I like this a lot. It is a bracing citrus opening that fades into a wood and black pepper dry down. It's a very masculine and unique scent that is also quintessentially elegant and English (in a manly way).
I have not smelled anything exactly like it previously and while longevity isn't extraordinary, sillage is good and it's a fragrance that is worth having in a gentleman's medicine cabinet.
I like it. My wife however said I smelled like lemon furniture polish when I first put it on. That smell quickly dissipates into a peppery, wet stone smell to my nose, but I like each phase of this scent. I do have three beefs with it though. Once again, I smell zero pine scent with this fragrance. That's been happening to me a lot with new colognes that are supposed to be pine scented, from Fou d Absinthe to Itasca to this little beauty. Secondly, it has zero longevity, and thirdly it has zero sillage. While it lasted I enjoyed it's spicy little wispiness. However, I'm not sure I want to invest in a bottle because of it's brevity.
I haven't smelled any recent editions, but I had a bottle of this in the 80s and it struck me as a bracing, brisk, gentlemanly scent that hangs around just long enough to get noticed and then disappears. In that regard, it is not unlike Guerlain's Imperiale. Very much of its day and yet strangely timeless. In addition to the citrus and pine, I get a cedar note but no lavender, pepper or musk. While it is the perfect thing for Marlborough aristocrats to splash about in, the name is a little odd since the word bouquet means a bunch of flowers and there is nary a blossom in sight. This is for the darkest of pinstripe suits, the whitest of shirts and shoes polished to a military gleam. Evening dress and decorations. Don't look for a snuggle or a cuddle--this is a "No Sex, Please, We're British" kind of scent (as an interesting aside, that 1973 movie starred Susan Penhaligon, who was best known for her role in the ITV series "Bouquet of Barbed Wire").
After the pleasant citrus and cardamom burst that resembles Hermes' Voyage, this becomes a gruff, unpleasant woody pepper thing. Buy the modern version instead, Penhaligon's Endymion.
27th December, 2015 (last edited: 27th July, 2016)
I think I would have loved to wear this in 1902 or at least have a sample of the original. Even 8 years ago this seemed much denser, fuller and more complex.
The amazing tenacity of the lemon and lavender accord is still there though and I do like the spicy/musk accord in the drydown but it all seems a bit 'thinner'.
As it is, in its current formulation, I wouldn't call it a great fragrance. However, compared to the masculine offerings that are out there now and the relatively new ones -- it's a veritable masterpiece