Solid State is a company that produces solid fragrances for men. I can’t find too much history on the company online, but they’re based in Australia, and produce a range of fragrances, body and face washes. Their major USP is the fact that their fragrances are ‘solid’, in some kind of a wax base, so the product should last longer, and is much more convenient for taking out and about with you, to ‘top-up’ (which according to almost every review I read), is a necessity.
But hey, these are the days of the metrosexual male, and there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t too become accustomed to pop off to the loo ‘to refresh’ our fragrance, just as women have been doing for years. Having been bombarded by their UK Facebook advertising campaign, I thought I would give it a go.
So I placed an order from their website. I thought I’d play it safe, and go for the variant which has attracted the most positive reviews, ‘Wayfarer’, which is ‘inspired’ by Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille, which is handy because I happen to have a sample of the real article with which to compare it.
I placed the order on 19th January 2020, for one 10g / 0.5oz tin of ‘Wayfarer’ costing AUS $39.95 (£20.25), and it took just under three weeks to arrive in the UK.
The first thing to strike me was the well-designed packaging – very nice branding indeed, with a striking white embossed sleeve enclosing a black box which contained the much-anticipated tin.
And that’s where my delight quite abruptly came to an end. Opening the over-sized box, the enclosed tin is at least three times smaller. Granted, it’s not plastic, and it may be partly, or even fully recycled cardboard, but the Airline fuel from Australia combined with the over-packaging are already a black mark for its unnecessarily damaging ecological impact.
But onto the crucial factor – the all-important smell. First, as a ‘control’ an hour ago I applied some of its ‘inspiration’, the Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille to one hand, and the Solid State Wayfarer to the other.
And now, to begin with, my opinion. The Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille has a distinctive, spicy oriental scent. vanilla, musky, with a hint of cocoa and fresh tobacco. I’ve haven’t purchased any up until smelling the sample, but I would quite readily buy a 100ml bottle without any hesitation whatsoever.
Onto the scent of the Solid State Wayfarer. My first thought was Play-doh. Not a bad thing – I loved the smell of Play-doh as a kid. I reiterate, as a kid. My second impression was a slightly incongruous mix of blancmange and the acrid smell of burning rubber.
I wanted the test to be completely objective, so I pulled in my friends and relatives for their opinions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the more pricey Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille was universally liked. Very enthusiastically by my cousin, with an exclamation of “ooo that IS nice!”. My father, who is less of a fragrance fan – of any kind – even liked it, with a very generous ‘yes, that’s nice, I’d wear that’.
Onto the Solid State Wayfarer. My cousin described it as smelling like ‘ladies talcum powder’, while my father’s comment was that ‘it smells like a bloody candle’ followed up immediately with ‘in fact your mother’s candles smell even nicer’. Cousin Simon’s comment was simply that ‘there is no resemblance whatsoever’, and my mother’s that it’s ‘nothing like it’.
I thought there may a smell bias in our clan, so I ventured next-door to Harry and his wife Margaret. To be fair, Harry wasn’t madly keen on either, but his response to the Solid State Wayfarer was ‘why have you wiped soap on your hand?’ While his wife Margaret simply commented that it smelt like a hand cream she used to use during the war.
Value for money is also a very important factor in any buying decision. After all, that’s the reason many people choose ‘imitation’ scents over the real thing, even if their quality doesn’t quite match up.
Again, here Solid State doesn’t fair too well. You are paying AUS $39.95 (£20.62) for 10g / .35oz, whereas for Duke Cannon which came out as a favourite on just about every review website, you are paying US $20 (£15.37) for 42.52g / 1.5oz. Both offer free shipping, but I think it’s obvious which is the clear winner.
Overall Ratings for Solid State Solid FragrancesFragrance
0.5/5Value for Money
0.5/5No Animal Testing