Zara is a well-known fashion label worldwide. From humble beginnings in Spain in 1975, they have expanded to incorporate over 2,000 stores in over 100 countries.
Zara branched into the fragrance market in 1999 and hasn’t looked back. There are so many to choose from and new additions appearing all the time. But are Zara fragrances actually any good?
You might be wondering if Zara fragrances are any good because they are so cheap or because Zara is better known as a clothing brand. Zara fragrances are not just good, they are seriously good! Many are similar to classic fragrances at a fraction of the cost. Zara has recently released the Emotions collection which has 8 incredibly luxurious designer fragrances at prices anyone will be happy to pay.
Zara is not the first fashion label to produce perfume but they are one of the first to offer some very wearable fragrances at very affordable prices, making them accessible no matter what your budget.
What to expect from a Zara fragrance
Zara fragrance is not just cheap but has amazing aromas that compete well with more expensive well-known perfumes and colognes. This is because Zara collaborates with experienced perfumers.
Though Zara fragrances aren’t deliberate clones of famous fragrances, some of their scents are compared favorably to those from the big fragrance houses such as Creed, Yves St Laurent, and Dior. We’ll look at these in more detail in a moment.
Best Zara fragrances
Before we get into the detail, if I had to pick the best Zara perfume for women I would choose Black Peony. It s often compared to Flower Bomb by Viktor & Rolf and does have the same opening. You can see more about this in Zara fragrances for women later on.
The best Zara fragrance for men has to be Vibrant Leather which opens very much like Creed Aventus with a gorgeous hit of bergamot. You can see a full description of this next.
Zara fragrances for men
The Zara men’s cologne range has woody, oriental and aromatic fragrances to choose from. You’ll find light citrus tones perfect for an everyday aftershave and stronger aromas perfect for evening wear.
So, whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for the best Zara fragrance for him, these our top 6 Zara fragrances for men:
1. Vibrant Leather
Launched in 2016, Zara’s Vibrant Leather EDP is a woody men’s fragrance with a top note of bergamot, middle note of bamboo and a base note of leather.
Vibrant Leather is popular because of its similarity to Creed Aventus, the popular House of Creed fragrance released in 2010. Aventus has a unique aroma, involving top notes of blackcurrant, bergamot, apple, and pineapple; middle notes of rose, birch, jasmine, and patchouli; and base notes of oakmoss, musk, ambergris, and vanilla.
With just the three notes, Vibrant leather is a simple yet elegant fragrance. As soon as you spray it you’ll notice the citrusy and spicy aroma of bergamot which is why it initially smells like Creed Aventus.
After a few moments, the bergamot fades to reveal the woody middle note of bamboo. As the scent dries down, the nostalgic leathery aroma comes into its own.
Although Vibrant Leather is initially like Aventus, it dries down to a great smelling fragrance in its own right. It needs to be reapplied after 3 hours or so but as it costs less than 10% of the price of the Creed favorite, this isn’t really an expensive problem.
The bottle and packaging are simple and effective and do not give away the fact that this fragrance is not expensive.
2. Vibrant Leather Oud
Zara Vibrant Leather Oud EDP was launched in 2019 and has different fragrance notes to the original Vibrant Leather.
Like Vibrant Leather, Vibrant Leather Oud has a top note of bergamot giving it the initial citrusy spicy aroma that is reminiscent of Creed Aventus. Once this has settled, the middle notes of leather and incense come through.
Finally, it dries down to expose warm base notes of amber and oud (from agarwood tree resin). The overall aroma is of elegant oriental wood.
Vibrant Leather Oud is amazingly inexpensive and could easily pass as an expensive fragrance – the bottle and packaging are certainly classy enough. So if your budget is limited, it’s definitely worth a trial. No one will ever guess it didn’t cost you the earth.
3. Tobacco Collection Rich Warm Addictive
Zara Tobacco Collection Rich Warm Addictive is an incredibly addictive scent at an incredibly low price.
With top notes of coconut and white peony; middle notes of rum, honey and vanilla bourbon; and base notes of tobacco, sandalwood, and cedar, Rich Warm Addictive is a perfect cold-weather fragrance. One whiff and you will imagine cozy evenings by the fire, roll-neck sweaters, with a warming drink in your hand.
