Last week on Twitter I stumbled across an announcement which made me whoop and dance a small, poorly executed jig. For in this one, simple, tweet my two obsessions melded in a moment of pure perfection. There’s a FIFA World Cup 2014 perfume.
I should explain that I actually have two Twitter feeds, because I have two very different passions. I’m ‘quite fond’ of beauty products (with ruinous special interests in palettes and fragrance) and bonkers about football. My beauty feed follows people in the industry and other beauty junkies, who, like me, would “crawl on their faces across town for a new lipstick” (copyright S. Hughes). My football feed follows journalists and fans just as passionate about The Beautiful Game. And it was on this feed that a journalist casually tipped off his followers that a World Cup fragrance was on the way. He has no idea what he started.
As you may suspect, I was on this faster than Lionel Messi on a nervous defender. And it wasn’t easy to track down. FIFA have licensed a stack of product for this year’s World Cup in Brazil. I waded through pages and pages of shirts, key rings, wall decals, cuddly toys, fussball tables* and phone covers to no avail. Finally, after a lot of Googling and guess work, I tracked down the German manufacturer’s snappily titled website and discovered that there was in fact not a World Cup fragrance. There were four World Cup fragrances. Two for men and two for women. There was no way I was stopping now. I battled my way through checkout in a mixture of German and English and sat back in anticipation of two bottles of finest Brazilian fruits and flowers with a hint of pleather landing on my doorstep.
So, what are they like? Well, let me set your expectations by saying that each fragrance costs 19.95 euros for 100ml. Yes, 100ml. Hoping that these are going to be on a par with a Chanel L’Exclusif is like hoping that England are going to win the World Cup – a nice idea (if you’re English), but we all know it’s not going to happen. My first impression when I shredded the perfume’s shrink-wrap defence and made a dash into the box was that the Bottle Design Committee meeting was probably quite short. Perhaps something along the lines of: ‘Shall we just make a square bottle with a gold lid and stick the logo on the front? Super. That’s two sugars in mine and slide those Bourbons across, would you?’
As for the fragrances themselves, ‘Passion Woman’ is described as “Oriental, woody, fruity, that’s just a brief description of this young and feminine perfume. The top note of lemon scented bergamot, grapefruit, pear and raspberry is completed by a middle note of jasmine, red rose, violet and orange blossom. Patchouli, sandalwood, amber, vanilla and musk are used for the base note.” I got a massive blast of sweet fruit, which faded quickly into an inoffensive floral and settled finally into a vague amber with a hint of rose. It smells like almost every celebrity fragrance you’ve ever picked up in Boots and probably put back down again.
‘Classic Woman’ is described as “As elegant as the woman wearing it, this floral, fruity, aquatic and woody perfume has a top note of mandarin, pitanga leaves and peach. The middle note consists of yellow jambo, Damascus rose and pink freesia. Sandalwood, white cedar and musk were used as the base note.” I think they’ve covered all the bases there. ‘Floral, fruity, aquatic AND woody’. Ideal if you want to smell like a flooded orchard. It proves a bit jumbled, which is a shame because on paper there are some notes I really like. The opening is sharp, and the rest a bit, well, meh. And “yellow jambo”? Isn’t that a cowardly Hearts player?
Still, I don’t regret buying them. They’re not great but for that price they were never going to be. I bloody love the World Cup and come June 12th I will be sat on the sofa, remote in hand, spritzing myself with one of my fragrances – there’s 200ml of the stuff to use, after all – with my wall chart all ready to fill in. I don’t want a replica shirt (between an offensive £60 and outrageous £90 for the England shirt) or a plush toy, thanks, so a souvenir of the occasion that chimes with my passion for beauty is my match made in heaven. Here we go, here we go, here we go.
The Official Fifa World Cup fragrances can be bought here
The FIFA World Cup takes place in Brazil between 12th June and 13th July 2014.
*If you want a souvenir fussball table or phone cover, try here