Zara Vetiver Pamplemousse

The world here is slowly moving towards spring. March can be an all-over-the-place month but at least we are seeing a lot more blossom (magnolia, cherry, in addition to a load of daffodils and other bulbs) – which helps regarding the winter blues.

If you read my post last week, you might have seen the picture of the four things waiting to be addressed. This week, we’re doing the first one I grabbed – which was a really interesting and lovely surprise.

Let me say from the outset that I am negative on Zara overall as a shop. I have tried over the years to wear the clothes offered but nothing, and I do mean nothing, has ever fit properly. Clearly, I am not their demographic. Which is fine but weird too. I’m good with H&M, Next, and on and on with chains.

So, I never tried any of its fragrance offers – because why bother?

Grapefruit. I love the idea of grapefruit now. Alas, however, I can no longer eat it. I have very strong memories of visiting my parents as a 20-something and eating loads, and I do mean loads, of grapefruit – like I was missing something nutritionally that was only available via these huge citrus things. I’d peel one, segment it, pull back a bit of the gossamer stuff covering the fruit, and nibble. My mother was hugely perplexed by this method of eating and was also a bit concerned about why I seemed to be needing to eat a couple a day.

Decades ago a friend gifted me with a Jo Malone grapefruit candle. Great sharp citrus fragrance and incredible throw. One of those gifts that keeps giving in the memory long after the item itself is gone.

But even with these positives about grapefruit, when I received this little bottle along with some samples from a friend, I was dismissive. I though to myself, “Maybe I’ll just gift it to one of the charity shops without bothering to try it”.

Would have been a big mistake – because this is just … a small piece of perfection.

Make no mistake, the fragrance isn’t at all complex and it certainly doesn’t have any real development. Quite simply simple and full of joy.

Notes list is a joke: grapefruit, tangerine and vetiver. Interestingly, Jo Malone actually did this for Zara. The marketing guff is “A crisp white cotton shirt layered with a citrus cologne, an every day accessory for me”.

The opening has a hint of vetiver and it’s a bit of sour distraction from what is a very very good grapefruit. Sharp, tart, juicy, etc, etc. Longevity is good: around six hours and drydown isn’t sweet – still getting that tart grapefruit smell.

Wearing it is happy making, and it’s cheap as chips – like, really, seriously. The Zara website currently lists 75ml at £4 (down from £26 – it would still be a bargain at £26). So, get out there and spend a tiny bit of your money.

I will definitely be keeping this and it will join Agrumi di Sicilia as a spray mightily hot weather staple.

Oh, and I love the word ‘pamplemousse’. Much nicer than grapefruit.

Anyone tried this or any of the other Zara fragrances?

Pics: Pexels and mine

  • Pam says:

    I love this fragrance! The candle is excellent as well. I pretty much love most of the Zara/Jo Malone scents. I have and love the Ebony Wood, Fleur d’Oranger, Fleur de Patchouli, and Tubereuse Noir. As they were super inexpensive compared to some of my other perfumes, I tend to use them without inhibition. Fun times.

  • March says:

    I used to work near a Zara and would sniff them on my lunch hour, I think I may even have reviewed some on here at one point … but they come and go all the time, I don’t think I’ve fallen in love with one. This sounds great though!

    • cinnamon says:

      The local town here has a high street with Zara, H&M, Next, etc. I haven’t been into Zara in years. While I really like this, I think it’s an anomaly and just happenstance that it fell into my lap. It doesn’t make me want to go looking more at the perfumes.

  • AnnieA says:

    Since my main complaint about Jo Malone over the years has been that they were overpriced for what they were, I scurried into Zara when I heard about the JM-directed scents.

    One friend utterly adores Waterlily Teadress, and I have a bottle of Jo’s Rhubard which is quite crisp. A sweet Pastry in Paris was on sale and while I rarely wear it, it truly smells of buttery pastry. Also bought a little bottle of Cheery Smoothie. Overall, they’re worth a sniff, but only buy online if there’s a crazy sale. And yes, I too can’t buy their clothes, although H&M is okay…

    • cinnamon says:

      I’m not a huge Jo Malone fan — at least of the main line perfumes. They have just never done a lot on my skin. I do really like H&M — pile on the Heat Tech stuff in the cold weather.

  • Tom says:

    I remember liking this one, but I think it’s discontinued at least here in the US. Nowhere on the website, just on eBay..

    • cinnamon says:

      Perhaps it is fully discontinued and that’s why it’s on the website here at £4 — ie, divesting stock… Or maybe we’re just well behind the US 🙂

  • Dina C. says:

    This sounds really promising. I’m surprised! Zara always conjures up images of fast fashion sweat shop labor for me. I know grapefruit can be a tricky note that smells of cat pee to some people. Probably a “test first” scent. The price is certainly good!

    • cinnamon says:

      Yes, there’s definitely that about Zara — it’s poor reputation. I think this is the first mainly grapefruit fragrance I’ve owned. All other cologne-like things have been all mixed up juicy fruits.

  • Portia says:

    YAY! I love Vetiver Pamplemousse too Cinnamon.
    Jin and I ran full tilt around Seoul to get a bottle one night. I’m not even sure it made it to Australia or if it did it was for a nanosecond.
    Can’t believe they’re running it out for 4 pounds! Might get a mule involved.
    Thanks for the heads up.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      I’m generally not big on Jo Malone things (they just don’t smell of much on me) but this is a win. And yes that price point calls for indulgence 🙂

  • alityke says:

    The Zara’s I’ve tried have been ……. disappointing. Amalfi Sunray was lemony disappointment & A Sweet Pastry in Paris was a lemon cake disappointment. I’m wary of Zara’s citrus offerings. I’ll give this a sniff though as both you & Portia are fans

    • cinnamon says:

      The name A Sweet Pastry in Paris makes my head hurt a bit. Just the thought of how sweet … I think this is worth a go, especially at this price point.

      • alityke says:

        None left on the website when I looked. I sold on ASPiP for good money. It has an enthusiastic following!