Once the aromatic top notes of peony and coconut fade, the rich sweetness of honey and vanilla make Rich Warm Addictive smell like a gourmand (edible) fragrance. After dry down, there’s a hint of fresh tobacco mixed with powdery sandalwood and sweet cedar.
The bottle is great, especially for a fragrance of this price, but the cardboard packaging is strangely complicated which is a little annoying if you like to store your fragrance in its box like I do. But for the money, I wouldn’t complain at all.
4. Aromatic Future
Zara’s Aromatic Future has top notes of bergamot and black pepper; middle notes of lavender and cashmere wood; and base notes of ambergris and vetiver. It is often compared favorably to Dior Sauvage.
Aromatic Future is aptly named as it does have a gorgeous aromatic fragrance with spicy undertones. Its aroma resembles Dior Sauvage because they both use bergamot, black pepper, lavender, and vetiver. In case you’re wondering, vetiver is a native Indian grass. The oil used in fragrances is extracted from its roots and has an earthy and woody aroma.
Like Dior Sauvage, Aromatic Future is a mass appealing fragrance, designed to appeal to everyone. It can be worn on any occasion, day or night, and in any season.
Aromatic Future is a fraction of the price of Dior Sauvage yet no one would ever guess this when comparing their aromas. Like other Zara fragrances, you may need to reapply it during the day but as it’s so inexpensive, this is not a problem.
5. Y Collection
If you love La Nuit De L’Homme by Yves Saint Laurent, you’ll feel the same way about Zara Y Collection. You could almost believe it’s a deliberate clone.
The top notes of Y Collection are bergamot, lavender, and sage. Its middle notes are rose and clove. Once it’s dried down, the base notes are vetiver, patchouli, and musk. Compare this to La Nuit De L’Homme which includes bergamot in its top notes, lavender in its middle notes and vetiver in its base notes, and you’ll understand why Y Collection is very similar.
Y Collection is aromatic, warm, and spicy. Initially, you’ll be struck by the citrusy spicy aroma of bergamot. As it dries down, sweet and spicy clove and a hint of rose become more apparent. When it’s totally dried down the gorgeous earthy warmth of vetiver and patchouli stand out.
Of all the Zara fragrances for men, Y Collection has the most staying power after one application. Its aroma is quite intoxicating and irresistible making it a great date night scent.
6. Seoul 532-8 Sinsa Dong Gangnam-Gu
Seoul 532-8 Sinsa Dong Gangnam-Gu is a long name for a fragrance! In case you’re wondering what it means, it’s the address of a Zara store in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.
Seoul 532-8 has a similar scent to Paco Rabanne Invictus so if you’re a fan of that, you’re bound to enjoy this Zara fragrance – especially as it’s a fraction of the price.
With tangerine, pepper, and nutmeg top notes; lavandin and leather middle notes; and dry amber and coumarin base notes, Seoul 532-8 is a woody, spicy, aquatic fragrance.
As you first spray Seoul 532-8 you’ll notice the fresh tangerine scent mingled with spicy nutmeg from the top notes. As it dries, a light saltiness comes through as it finally becomes a clean aromatic amber fragrance. Seoul 532-8 projects quite well so go easy on the amount you apply.
The freshness of this scent means its great in the gym or for summer daytime. As it’s an Eau de Toilette, it fades fairly quickly so you’ll need to carry it around with you to reapply throughout the day.
Zara perfume for women
The women’s collection comprises Zara perfume, Eau de Parfum EDP), and Eau de Toilette (EDT) to suit every occasion, from day time floral aromas to oriental or woody tones to suit the evenings.
Here are four of the very best Zara fragrances for women:
Zara Rose has, as you can probably guess, a wonderful rose scent. This floral fragrance has green and blackcurrant top notes, freesia, peony and rose middle notes, and sandalwood and musk base notes.
It bears a resemblance to For Her by Narciso Rodriguez which contains rose in its top notes.
Zara Rose is also like Dior’s J’Adore but a fraction of the price. It’s a grown-up fragrance that’s floral and alluring.
