I had a bottle of this gifted to me a few years ago, and every time I put it back in rotation, I always forget the roller coaster of the experience Brit really is.
Initial reaction: powder, rose, perfume-y. Moms perfume? What have I done?
Two hours later the warm wood and powdery musk stick around and you're left with a very pleasant, if slightly forgettable, masculine base. Definitely a cooler weather scent (the powder can be cloying in heat) and inoffensive enough for office or everyday wear.
Spouse described Brit as "A sexy man holding a flowers"
Thumbs up solely for the dry down (just have patience)
Burberry Brit for Men (2004) was a much-needed step in the right direction but still a terribly conservative scent for a design house that was known - for better or worse - for conservative fragrances, particularly in the male segment. With Burberry Brit for Men, it feels like the house went further into a more classical dandy direction to achieve the "metrosexual" vibe they had set up with Burberry Touch for Men (2000), trading out the violet focus of that erstwhile scent for one that puts powdery rose and dusty spice on display. Burberry Brit for Men must have been somewhat daring in its day, since rose had not come back into vogue for men quite like it would in mostly the niche segment in the 2010's, but looking back on Burberry Brit as unwittingly being something of an early trendsetter might be reason why it hung around and received flankers. Additionally, Burberry Brit for Men sets up a bit of the "gray Londoner" vibe that would be out in full force with the following Burberry London for Men (2006), using a bit of tea and musk in places to soften the powdery rose heart. I wouldn't call this miracle juice, but it is far quirkier and interesting than past masculines from the house.
Burberry Brit opens with cardamom and citrus, and the cardamom almost beats the bergamot and mandarin to the punch. There is a bit of ginger here, but it isn't a big player in this opening. Once the semi-sweet spice and citrus settle in, the dry and powdery rose comes to the fore, with that sort of "rose soap" vibe like an old bar of Caress, Dove pink, or Camay tend to have. The vibe here isn't at all like the greenish tea rose or dark Turkish rose usually found in masculine roses made in the 21st century, but rather that dainty synthetic "perfumery" rose, and it's easy to see why guys with experience wearing something like Cartier Déclaration d'Un Soir (2012) might not even know the rose when they smell it in Burberry Brit for Men. Dusty nutmeg and cedar transition us away from the quaint drugstore rose note into a base of tonka bean, musk, black tea, amber, and patchouli. The faintest hints of the Earl Grey bomb that is the later Burberry London for Men can be felt here, and it casts a sufficient "London fog" over the final dry down, which is still rather conservative despite the oddly flirtatious development. Burberry Brit for Men is for the mature dandy is who long past his years of wild frivolity, but doesn't mind letting it come across that he's experienced things others only dare dream. Wear time is over the 8 hour mark but sillage is not impolite, which is also expected from a Burberry.
I'd say overall, this makes a great office or casual date night scent for a guy that wants something a little left of center in the gender department, but doesn't want a full genderbend experience the likes of which the previous Burberry Touch for Men provides. Antoine Maisondieu composed this alongside Armani Code/Black Code (2004) in the same year, and both have a similar powdery feeling, although I don't favor the Armani. He later composed Burberry London for Men as well, which may explain the DNA between that scent and this one, plus also created Comme une Evidence Homme by Yves Rocher (2008), which revisits the soapy rose theme, albeit under a different brand and with a lower production budget. Several limited editions appeared for the original women's version of this, but the first proper flanker for men wouldn't appear until Burberry Brit Rhythm for Men (2013), which featured a diagonal tartan pattern that newer productions of this would eventually adopt as well. I think the old plaid design was cooler, but I don't recommend tracking down the vintage just for a cooler bottle since the scent remains unchanged to my nose, as this never relied on lots of restricted base ingredients anyway. Thumbs up from me, but if any complaint could be lobbied, it's the shaky non-committal nature of the rose here, but considering 2004 was not a time for an obvious rose masculine to hit the market, I give Burberry Brit a slide. Good stuff but sample first!
After the initial few seconds of citrus opening, Burberry Brit for Men turns out to be peppery and extremely woody on me. Spices mixes very well with the woody notes. The ginger here is quite dry.
This first hour projects well and is the most masculine phase to my nose. Afterwards, some floral aspects start to mellow the scent down and eventually turn it into a powdery scent described by previous reviews. However, it's not overtly feminine, and I can't really tell the rose. During the transition, at certain point, it smells quite soapy and alike to the aldehyde in Miroir des Secrets to my nose.
Towards the final phase after about 5 hours, Brit for Men stays very close to skin and becomes a comforting scent prominent of tonka beans and musk, though the woods are always detectable.
The longevity in total can reach 10 hours and the average sillage is relatively close. Elegant, understated and without being pretentious. A versatile fragrance with attitude. This might not be THE gem in one's wardrobe but a total functional one.