Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bex London "Londoner W1X": fragrance review

Londonder W1x is part of a new line in niche fragrances, Bex London, (and by now you know how I feel about hundreds of new lines coming onto the market, yes?), but let me assuage you: its prettiness is convincing "beyond the retro" and it lacks enough dullness for a contemporary release to warrant a separate review on its own merits. Which is to say, if you want a compliment-getter, read on, because I was inundated with those by all ages and all strata when I wore it myself.

Bex London, under the steady hand of Rebecca Goswell, its founder, apparently took a page off Bond No.9 and their ~exhausted by now~ concept of segmenting New York City into regions with their own scentscape and transposed it to a new, fresh place with more possibilities, the historic city of London that is; this time more exciting and on-the-pulse thanks to the 2012 Olympics. W1X is indeed inspired by West End and its bohemian atmosphere "where things happen" and is the most "feminine" of the lot smell-wise (the line comprises four unisex-aimed fragrances so far), composed by perfumer Francois Robert.

Though presented as a "neo-vintage" in the official press, this is strictly accurate only if you consider as "modern" the fruity florals and fruit-patchoulis miasma of the mall. W1X is quite forward-thinking in fact, with a very appealing contemporary and distinctly musky floral character that is trailing in the wind when on a generous wearer. If I were to assign it an ideal wearer I'd say it suits younger ladies who want something distinctive, with enough indefinable floralcy in it, which wouldn't clobber them down nevertheless. The sort of wearer that would put a cameo on a pashmina scarf worn over her jeans.
The mere fact that the main alliance of ingredients relies on the slightly metallic, sharpish iris-violet accord with a little bit of rose is indicative that we're dealing with something beyond the same old, same old syrupy sweet that we smell coming & going at any social gathering of 20-something year olds.

Antonio Marras, from the SS 2012 collection

 In W1X the powdery fragrance vibe of iris and violet that we have come to expect from "retro" scents ~reminiscent of pancake powder and lipstick~ is refreshed with a smidgen of white flowers (plus the fresh, eletric pepperiness of freesia as well as the clean, green nuance of lily of the valley which help provide the necessary "air" between the notes, giving the lighter, contemporary feel of the fragrance). Small surprises delight the senses when the fragrance is sprayed in the air: it gains a spicy, cinnamic pepperiness with touches of "round" peachy rosiness underneath (a lactonic warmth), hinting at the traditional ladylike femininity of pink satin scalloped undergarments peeking through a modern chemise like in an Antonio Marras fashion show. However don't let that convince you this is a dramatically evolving melody that will have you thinking about it all day long like vintage perfumes; the tune catches the ear from the start and continues unfazed.

But it is perhaps the fact that the sweetish musk peers through, with the support of indefinable woods and a wink of oakmoss to anchor everything down in an autumnal haze that seals the deal, giving new sense to neo-retro, actually having me perplexed as to which season to ascribe the fragrance to: it's pan-seasonal.

I can't say W1X reinvents the wheel, but I can't deny I'm smiling smelling it; it's the Narciso For Her effect.

Bex London has just launched this past June and their site is still under construction (a very European trait!), so I couldn't really find more information on availability and distribution. What I know is that the fragrance is available as eau de toilette in 100ml bottles going for 81GBP at Les Senteurs and Zuneta in the UK for now. 

In the interests of full disclosure, I sampled this thanks to a PR promo.


  1. I'm interested that you singled this one out, Elena, because this was my favorite out of this line, too.

  2. K,

    thanks for adding your feedback Katie. I think it's sorta cute really and not too sweet in its "young" demographic either, which is a feat in today's market (I have a similar reaction to Love, Chloe which I think we both liked as well, right?). I have passed on my sample to someone in the intended demographic indeed (22 year old) and they're totally enthused as is their entourage about it; and it's an eclectic entourage.

    Can't say I'm crazy about the white bottles pics though!! :-/


Type your comment in the box, choose the Profile option you prefer from the drop down menu, below text box (Anonymous is fine too!) and hit Publish.
And you're set!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin