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Group: Fruity floral
While browsing through my miniature collection recently, my attention turned to this little number from Café Café perfumes. Cofinluxe, the French company that make Café Café and other fragrance brands such as Salvador Dali have been around the 1970s and produced around 16 fragrances up to date.
All the fragrant members of the line have coffee related names however they aren't at all based on coffee but are rather generic fruity - floral fragrances. The present packaging has a rather sad light greyish tone and the inevitable coffee bean drawing. The silly-looking squiggly bottle is peachy pink and is adorned with coffee beans in a raised pattern.
Top notes: lemon, orange, tangerine
A juicy, fruity, fresh and sweet lemon blast greets me when I apply Puro on my skin. It's natural smelling, just like real lemon juice and that's a good point. There's something else lurking there too, something extremely familiar. As the aroma gets distinct I realise it's the top accord I get from one of my favourite springtime fragrances: Eclat d'Arpege from Lanvin. The apple mixed with the citrus makes the initial phase tarter but sweeter and fruitier at the same time.
Heart notes: tagetes, apple, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose
About 15 - 20 minutes later the apple - lemon freshness loses its intensity a little bit as some white florals join in. I recognise it as run-of-the-mill jasmine - lily-of-the-valley and rose accord often employed in combination to lend a gentle sweetness to the heart of fruity florals. It's by no means a distinct jasmine, lily-of-the-valley or rose here, it's the way they smell together that's so recognisable.
The lemony freshness stays put and I'm surprised that even after 3 - 4 hours it's still there loud and clear on top of the florals. I venture to say it's a floral apple - lemon fragrance at this point, the white petals are fairly in the background and only add some softness to the heart together with a thin powdery - aquatic note like that of a sea breeze without the salt.
Base notes: sandalwood, cedar, musk
It's been 6 - 7 hours I've been wearing Puro and I just have the same impression third time round. I guess it must sound boring and this is how I felt about the fragrance. It doesn't seem to have any intention of evolving into something else rather than a lemony floral with a fairly unsubstantial woody - powdery undertone.
Yes, the lemon is still there leading the way backed up by a very gentle barely-there musk supported by a subtle powdery and woody aroma that didn't seem to anchor the citrus but rather magnify it. The standard fruity floral base accord that came as no surprise finally disappeared after about 8 hours just when I arrived at my gym class and would have welcomed some more of it.
If I had to sum it up in one word? Linear. What you get straight from the bottle is pretty much what you'll get about 6 - 8 hours later at the end. Any perfume released in the past 10 years having lemony top notes - white flowers in the middle then rounded off woods and white musk will inevitably smell similar to Puro. I might be wrong but amongst the hordes of citrusy-florals, Dolce & Gabanna's Light Blue was probably the first one to be put out in this genre then others followed in quick succession.
You probably also have at least one of these lemony smell-goods in your fragrance wardrobes such as I do and that's not a bad thing. The problem is the perfume store shelves are bulging with them too and under a hundred different names. This scent is a type of fragrance that will make you think of a fragrance / fragrances you already know or wear, that others know and wear and you'll not be mistaken.
Chances to find a candidate of this overused and common formula somewhere near you are great. Dior Miss Cherie L'eau, (creamier, bigger on the floral), Versace Versence (greener) / Versus, (more aquatic) or Aqua di Gioia, (more aromatic) or Light Blue (sharper, woodier)? Or maybe Eclat d'Arpege (sweeter, more layered, lilacy) or Chanel Chance (heavy on the musk)? The generic citrus - gentle white floral - and even gentler (if noticeable) woody - musk list goes on...
It's not all bad news though. Although less layered and complex than its sisters above, Café Café Puro is an invigorating and uplifting, soft, yet relatively long lasting eau de toilette. It's also a good pick me up to start the day and wear it to / after the gym or on a casual day in any season especially now as the first signs of spring are here. If you're into this genre you're in luck with this inexpensive and fairly well-made generic, fresh, sweet and tart lemony floral. A neutral three stars from me and that's because of the sweet price it has.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Café Café Puro Eau de Toilette can be bought at perfume discounters including Amazon.co.uk for £9 - £15/ 100ml Eau de Toilette.
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on Ciao.co.uk