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Full of lust, passion, drama and a host of other less attractive but rather more real ingredients, Escada's Sunset Heat for Men is a sweet summer scent that makes for a pretty good-value year-round fragrance. Despite its slightly cheap-and-plasticky looks, it's an uplifting, evocative effort that stays just about on the masculine side of the fragrant divide, although it treads a pretty androgynous, almost sickly-sweet line. Available for £20-30 online, this isn't a bank-busting fragrance, and doesn't look like one either - if its west-coast, surf-chic packaging is supposed to sing retro-cool, it misses the mark. It just looks like something you'd dig out of the bargain bin at your local pound-shop (and no smell that retails at less than a tenner is ever likely to be a good one - when we moved into our flat, we discovered a couple of those perfumes in a cupboard ... they smelt like toilet cleaner, and are probably better drunk than worn). The translucent blue, celery-skinned ribbed glass is as inoffensive as it is uninspiring, and the metal-look plastic cap stinks of cheapness - happily though, what's inside the bottle is an awful lot better than appearances might suggest. At first whiff, it's a heady, fruity fragrance that wafts up your nose and yanks on your olfactory bulb with no great subtlety. It's zippy, rich and none-too-gently citric in its initial top notes, a sharpness that recedes after application and mellows in a softer, deeper scent that makes for an appetising background aroma. The promises of woody-and-watery tropical smells hold pretty true, and it's that kind of musky, faintly-sweet fragrance that lingers throughout the day. Purportedly "the smell of summer sunset", there are notes of kaffir lime, pomelo, starfruit, sea breeze (so, salt ...), lavender, surfer flower and crushed leaves, not to mention the curiously-specific Costa Rican driftwood. Can I smell all of these? Not really, but the overall effect's a nice one, if one that's got slightly too much of an artificial tang to it. Oddly (and thankfully), a fragrance that's so big on fruity, fun whiffs and seasonal branding (this being one in a line of Escada's summer releases, which don't really smell all *that* different), Summer Heat is still a distinctly masculine fragrance. Comfortably the sweetest scent that I own, it's not nearly as feminine as it in all logic should be. The women's version (with an even uglier bottle, but slightly better packaging) has a pretty similar aroma to it, yet there's just a hint more of that deep and lingering imprint of damp wood here (something that smells better than it sounds, perhaps). Only a hint, mind - they share the same citric, juicy notes - but an edge that's enough to convince you that you did in fact pick up the right bottle before stepping out of the house. If there's a real strength to this concoction, it's in the pleasant staying-power and the enduring base notes rather than the initial hit, however appealing and overwhelming those are in equal measures - those first citric notes waft around for a couple of minutes, but the lingering fragrance - the deeper, earthier one - sticks around all day, in a none-too-dominating way. A couple of strategically-placed squirts offer plenty of lasting scent. On the debit side, despite my broad praise, there are nicer-smelling fragrances than this around. It's not unpleasant in the slightest, Summer Heat, but neither is it anything special. It smells very much like the rest of Escada's products - sweet and likeable, fruity and instantly appealing, but without much to set it apart from the other fragrances on the market. At around £30, you're not paying as much as you would for some of the top-name brands, but it's enough that you want something a bit more memorable or innovative. Although I like the fragrance, it's not one I'd find myself returning to spend my own money on - a welcome Christmas present, perhaps, but there are more exciting efforts out there both in terms of design and niceness-on-the-nose. It's just a little unimaginative, the whole vaguely-floral, California-themed thing. All in all, then, Summer Heat gets a thumbs-up, if a slightly wavering one. Not the kind that'd stand up to a strong wind. It's nice enough - but when I'm paying a not entirely insubstantial amount for a fragrance, I want someone more than enough. Nothing Escada make is likely to send you into raptures of waxing lyrical - but then perhaps I'm expecting too much from a bottle of smelly chemicals. It ticks all the fundamental boxes; it smells rather good, costs an appropriate amount and is described in suitably nonsensical terms, but I think I'll save my pennies for a more expensive fragrance when the bottle runs dry (and it does last ages ...). There are plenty of worse-smelling things you could apply liberally to yourself, but that's no great recommendation.
The perfect fragance for those summer months. I was bought this fragrance as a gift from abroad 2 years ago and I must say is the best frgrance I have ever worn. Unfortunatley Escada change their fragrance line every 6 months and I have found that Sunset Heat can be quite hard to get hold of in your average fragrance shop. It has fruity floral smell that evokes summer and Escada have managed to capture the essenses of kaffir lime, pomelo, lemon, starfruit, sea breeze, lavender, surfer flower, crushed leaves, Pacific amber, Costa Rican driftwood and musk. Hopefully people buy this product for the fragrance alone, as the bottle design leaves a lot to be desired. Having said that please do not be put off as the smell will truly drive women crazy. Everytime I wear it somebody always comments on the smell and asks what it is, they seem verry suprised that the product is not so well known. I have found that Amazon usually does the best deal offering a 100ml Eau de Toilette bottle for £23.04