This is one of the most debated topics I have ever come across. Davidoff Cool Water, which has been around for well over 20 years, is considered a copy of Truefitt & Hill Freshman, which has been around for over 200 years. Usually, this is done as a four way comparison with two more scents: Floris J.F. and Creed Green Irish Tweed. I DO have a sample of the Floris somewhere but I cannot find it and as for the Creed; no sample.. Creed ignore my emails when I request samples.
Upon the first spray, Freshman is decidedly sweeter. This candied effect likens it to another less obvious clone, Giorgio Beverley Hills Wings which smells like cotton candy. Freshman isn’t this extreme however, but you do get that sweetness initially. Cool Water on the other hand has a much soapier, fresher opening thanks to the Peppermint and Lavender. I strongly feel that were it not for the pepper mint and jasmine, which takes Cool Water in a totally different direction, these two would also be identical in the opening.
As a disclaimer, my knowledge and ability to distinguish notes are severely limited. From directly comparing the two, the average will find them very similar while the seasoned expert may be able to detect a difference especially in the opening. However, there is enough similarity between the two that testing them both at different times would lead to an inevitable conclusion: these two are the same thing! As a matter of fact, Freshman supposedly smells like previous formulations of Cool Water.
After things settle down, they become much more difficult to distinguish. Cool Water becomes a lot more full bodied and smells fuller. More luxurious. Freshman on the other hand is a touch flatter, sweeter and has a sharp spicy note dancing very faintly in the background which I suspect is sage. This doesn’t mean Freshman is poorer in quality. It just makes it seem ‘lighter’. Lavender and Jasmine dominate in the progression of Cool Water. This combo is what I suspect gives the fragrances the ‘fullness’ as those two notes can be quite heavy.
After about an hour, Cool Water is definitely the stronger of the two. It soldiers on with it’s Jasmine and Lavender combo and things stay like that for a while. Freshman on the other hand is quieter but definitely present. It starts to morph and resemble Cool Water more and more. While soapy, it just doesn’t take it to the same level that Cool Water does. At this point I detect the presence of Jasmine. In Freshman, the Jasmine is much more pronounced and asserts itself as the more dominant note. To my nose, Jasmine has a waxy/oily quality. In Freshman, the Jasmine smells very similar to how it smells in Marc Jacobs Blush (a scent I hate). The interesting thing is when smelt from a distance (more than 3 inches) these two smell nigh on identical. It’s only when smelt directly on the skin that the differences become increasingly apparent. Below are the pyramids for both scents.
- Top Notes
- Lavender, Coriander, Peppermint, Rosemary, Orange Blossom.
- Middle Notes
- Jasmine, Oakmoss, Geranium, Sandalwood.
- Base Notes
- Amber, Musk, Sandalwood, Cedar
- shamelessly stolen from basenotes.net
Truefitt & Hill Freshman
note (no pun intended) the similarity.