I’m sure you also often heard from your friends in response to the question: “What are you wearing?” – “I don’t remember, it’s a blue bottle.” We must readily admit that for many men, the masculine blue color of the bottle and packaging is more important than the name and scent itself. Color is one of the markers of masculinity. But what is surprising is that the same color on the outside does not at all guarantee the same fragrances held on the inside.
Hugo Dark Blue Hugo Boss (1999)
It would seem that in all shades of blue, from sky blue to dark blue, the color of the sky overhead can be considered a guarantee for a windy freshness of the fragrance. Let’s remember that the color of the sea has a lot to do with the reflection of the skies – and the blue spectrum matches aquatic and ozonic scents. Take Cool Water Davidoff and nearly all of its flankers for example – their bottles are designed in blue. After Cool Water, any mention of the sea in a perfume’s story – from the tropical sea across the Riviera to the polar ice – inevitably leads to blue colored bottles. But this is just one, fresh and nautical part of the book about fragrances in blue bottles.
The beautiful legend of Paris’ night sky embodied by L’Heure Bleue Guerlain and evening powdery-floral fragrances like Evening In Paris Bourjois and Je Reviens Worth tell us a completely different story: an evening sky of deep blue velvet, ready to receive a scattering of stars.
Numerous bottles of cobalt colored glass, from the blue balloons made by Lalique for Dans La Nuit Worth to the stars of Angel Mugler, are associated with feminine evening fragrances for festive occasions; elegant, intense, often floral or oriental. There are also masculine ones among them – like Night Blue Armand Basi or Havana Aramis; spicy evening fragrances, spicy woody ones and fougeres. There are also couples, like the feminine BLV and the masculine BLV Pour Homme.
The third story – when the blue bottles mean nothing because they are simply the typical characteristic of the brand and not of the fragrance – begins with the blue bottles of Guerlain (like the Bow and Lantern) made by Baccarat, and continues to this day in the standard blue bottles of Urban Scents (although in this case the blue hints at the sky and the flying hobby of the brand owners). They can contain fragrances with any character, from any family.
Hugo Dark Blue Hugo Boss is clearly from the family of evening fragrances – a bottle designed by Peter Schmidt in the form of a blue cocktail shaker hints at a fun time clubbing with friends. The beginning of the fragrance, created by perfumers Alain Astori and Beatrice Piquet, confirms that image – bright sparkling notes of lime, ginger, and grapefruit seem to be put on the edge of a cocktail glass for decoration.
In the heart: rum and cola spices, a lavender-sage shine, and some kind of watery lily of the valley to refresh. And here, unexpectedly, Hugo Dark Blue becomes warm and sweet, as if the sound of techno music was suddenly replaced by a “slow dance”: a classic amber accord (patchouli, benzoin, vanilla) grows from nutmeg. The benzoin-vanilla sweetness is balanced by a tart tobacco accord, soft suede notes and some bitter lily of the valley dew – but the overall character of the base is still sweet and oriental. The scent hints at the seductiveness and sexuality of the night – which is clearly supported in the scent’s advertising (video above).
A comparison of Hugo Dark Bluewith other modern blue fragrance bottles brings up the question ‘how far have blue fragrances evolved since the beginning of the 21st century?’ For example, how about Bleu de Chanel or Pure XS Paco Rabanne?The fragrance character remains the same – they are woody aromatic fragrances with an oriental base; both fragrances combine the cool, fresh, citrusy top notes with hot, spicy and sweet base notes.
Whereas blue has acquired more spices and woody notes in Bleu de Chanel, having lost its smooth character along with the vanilla sweetness, in Pure XS, on the other hand, there is much more enticing sweetness. The “new blues” also have a common difference – in the 21st century, blue scents have become much brighter, denser and more persistent, in compliance with the wishes of modern day consumers.
I remember that when the perfume was just launched, I was confused by its sweet base – too sweet for my taste. Now, 21 years after its debut, I find the fragrance too simple, schematic and not very long lasting. So, evolution works the way it’s supposed to, albeit slowly. The Hugo Dark Blue by Hugo Boss fragrance is still in production and is available in the 75 ml blue shaker bottles, offered with great discounts online.
Do you have any blue bottles in your fragrance wardrobe? What are your favorites?
Hugo Dark Blue Hugo Boss
Top notes: Ginger, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon and Lime;
Middle notes: Cypress, Geranium, Mahogany, Cardamom and Sage;
Base notes: Vanilla, Cedar, Benzoin, Vetiver and Patchouli.