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GIULIA CROUCH Reveals How 1990s Body Sprays Got a Modern Makeover

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Take your mind back to the early 1990s, when girl groups ruled the radio and the air was thick with sweet, pungent body sprays. Ladies’ toilets were smeared with cheap aerosols from the likes of Impulse and Charlie.

First launched in the 1980s, body sprays were cheap, cheerful and frankly boring. And over the past two decades, they’ve fallen out of favor as women have moved on to more sophisticated — and more expensive — perfumes.

However, now they are back. And they’ve had a very surprising, sophisticated makeover – with the sickly vanilla, with pink pepper and bitter orange.

Even top designer brands such as Chanel, Diptyque and Tom Ford have launched their own body sprays.

Giulia Crouch (pictured) tests the new era of body sprays – which have had a modern makeover

They are lighter and more refreshing than a standard perfume and can be applied directly to clothing or to the skin. Some also have moisturizing properties, a clever new twist.

And with the cost of living running high, it can help to know that the new chic body sprays allow you to enjoy your favorite scents for a fraction of the price of the original eau de parfum. Take the 100ml bottle of Chanel’s classic Coco Mademoiselle, which will set you back £126, while the spray costs just £37.

So why the gap in price?

The main difference between a body spray and a perfume is the ratio of concentrated, scented oil to water and alcohol. Body sprays contain less oil and more alcohol than perfumes, making them cheaper.

That said, having less oil means they have limited staying power.

So, should you swap out your perfume for one of the sophisticated new sprays? We’ve put the best to the test…

LIGHT, BRIGHT AND PICK-ME-UP

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Fresh Body Moisture Mist 100ml, £37 (johnlewis.com)

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Fresh Body Moisture Mist 100ml, £37 (johnlewis.com).  It is light and refreshing with the recognizable scents of bright, tangy orange and sweet rose

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Fresh Body Moisture Mist 100ml, £37 (johnlewis.com). It is light and refreshing with the recognizable scents of bright, tangy orange and sweet rose

This signature Chanel scent works wonderfully as a mist rather than a perfume. It is light and refreshing with the recognizable scents of bright, tangy orange and sweet rose and patchouli coming through immediately.

In addition, it is well-balanced and smooth and feels moisturizing on your skin. The mist shape, which can be applied all over your body, is designed to carry in your handbag for spritzing on the go. Undoubtedly luxury. 4/5

SPICY FRAGRANCE – AND A SILKY FINISH

Diptyque Do Son Body Mist 200ml, £46 (diptyqueparis.com)

Diptyque Do Son Body Mist 200ml, £46 (diptyqueparis.com) With notes of tuberose flowers, citrus of orange leaves, musky depth and a faint hint of spicy pink peppercorns

Diptyque Do Son Body Mist 200ml, £46 (diptyqueparis.com) With notes of tuberose flowers, citrus of orange leaves, musky depth and a faint hint of spicy pink peppercorns

With notes of tuberose flowers, citrus of orange leaves, musky depth and a faint hint of spicy pink peppercorns, this has it all. It’s perfectly sweet without being overpowering.

It is also a bit different from the rest as it has a milky texture which when rubbed on the skin dries to a silky smooth powder finish. Mist it over your body for incredible fragrance and great hydration. 5/5

SADLY SYNTHETIC SHORT-TERM SPRAY

Tom Ford Lost Cherry All Over Body Spray 150ml, £75 (johnlewis.com)

Tom Ford Lost Cherry All Over Body Spray 150ml, £75 (johnlewis.com) The cherry smelled synthetic and went from overwhelmingly strong on the first spray to a bland, powdery sweetness after about five minutes

Tom Ford Lost Cherry All Over Body Spray 150ml, £75 (johnlewis.com) The cherry smelled synthetic and went from overwhelmingly strong on the first spray to a bland, powdery sweetness after about five minutes

My expectations for this were high. Promising ‘the ripe flesh of black cherry dripping with cherry liqueur with a teasing note of bitter almond’, it sounded good enough to eat, let alone spray on my body. But despite its grandiose description, it just didn’t pass the sniff test.

The icing smelled synthetic and went from overwhelmingly strong on the first spray to a bland, powdery sweetness after about five minutes. The aerosol design meant that the application felt rather harsh – more like doing some graffiti than soaking yourself in a lovely fragrance. 1/5

ADVANCED CAMPARI HIT

The White Company Pink Pepper, Petitgrain and Cedarwood Mist 125ml, £22 (thewhitecompany.com)

The White Company Pink Pepper, Petitgrain and Cedarwood Mist 125ml, £22 (thewhitecompany.com)

The White Company Pink Pepper, Petitgrain and Cedarwood Mist 125ml, £22 (thewhitecompany.com)

I was amazed at how good this is. It is bittersweet and smells remarkably like the Italian liqueur Campari, but in a very good way.

