Burberry The Beat

...it's great - if you want to smell like a giant magazine scent strip.

The Beat by Burberry threw a big ol’ question mark into my nose when I first sniffed it. It was a case of cognitive dissonance: the indie-hip ad campaign and the chromed flask bottle had primed me to expect something stylishly quirktronic.

But underneath the cool-signalers of peroxide hair, black fingernails and bra worn on the outside of a T-shirt (great for avoiding chafed nipples!), it turns out that model à la mode Agyness Deyn smells like some mid-90s guy.

Nothing wrong with that -- especially if you’re young enough to have missed 90s guys, and have never worn cK One. The Beat is a good-enough choice for those craving a spicy-fruity-muskburger, hold the sugar.

But ultimately, the Beat is just another variation on tried-and-true themes: the fake-out fresh start that gets bloated on musk, the aquatic that turns woody.

It’s a bit like Burberry plaid when it migrates from your purse to your knickers to your pet Yorkie’s doggie-mac. First you delight in the waggish re-purposing, but by the nth iteration, it’s, “Sigh...another Burberry plaid.” And then some London construction site bloke screams “Chav!” at you, and all remaining joy is sapped.

Burberry’s artistic director Christopher Bailey says, “The Beat girl...is the girl all the other girls want to be.” Maybe, but is The Beat the perfume all the other perfumes want to be? Because that’s the one I wanna smell!

Burberry The Beat is available from Amazon.com, FragranceNet.com and Perfume.com,
starting at $38 for 1.7 oz.


  1. The Elixir version of The Beat is slightly different, with a lot of Iris and earthy notes. I could even detect something smoky in there. Not at all as awful as the EDT. The problem is that the only first 10 minutes are wonderful. It dries down into a quite uninteresting sweet scent. Not a bad scent, but certainly one I can live without...
    Congrats on the new blog Katie! It's wonderful. I really liked your YouTube reviews, and happy you have a blog now.

  2. vered - I've not smelled the Elixir version, it does sound like it's trying a little harder. I'm conflicted about doggin' the Beat, because I recognize that it's trying to lure youthful noses away from the "pineapple lollypops melted in a bucket of fabric softener" army of teen fragrances out there to something with a little more backbone.

  3. Despite your less than stellar review, I sniffed the EDP while I was out shopping and found myself kind of charmed. Maybe it's because I'm too young to recall the era of CK One. I picked up a bottle online and I don't regret it one bit... though, the 75% discount may have something to do with my satisfaction.

    The Beat smells like peppery oranges, cardamom tea sweetened with vanilla sugar, and soft woods on me. I wouldn't go so far as to say it smells like "generic" magazine strip, but it does smell... comfortable. "Comfortable" isn't the highest praise for a scent, I know, but it's the olfactory equivalent of a super-soft shirt and flattering pair of jeans, and there's nothing wrong with that sometimes.

  4. thiswildelectricity - Since I posted this YouTube review a few years ago now, I've revised my initial harsh assessment of The Beat. And as commenter vered points out, above, the Elixir version is indeed superior. (Perhaps another one to track down with your now well-honed scent sleuthing skills?)

    All it took was a little perspective to ease my beating up on The Beat. The more sweetie-sweet candyfruit smells I encountered in the dept stores, the more I had to credit The Beat for trying to shake that sugar monkey off its back. I agree with your assessment of it.