Scented Odyssey Continued…Czech & Speake

Words by: Andrew Williams


As I have mentioned before, I’m on a mission to track down some new scents. This week I’ve been trying out the range of colognes from English company Czech & Speake.

Founded by a chap called Frank Sawkins in the 1970s, the aim was to create a luxury bathrooms and fittings retailer. Seeing the bathroom as a sanctuary, quality and craftsmanship were to be the hall marks. Continuing this theme it was only a matter of time before the company set out to provide fragrances and oils.

I’m still not sure whether reporting on scents works. After all, whether something smells good is a matter of personal taste, and how do you describe a scent really? However, in the case of this particular company they have a nifty way by which everybody can test their scents for themselves at a minimal cost.

Go onto their website and for £2.50 you can order a pack of their sample scents – 9 in total – to test in the comfort of your own home at your own leisure. You also get a £5 voucher redeemable on any purchase you subsequently make. Such a wonderfully simple and convenient method I cannot believe more firms don’t offer this service. Selecting a scent has to be done over time, simply dabbing some on one of those white paper strips in the shop doesn’t tell you anything.

Well this week I’ve been wearing a different scent each day. My views are mixed, but runners include Cuba, No.88, and Oxford & Cambridge.

Cuba: has hints of tobacco and peppermint with wonderfully spicy top notes, and is the longest lasting of the scents. It’s manly but light once the top notes fade.

No.88: On the spicy side thanks to Bergamot, but feels older, darker and heavier than Cuba.  In my view it has manliness written all over it.

Oxford & Cambridge: Heavily weighted by lavender this eventually fades to provide a crisp, clean soapy aura which I could see working rather well in the height of a sweaty summer.

Still plenty more scents to try, but these are certainly contenders. I just wish more houses made it as easy for customers.