With peppery notes, captivating bitter orange and relaxing cedarwood, this fragrance is complex and delicious. There are backnotes of bright geranium and calming lavender, adding a soothing layer. It is refined, different, with great staying power throughout the day. 5/5

SHERBERT LEMON OR MINTY MAGNOLIA?

Cowshed Refreshing Face and Body Mist 100ml, £11 (cowshed.com)

Cowshed Refreshing Face & Body Mist 100ml, £11 (cowshed.com) It is cheerful and awakening with a fresh, spicy scent and a pleasant feeling on the skin

Cowshed Refreshing Face & Body Mist 100ml, £11 (cowshed.com) It is cheerful and awakening with a fresh, spicy scent and a pleasant feeling on the skin

Although it is flavored with spearmint, magnolia, and aloe vera, this smells exactly like lemon sorbet to me. Created for Cowshed, the brand developed by the chic members club Soho House, it is cheerful and awakening with a fresh, spicy scent and a pleasant feel on the skin, but the overall effect is that of a nice body wash rather than an alternative to perfume. 3/5

A SUBTLE FLORAL PRITZ FOR SOFT SKIN

Rituals Flourishing Hair and Body Mist, Cherry Blossom 50ml, £19 (rituals.com)

Rituals Flourishing Hair and Body Mist, Cherry Blossom 50ml, £19 (rituals.com) This delicate, relaxing scent is inspired by the cherry blossom season in Japan

Rituals Flourishing Hair and Body Mist, Cherry Blossom 50ml, £19 (rituals.com) This delicate, relaxing scent is inspired by the cherry blossom season in Japan

This delicate, relaxing fragrance is inspired by the cherry blossom season in Japan. The subtle floral scent can be sprayed all over your body without being overpowering. It contains rice milk extract that makes your skin feel soft, supple and radiant.

It’s great for your arms and legs rather than a traditional body moisturizer, but the sweetness makes it more of a daytime scent than an evening scent for me. 3/5

SEND THE SUMMER VACATION HOUSE NUXE

Sun Lovely Fragrant Water 100ml, £29 (marksandspencer.com)

Sun Delicious Fragrant Water 100ml, £29 (marksandspencer.com) With sweet orange, petitgrain, coconut, tiare flowers, vanilla and musk

Sun Delicious Fragrant Water 100ml, £29 (marksandspencer.com) With sweet orange, petitgrain, coconut, tiare flowers, vanilla and musk

This delicious spritz from the French luxury skincare brand smells like a sun-filled vacation. With sweet orange, petitgrain, coconut, tiare flowers, vanilla and musk, it is the perfect counterpoint between floral and tropical. It is super soft on the skin and ideal when a moment of instant refreshment is needed.

In addition to applying it to your skin, you can also spray a small amount into your hairbrush for wonderfully scented hair. 4/5

CLEAN AND UNIQUE, ELEGANT AMBER

Juliette has a gun, not hair and body mist 75ml, £50 (selfridges.com)

Juliette Has A Gun Not A Hair And Body Mist 75ml, £50 (selfridges.com) This water-based hair and body mist is a true wildcard of a French niche perfume house

Juliette Has A Gun Not A Hair And Body Mist 75ml, £50 (selfridges.com) This water-based hair and body mist is a true wildcard of a French niche perfume house

This water-based hair and body mist is a true wild card of a niche French perfume house (which happened to be founded by the great-grandson of fragrance icon Nina Ricci).

It has a clean, unique and elegant scent with hints of amber and musk. The antioxidant formula aims to balance the pH levels in hair and skin and restore shine and brightness to your hair.

At £50 it’s not cheap, but it feels wonderfully soft on the skin. If you like floral scents, this isn’t the spray for you, but if you’re looking for something more distinctive, this is perfect. 4/5

SUPER SWEET SYRUP SALT CARAMEL

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist, Pistachio and Salted Caramel 240ml, £33 (boots.com)

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist, Pistachio and Salted Caramel 240ml, £33 (boots.com)

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist, Pistachio and Salted Caramel 240ml, £33 (boots.com)

Packed with pistachio and salted caramel, this (from the makers of cult moisturizer, Brazilian Bum Bum Cream) will leave you smelling like you’ve fallen into a pastry shop. It’s a super sweet scent that will probably appeal to a younger audience, but unfortunately it’s too syrupy for me.

A plus is that it makes your skin smooth and supple, and you can use it on your hair too. 2/5

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