Beauty Panel: Testing Out HBC’s New Signature Spring 2019 Scents

Spring is in the air, so why not add a new spritz into the equation? Thankfully, this spring season there are a multitude of women’s and men’s fragrances to spritz and spray. That’s why we enlisted our trusted Beauty Panel to test drive a few of the new perfumes and colognes available at Hudson’s Bay stores across Canada, and report back with the results.

Read on to see our reviews of the woody aromatic notes and juicy fruit fragrances.

Ashley: Dolce & Gabbana Peony

I’ve been a huge fragrance junkie for as long as I can remember. My early days of beauty writing began working for a niche fragrance site that helped me hone my nose—and build my fragrance collection. While I appreciate variety in a fragrance rotation (and spritz based on my mood), I also have a key group of ride-or-dies. One of my favourites almost immediately upon its launch was Dolce & Gabbana’s Dolce. Its effervescent scent had a distinctness to it that felt completely refreshing for a feminine floral fragrance. Now, Dolce & Gabbana has launched Dolce Peony: A slightly sweeter version of its original.

Where the OG Dolce was fresh and unexpected, Dolce Peony takes on a juicy, light feel (perfect for the warmer weather), thanks to its notes of bergamot, pear and, of course, peony. I love scents that have a feeling of familiarity without falling victim to the trap of sameness that so many fragrance iterations fall into. And since peony season is so fleeting, it’s nice to be able to capture its essence into a bottle. My favourite thing about this scent? Its staying power. So many light fragrances have longevity, but this one lasted through a full day of brunch and dinner out without fading.

$142 for 75 ml, available at Hudson’s Bay stores or online at

Alyssa: Montblanc Explorer Eau de Parfum

When it comes to signatures scents, well… I really don’t have one. Like how I pick my makeup look and the way I wear my hair for the day, I like to pick a fragrance that best suits how I’m feeling or set the tone for how I want to feel. After all, fragrances have the powerful ability to uplift your spirits and transport you to a different place and time. Once I’m all ready to head out the door, I like to seal the deal with a #SODT (Scent of the Day) from my collection of bottled potions I have sitting on my vanity. The newest addition to my collection is the Montblanc Explorer Eau de Parfum ($115). Now before you scratch your head, yes, it is marketed as a men’s fragrance, but with notes of Bergamot and Patchouli delivering the story of freedom and adventure, this rich, woody scent is perfect for the modern feminist who isn’t afraid to break all rules.

It’s often said that beauty editors prefer men’s fragrances (I’m sure that’s not the case for all), but I personally love men’s fragrances for their versatility. This Eau de Parfum is sexy and will instantly set the tone for a romantic summer evening, while it also works as an unbreakable all-day scent to pair with something as simple as a graphic tee and mom jeans. But if you ask me, allow this powerful fragrance to inspire you to do the unexpected. The sleek leather finishing on the bottle inspired me to wear leather biker shorts and a crop rosegold satin blouse (a pairing I’ve worn before) on my most recent girl’s night out. I felt cool and campy af and the scent was just the icing on the cake.

$115 for 100ml, available at Hudson’s Bay stores or online at

Bianca: Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Eau de Parfum

Picking a fragrance is always such a personal experience for me. Between picking, and committing to a scent that I enjoy, but also making sure it compliments chemistry, it can be hard to find the perfect fragrance that works. I know what elements I like in a fragrance, but it can be really hard finding the perfect perfume that blends them all seamlessly. My perfect fragrance has to be sweet, floral, and a little bit spicy. Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Eau de Parfum blends all of those notes in perfect harmony. The honey and gardenia balance nicely as to not make the fragrance too sweet, or floral. But for me, the patchouli was the real star. Patchouli can be an intimidating scent to play with, but it adds the perfect amount of warmth and spice to this scent without going overboard. The scent is luxurious, and the bottle is so unique, it adds the perfect ultra feminine flair to my perfume tray. After wearing this perfume for a few hours the sweet, and warm scent became an instant favourite, and a conversation starter for anyone within a few feet of me. Scandal Eau de Parfum checked all of the boxes on my perfume wish list, and it’s a fragrance I know I’ll be wearing again, and again.

$138 for 100 ml, available at Hudson’s Bay stores or online at

Marriska: – Armani Code Absolu

Giorgio Armani’s latest fragrance is the Armani Code Absolu, a new fragrance for men. Armani Code Absolu carries top notes of mandarin and apple; middle notes of orange blossom, nutmeg and carrot seed; completed with base notes of tonka bean and vanilla. This cologne is a perfect union of spicy-sweet tonka bean and vanilla blended with the alliance of rum accord.

At the heart of this fragrance is a warm, sweet, seductive scent best carried out by a calm, cool and confident guy. It’s not a strong scent (like the ones that are sometimes too in-your-face), but carries enough of a punch to make a lasting impression on the ladies. The longer it stays on the skin, the better it gets. It’s layered with the warmth of wood, and luxury scent of leather — but in a very refined way. It’s totally date night material, and I for one love the scent.

$154 for 110ml, exclusively at Hudson’s Bay stores or online at

This post is brought to you by Hudson’s Bay but the opinions are our own.

Tags: Armani, beauty panel, Dolce & Gabbana, fragrance, fragrances, HBC, hudson's bay, Jean Paul Gaultier, Montblanc, perfume, spring fragrance, Spring fragrances, top story, topstory

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