The ZARA Improbable Collection was initially launched in a group of four 2019, and then a few months later, more fragrances joined the party. These are ultra-simple and ultra-affordable creations come in cute, colourful, and zany bottles that remind me of something that Comme des Garcons or Tauerville would create. They are great for travel, and you’ll probably want to carry these along with you wherever you go because, sadly, performance (longevity, sillage, projection) is not usually a quality associated with cheap fragrances and indeed with Zara that has been my experience. Does that make them unworthy? Not in my mind. In the world of fragrance, there is happily something for every budget and taste.
Zara launches a ton of fragrances every year, so I don’t know if these are still available in retail stores. The brand is highly inconsistent with its availability of fragrances in stores, and that is annoying. I don’t currently see any from this collection on the ZARA website. The clothes are fast fashion, so I imagine the perfume is highly time sensitive, too. Bigger bottles of these fragrances are also available if the collection is still on trend. The idea is you’d use these 120ml bottles as refill options for the basic 30ml metallic-colored flacons. I got all my bottles second hand online via Mercari, so mine were mega affordable. There used to be a Zara in the one mall in my town, but sadly, like many other businesses in the last few years, it has sailed ship. I admit my branch never had more than a handful of fragrances anyway. Japan is not a fragrance-obsessed country.
The Improbable Collection fragrances each contain only three notes, although there might be a bit more to them under the surface. There is not much original in the range, and some do play the dupe card for more expensive perfumes. There is beauty in simplicity if done right, though, so let us get to them!
001 Somewhere Nowhere
This is supposed to be the scent of freedom – a fragrant composition is radiant, refreshing, and modern. The opening in this one is a sharp 4711 citrus, then you get creamy magnolia opening up and pushing aside some of the lemon, and the floral then fades into a barely-there summery musk. It’s nothing to write home about here, but it does pleasantly remind me of an Italian drink called Limoncello, which I can get here in southern Kyushu at an import store. It’s a nice pick me up. And you’ll probably have to pick it up a lot to get picked up – like every three minutes or so. And then, the bottle is empty. Somewhere becomes nowhere fast. This is probably inspired by something like Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana. It’s a good office drawer accessory for a quick spray after a rushed morning getting to work in the summer sun.
002 Sense of Glam
This one is supposed to inspire confidence. The bright red bottle reflects that as do the notes of lychee, rose, and vanilla. The rich rosy heart is decorated by sweet and juicy lychee, which I love in fragrance, and rounded off and grounded with comfortable and sexy vanilla. I think the rose stems are also included in this one, though. There is some sour or bitterness to it – old lipstick, but no iris. Hence that is why it’s called glam? Overall it is pleasant, but I would not associate it with glamour. I see Miss Dior or Coco Mademoiselle lovers not minding this. Day to night works
003 Cotton Kiss
Sadly I couldn’t get my hands on this one, but I do know it’s a fruity floral that contains notes of pear, ambrette and iris. I really like the smell and taste of pear, so the fact that I could not find it is rather a shame. If you’ve gotten your nose on it, leave some feedback below. Is it worth hunting down?
004 Me and My Selfie
Great name, and this one I do indeed like. It’s smells modern and I love the note of almond here, which is liquified and drizzled over the radiant magnolia and tasty tonka beans. I find this one creamy, balsamic and rather captivating. Very nice, but very synthetic – there is almost a cherry spritz at the top. It smells a lot like some other popular scents on the market. This will be the first I’ll use up, for sure. Carolina Good Girl and La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto lovers might like it and this one lasts much more than the others. This one is priced higher. I guess one pays for performance.
005 is Feels Like Winter
I am skipping this one, too, because nope – I could not get my hands on it. It’s a floral scent is based on violet, jasmine, and vanilla. Violet is not something I associate with winter, but the bottle is certainly violet – well, more baby blue, but I can see how you might get “winter” out of it.
006 Glittery Mood
The glitter in bottle certainly speaks to the mood. The three notes here are black current, peony, and musk. Thank goodness the black current is the star of the show here, or I would have passed on this. The peony It does lighten up the syrupy sweetness. It is pretty, but does go a little sour through its wear though, which might not appeal to everyone. There is a weird vegetal note in here though, like someone poured zucchini juice in the mix. I’m not sure how I feel about this one.
007 Feels Like Summer
This one came out in 2020 and the very enticing notes of sweet orange, apricot and sandalwood called to me – Fruity, fun, and refreshing. It’s subdued scent, but delightful and tarte – both juicy and creamy at the same time. It does feel and look like summer. I’ll use this one up fast, I think!
My personal ranking is as follows:
- #4 me and my selfie (love the almond and it does last a little longer),
- #7 feels like summer
- #1 somewhere nowhere (despite the crap performance)
- #2 sense of glam (no to the bitter note)
- #6 glittery mood
Unsurprisingly, these are not ground-breaking, but the scents are not bad. What really sells them for me is the cute, fun, and practical packaging, and THE PRICE. Second-hand you can probably find these for less than 5 USD each, but retail I think they are somewhere over 10 dollars. Have you tried these? Can you still get them? Comments most welcome!