus it doesn't cost the earth. If you like, clean, fresh and green smelling perfumes I would thoroughly recommend giving this a sniff!
The notes of white flowers give a sheer and refreshing scent.