Feminine and comforting - the heliotrope is responsible for the luxuriously comforting quality, I think. Lasts very well and doesn't overpower the wearer or the people around them. A truly charming fragrance.
This fragrance is all drama, top hats, ebony canes, velvet bow ties, starched wing collars and black morning coats, not to forget the lipstick and painted on mustache. This is a night at the opera with a twist darling. Cornubia allows the wearer to peer into a hazy fantasy exclusive to the 1920's, a fantasy of beauty and glamour, where rubbing shoulders with high society and aristocrats is where its really at.
Cornubia is an eccentric old dame showing up at the opera draped in her androgynous guise of top hat, cane, bow tie and black suit. Much to the amusement of some and absolute disgust of others, not that she cares!
Cornubia is a BIG fragrance that lasts all day and night. Mandarin and Freesia perch themselves boldly on Cornubias head. As we move from head to heart we are greeted by the alluring Heliotrope note, the piece de resistance of the scent in my opinion. This heliotrope note takes a baby powder meets sweet almond character as opposed to some fruitier heliotropes I have come across the fruitiness coming more from the mandarin which is not at all fleeting. Heliotrope is paired beautifully with jasmine and orange blossom to create a fuller heart working in unison alongside the mandarin/freesia top creating a huge bouquet of white flowers. As the show moves into its final movement we are taken deeper into Cornubia's sweet musky sensuality with a base of vanilla amber and musk, a perfect end to a sublime show. This is a drama trickling with black cherry liquor and a healthy dose of chocolat.
As she enters her 25' Rolls Royce Phantom 1 she pauses for the camera's........ and we are left with an image that Brassai himself would be happy with.
A dry oriental that is sweet but not overly fruity, it's a heavy scent compared to the other female penhaligons. In that sense I could say it's darker and has a bit more punch to it which suits me fine. I think this could work for anyone who liked Hammam but found it just a bit too much to wear daily, just make sure not to over apply. Other scents it reminds me of would be angelique encense from creed, it has the same heavy powder base and incense feeling to it.
This is sweet, but also much spicier than I expected from the notes. I find it quite strong at first, and need to apply a small amount only - otherwise it is too much. Unlike some of the Penhaligon's it lasts and lasts, and the vanilla in the drydown is fabulous - on a par with Shalimar and Chanel's No 22 (though these perfumes could not be more different). I would definitely recommend trying this one with caution - the drydown is worth waiting for!
26th November, 2008 (last edited: 13th December, 2008)
I bought this several years ago on my first trip to London, but, sadly, later regretted my purchase. In the shop it smelled like a lovely oriental, but when I wore it again back home I noticed that it's much more floral than I like personally. The drydown is also too powdery. It is a lovely fragrance, though, just not for me. Try it if you like Chanel No 5, Samsara, Shalimar, et al.