First thing first, this is not a Vibrant Leather flanker, yet a new edition of From Paris to New York. I'd like to express my real impression of this brand new Zara's release. Albeit the name and the box look different, the smell and the description on the box are the very same. The opening is strongly citrus and closely akin to Zara Blue Hole, as many reviewers stated, yet they take separate ways as soon as the heart starts beating and the dry down approaches. Definitely, BH has a clear heart floral note, bright jasmine that turns to an earthy and woody accord akin to patchouli and cedar, it reminds me of CD Homme Sport 2008 to be exact, instead, VL Cologne is more seasoned, the ginger is hot and chilly in the heart, and it turns into a neat musk, this one evoking me of CD Homme Cologne 2013. Since I own both Zara's and CD's fellows, I had an opportunity to study all of them side by side on my skin, they all smell quite apart as both CD Homme Sport and Homme Cologne do. Oftentimes, people are too hasty, they quit and conclude on the first impression, but scents are alive and take their time to develop and reveal their heart and base.
Back to VL Cologne, the opening is a blast of strong citrus fruits right in your face, and once the intoxicating fresh lemon juice soothes down, a sweeter and smooth mandarin orange stands, I definitely get that strongly in the opening alongside the lemon, together with a bitter note of grapefruit, maybe not from the juice or peel but from the blossom or leaves, there is some greenish herbal and leafy accord in there. The opening is so fresh, so manly. Love its bitterness when the lemon finally sits. I absolutely love it. Great refreshing and bright zesty fragrance in the style of Dior Homme Cologne and Allure Homme Cologne.
In the heart, both sparkling ginger and a kind of soft lemon-like greenish herbal are very present up close but from arm's length ginger really dominates. It is spicy, sharp, bracing yet light, and pairs well with citrus notes. This heart aroma lasts quite a few hours before unhiding the backbone notes.
The drydown has woody, spicy and citrusy nuances, the zestiness lingers in the base with the musk and a nice ginger kick. Despite the dominance of the musky accord, I notice a sense of vetiver, rather creamier, lemony, and greener than earthy or rooty, which reminds me of Cacharel pour Homme, the vetiver vibe and trail is similar.
I am really glad to have this one in my collection, you can't go wrong with it. Performances are awesome for this kind of EDC. The bottle is also very nice, heavy and has a blue straw. It is fresh yet elegant, positive, uplifting, bright, sparkling. For more or less any event when you just want to smell nice and clean. You'll get compliments with this one, seriously. I can imagine this fragrance would perform fantastically well on hot and sticky summer days and evenings out.