January 2014. I was looking around for some smellies to stock up on to keep me smelling nice with a bit of range in there too. I don't want to smell the same all the time; I'd get incredibly bored. As I'd went and bought myself some "Just Different" by Hugo Boss I'd pretty much spent my budget, but wanted something else to play with. Roll on a trip to Asda, the home of Chavs and one of my most loathed places to shop. That'd surely provide something cheap enough to fit my needs!
===In the jungle===
The mighty aisles of Asda do, in fact, hold quite a lot of eau de toilets to choose from. If you are so inclined, you can even pay for them when you leave the store! As I've never had anything from Lee Cooper Originals before I decided to give them a bash. I picked up a box called "Gentlemen". For some reason the box is covered in a bunch of girls who are somewhere between emo and hippie. Oh... wait... that's not girls... my bad. I'm not quite sure why Lee Cooper think these girly looking boys fit under the "Gentlemen" image but thankfully the cardboard box is entirely recyclable, so you don't have to look at it for long.
===Origins of Originals===
The Lee Cooper website has a fantastic history section which you can read at your leisure. A brief rundown tells me that I've had a very strange attraction to brands who have a war-time connection recently. Founded as the Morris Cooper Factory in 1908 by the Lithuanian gentleman of the same name and his friend, the company specialised in making jeans and denim work-wear. In the first world war they made the uniforms for the British troops and in the second world war the company was officially requisitioned by the British military to make their uniforms again! So basically the second world war was one giant fashion show featuring Hugo Boss for the Nazis and Lee Cooper for the Brits. How strange!! Since then they've made some epic fashion faux pas in the form of Tartan jeans and PVC jeans which apparently all went down a storm at the time! The company was renamed in the 1940's when Morris's son took over and rebranded and named the company after his wife. If you want to contact them, their webpage (www.leecooper.com) has a contact email firstname.lastname@example.org you can write to and it'll also help you find the nearest store. Asda tells me the eu de toilette was manufactured in France at the following address if you wish to write to the manufacturers:
Parfums Jacques Bogart S.A.S.U.
76-78, Avenue des Champs Elysées
The bottle is only a little nicer to look at than the box. It does look a little like something a Dad stuck in the 80's would own. It's large and rectangular and made from clear glass so you can see the EDT in the bottle with ease. It looks a little like on of those glass brick walls with the wavy effect making the bottle look less plain. It's quite sturdy and probably wouldn't break even if you did knock it over. The lid looks a little like an elongated tyre with black rubber tread around a silver hubcap. This lid simply pulls off with no threads or clips to keep it on. Thankfully it's on firmly so it doesn't feel like it will slip off if you pop it in your man-bag/ holiday luggage. Under the lid is a spray nozzle that works with no problems at all. While functional, the bottle is a little dated in appearance so it doesn't look all that lovely sitting on my bathroom surfaces. It's not the ugliest I've seen by far, just a little naff looking.
Top Notes: Cardamom, Citrus
Middle/ Heart Notes: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Ginger
Base Notes: Leather, Amber, Musk
This is possibly the first review I've written on an aftershave where I've recognised every single smell. That might be why this scent comes across as quite basic. It doesn't really smell too alcoholic upon first spray and quickly settles down into a spicy, woody aroma. The musky smell becomes noticeable after a short time also so you'll get the range of notes pretty quickly with this one. It's quite a simple and decidedly manly smell. As it's a manly smell you'll need to be in the mood for it as it can smell a little dirty. I also find that it can feel a little flat at times but that doesn't mean that it's not nice, just that it's not as rich as other much more expensive scents. Still, you can tell the difference that price makes by smelling this. I'd say this is a good smell to use as a very basic aftershave when you don't want to be wasting your more expensive, really sexy smelling stuff. This will leave you smelling nice, but not turning heads (unless you're hot anyway).
===Does it last?===
This eau de toilette has an ok longevity to it. It certainly doesn't last on your skin the whole day, but it doesn't fizzle out straight away. I would arguably say that it lasts longer than my recently bought Hugo Boss on my skin. On clothing it lasts a little longer but it's still nowhere near the staying power of things like Joop (another regular on my neck/clothing).
===Is it noticeable?===
In a word, yes. But only close up. It isn't overpowering in any way but people will notice it if you're hugging them within a few hours of applying it. It hasn't had nearly as many compliments as other scents I've used but no-one has disliked it and my friends would definitely say if they thought it smelled horrible because we're all terrible people.
Occasionally when you spray EDT on various people, they grow feathers, turn purple and promptly die. I feel that's quite sad for them. If you're prone to death at all, you might want to check out the list of ingredients for anything you feel could set you off on a downward spiral to the murky depths. I'll include that for you here:
Alcohol Denat., Water (Aqua), Fragrance (Parfum), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octyl Methoxycinnamate), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate (Octyl Salicylate), Propylene Glycol, Ext. Violet 2 (CI 60730), Yellow 6 (CI 15985), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Citral, Hydroxycitronellal, Cinnamal, Geraniol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene
The price is definitely manageable at £10 for 100ml. This did make me wonder as to the quality of the fragrance, but it seems to be just fine. Yes, it's not as rich and deep as other more expensive smells, but for that price can you really argue? Probably, but I wouldn't really listen. For £10 for 100ml you can easily top this up and not be paying through the nose for it which makes up for any stars I would normally take off for the longevity not being as good as others.
The smell is really basic and isn't always something I'm in the mood for so I'll take a star off for that. I'm not a huge fan of the way the bottle looks either as it really does look a little dated and lacking style. It isn't the strongest scent I've used but the price more than makes up for that. That leaves us with an alright everyday scent getting three stars out of five from me.
Popular brand Lee Cooper is launching a fragrant duo named Lee Cooper Original Ladies and Lee Cooper Gentlemen / The fragrances have been on the market since spring 2010 / Fragrance Gentlemen is created as a masculine companion which opens with citrusy melody of agrums combined with cardamom and rosemary / A heart is spiced with nutmeg cinnamon and ginger while base notes are warm and masculine - amber leather musk /