So if you like For Her or J’Adore you’ll be onto a winner with Zara Rose. If you’re not familiar with either of those then you’ll enjoy it for the pretty scent that it is and you’ll really enjoy the fact that it really doesn’t cost that much at all yet can easily be mistaken for an expensive fragrance.
Zara Chocolate is a gourmand fragrance that really does smell good enough to eat. It has top notes of chocolate; middle notes of cacao and vanilla; and base notes of amber and musk.
Once dried down, Zara Chocolate is similar to Trussardi Inside which has the same amber and musk base notes.
If you’re a gourmand perfume lover looking for a fun fragrance at an equally fun price, Zara Chocolate is perfect for you.
Zara White is a light, refreshing, floral fragrance. It has top notes of freesia and lychee; middle notes of magnolia, pepper, and ginger; and base notes of amber and musk.
The initial scent is fresh and dewy and as it starts to dry, the spiciness of the magnolia, ginger, and pepper come through. When it’s completely dried down, you’re left with its warming amber and musk base notes.
If Lancome’s Miracle is one of your favorites then you’ll love Zara White which has a similar aroma and far lower price tag. The only difference between the two is the lack of Jasmine in Zara White.
4. Black Peony
Zara Black Peony has a sweet oriental floral fragrance which it owes to its top note of bergamot; middle notes of peach and freesia; and base notes of vanilla and sandalwood.
Zara Black Peony is often compared to Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb, a favorite of mine, so I was excited to give it a whirl. At first, the citrusy bergamot followed by sweet freesia did remind me of Flowerbomb but as it dried down the resemblance disappeared. Black Peony is sweeter and lacks the patchouli base notes which I really love.
Black Peony is a gorgeous fragrance in its own right at an amazing price.
Zara Emotions: A Unisex Fragrance Collection by Zara and Jo Loves
In November 2019, Zara launched an exciting new collection in collaboration with the acclaimed British perfumer Jo Malone AKA Jo Loves.
The collection has eight fragrances: all are Eau de Parfums, all have incredible fragrances and all have amazingly low prices.
Here’s a brief description of each:
N⁰ 01 Vetiver Pamplemousse
With notes of grapefruit, mandarin, and vetiver, Zara’s Vetiver Pamplemousse is initially citrusy and dries down to the warm earthy and woody aroma of vetiver.
N⁰ 02 Waterlily Tea Dress
Zara’s Waterlily Tea Dress has notes of vert de bergamot, spearmint and musk. Initially, it is a slightly citrusy and spicy fragrance that dries down to a warm cozy musk.
N⁰ 03 Ebony Wood
With pink peppercorn, clove, and ebony wood notes, Zara’s Ebony Wood initially has a strong musky aroma. As it dries down the warm woody ebony fragrance becomes pleasantly apparent, making this a lovely wintery fragrance, enticing enough for a date night
N⁰ 04 Amalfi Sunray
Zara’s Amalfi Sunray sounds summery and with notes of bergamot, mandarin and orange blossom it is lightly floral with a hint of citrusy sweetness. It’s a strong enough fragrance to last all day long.
N⁰ 05 Tubereuse Noir
Zara Tubereuse Noir is an explosion of floral tuberose and sweet ylang ylang brought perfectly under control by the powdery warmth of sandalwood. It’s a lovely fragrance to wear, no matter what your gender.
N⁰ 06 Fleur D’Oranger
Orange blossom, neroli, and ylang-ylang give Zara’s Fleur D’Oranger is sweet and light, ideal for summer days. It’s quite noticeable at first but dries down to a subtle, very wearable fragrance.
N⁰ 07 Fleur de Patchouli
Patchouli is usually a strong, sweet, intoxicating scent. In Zara’s Fleur de Patchouli it mixes perfectly with crisp peony and powdery, smoky guaiac wood to give an elegant, warm and powdery fragrance.
N⁰ 08 Bohemian Bluebells
Though it has the word bluebells in its name, Bohemian Bluebells has notes of lavender, sandalwood, and musk. Not a bluebell in sight! The scent is surprisingly spirited and unique.
Zara fragrances are not just cheap fashion perfumes. Fragrances can be inexpensive yet still be worthy of wearing. Zara has definitely proved this!
See my Jo Malone London have some amazing unisex fragrances, perfect for layering. These are my favorites.