Tuesday, April 26, 2005

H&M - Summer Blossom and Delight Blossom

"A body mist which is meant to be used all over body. Gives you a natural freshness which lasts all day long."

That's exactly what it says on the back of these bottles. Generally speaking, H&M's grasp of the English language is not terrific. The store is full of shirts screenprinted with slogans and phrases that don't really make much sense, but aren't quite Engrish-caliber bizarre. A name like "Delight Blossom" is pretty standard here.

For those of you who aren't blessed with an H&M nearby, let me tell you that it's a really fun store. Kind of a clothing-store love child of Ikea and Claire's. The good thing about H&M is that everything's really cheap. The bad thing is that a lot of it feels really cheap. Some of the clothes are practically dissolving on their hangers. And sometimes they'll still ask $40 for that stiff, unlined, sandpapery blazer.

So you can sort of see why I've never bought cosmetics from H&M. I always figured they'd probably contain lead.

Summer Blossom and Delight Blossom are two new and undoubtedly limited-edition fragrances from H&M. There's a third, called Punky Roses or Violent Roses or something involving roses and a decidedly un-rose-like characteristic, but it's not available in a spray as far as I can tell. The two Blossom scents are pale green liquids in standard-issue plastic body spray bottles. Summer Blossom is a 6 ounce bottle with a flowered label that looks something like a Gap scarf; Delight Blossom comes in a 1.8 ounce bottle that may be Monyette-inspired. These seem to be the only sizes they're available in, and I don't know why.

Well, I was in the middle of an H&M shopathon when my friend Laramie Wellington and I came across the fragrance table, and of course I sniffed them, being the scent junkie that I am. Usually I sniff the bottle without spraying it, which is what I did that day.

And I turned to Laramie, groaning "UGH SMELL THIS NASTY ROTTEN FISH YARRGHH." I don't remember which bottle I picked up, but it smelled like this one tree in my parents' yard that had the prettiest flowers in springtime, but those flowers smelled like old fishsticks. There are fragrances I don't care for, and then there's stuff that's just foul. If you ever meet anyone who actually wants to smell like fishsticks, let me know so I can issue a restraining order.

The saddest part of all this was that I bought them anyway. My arms were already full of assorted junk I was going to buy, and they were beyond cheap, and I figured that they'd at least provide interesting material for the blog.

Okay, so I spent so much time talking about how grody this stuff seemed that I'm going to put the next part in bold: Summer Blossom and Delight Blossom do not suck. They're actually pretty good. It turns out the stinky fishy smell had something to do with the plastic sprayer thing and not with the fragrance, and after a few sprays, the stink will disappear completely.

Delight Blossom is a very sweet, bright, candylike gardenia, somewhat synthetic and flat. Kai it ain't, but it's kind of nice in its own way. Summery. Not too cloying. I don't detect anything besides the gardenia, but sometimes simple is good.

Summer Blossom is similarly one-note, though not blossomy. It's more of a pear scent: subtle, sweet, and slightly crisp. It makes you want a Harry & David gift box. The pear in Summer Blossom smells almost identical to the pear in this French Vanilla Pear body spray I bought for two bucks on clearance at Wal-Mart. Some fragrance snobs might blanch at the words "clearance" and "Wal-Mart," but I went through that spray faster than anything before or since, and I would buy it again if it hadn't been discontinued. That stuff was fantastic.

Lasting power for both is adequate, comparable to any other body spray out there. Which isn't saying a whole lot. These might be good if you know a 10-year-old who likes smelly stuff, because she can spray all she wants and not smell skanky, and no one will die from the fumes.

Summer Blossom is $3.90 for 6 ounces, and Delight Blossom is $2.90 for 1.8 ounces. Cheaptastic! You can buy them at H&M stores, but they'll probably be quite difficult to find online. (I wouldn't look too hard if I were you.) If you happen to come across either, give it a spray. No, I mean give it an actual spray. Otherwise... fishsticks.

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