When Unilever launched its first limited-edition women’s fragrance under the Axe label in 20121 there was so much excitement in the female adolescent community that they eventually made it part of their permanent collection. I wasn’t able to find it on drugstore shelves for the better part of 2 years, and even then it took me months of stalking it down at Shoppers Drug Mart and seeing it constantly sold out before I finally landed a can. I have to admit that I never expected a brand that markets itself primarily at young men to appeal so much to young girls!
The idea behind Anarchy for Her was a scent that works for women the way original Axe products does to men – that is, instantly drawing dozens of hot mates. What, it doesn’t do that for you?! With a 74% market share in the men’s market1, it made only made sense to explore new territory.
To introduce Anarchy for Her the company launched a series of raunchy TV spots, which seems to me so ridiculous given the nature of the scent. I hate to be the one that disagrees with the majority, but I didn’t enjoy AfH at all. Whereas it appears the advertizing company was going for a sexy, lustful scent, the reality just doesn’t match up.
Unlike the uniformly black cans of the male scents from the Axe lineup, Anarchy for Her comes in a white can with hot pink accents. The top of the can has a plastic spray mechanism that feels constantly on the verge of breaking. Experience has taught me to point this out: Axe body sprays are NOT deodorants. I see people misusing the stuff all too often, drenching themselves in fragrance in an attempt to mask body odour, generating the dreaded ‘Axe Effect.’ Some even think Axe is better for this purpose than the dedicated stuff because it doesn’t contain aluminum2. Newsflash: no perfume, cologne or body spray will replace a refreshing shower!
Instead, this body spray is a powdery sweet floral scent that will make you smell slightly dirty if anything thanks to a cheap sandalwood base note. The official notes are: apple, blackberry, sandalwood, amber and vanilla3. I will give credit to the technical heads at Axe for making a fragrance that smells separately of each of its individual notes at once, which is really different from the smooth transitions that I’m used to in fine fragrances. Vibrant notes of strawberries stand to the side of soft florals and powdery vanilla in a single file, not mixing on the skin whatsoever, creating a feeling of discomfort and disconnect.
Longevity wise I found this thing performs even worse than it smells, with a poor score of less than an hour and a projection rate of somewhere around nothing at all.
Verdict: Fragrantica member killer_queen put it this way: “Smells like a floral shampoo!4” She really hit the nail on the head; I agree that this fragrance would be ideal in a product that you could wash out in a minute (or an air freshener). If you still want to try out Anarchy for Her pick up one of the shower products instead of the spray, which is too potent, sits awkwardly on the skin, and smells like a generic, low-end perfume. However, I am still curious for the orange-mango promises of Anarchy 2 for Her5, because if I’ve learnt anything from the Percy Jackson movie adaptations, it’s that the sequel can’t be worse than the original. I give Anarchy for Her 1/5 stars on the ‘How Obsessed is Gil?’ scale.
1The New York Times: Axe Adds Fragrance for Women to Its Lineup
2MakeupAlley: Axe Anarchy Body Spray For Her
4Fragrantica: Anarchy For Her Axe for women
5Fragrantica: Anarchy II Axe for women