*This is a review of the vintage English Lavender.
English Lavender opens with an aromatic airy and slightly camphorous lavender and citric bergamot tandem with a sharp supporting cedarwood undertone. As the composition reaches its early heart the bergamot vacates, leaving the staring aromatic camphorous lavender and supporting sharp natural smelling cedar initially by themselves, before gradually adding in herbaceous, leathery clary sage as the composition moves though its heart. During the late dry-down the lavender eschews its aromatic facet and cedarwood support as it turns mildly powdery, joined by moderately animalic musk through the finish. Projection is below average, as is longevity at 5-6 hours on skin.
English Lavender (vintage) is a composition I was exposed to as a child nearly forty years ago. The composition was quite common back then in stores everywhere, also finding its way into soaps and other toiletries. While memory can be quite tricky when looking back on a period of nearly 40 years, I distinctly remember it leaving an indelible positive impression with its very recognizable signature. Fast forward to present time, after many years of passing over buying a bottle of the vintage juice it was time to go down memory lane and make the purchase to see if those positive memories still held so many years later. Wearing English Lavender on skin as I write this, I can definitely confirm that while different smelling than I remember, the composition still is quite distinctive and impressive, only adding unexpected sharp natural cedarwood to the mix. In truth, there really isn't much to English Lavender's composition structure. It is a relatively simplistic concoction, but what sets it apart from the competition is its near-perfect execution and very solid raw material quality. Who would have thought this was a drug store fragrance? On the negative side of the equation are the relatively poor performance metrics. I don't know officially if the composition was an EdT or an EdC, but I would wager an EdC, as it has a light airy structure with relatively poor longevity. Whatever it is, it smells darn good and is still dirt cheap in relative terms on the aftermarket making even a blind buy a real low-risk possibility. The bottom line is vintage Yardley English Lavender smells different than I remember it with more of a cedar component, but the end result doesn't disappoint, earning it a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rating and a solid recommendation.
My grandmother wore this scent frequently, and my mother some, so I have fond memories of this perfume from when I was a little boy and I wanted to give it a try for old times sake. What a disappointment, this is not what I have in my memory banks, it is weak, simple and without appeal whatsoever. My reaction was: Where are you Agua Lavanda when I need you.
If you like lavender, don't go for this mess, get THE lavender scent of all times: Antonio Puig Agua Lavanda.
I have four different decades' versions of this scent. This began out of curiosity, wondering how much variation could exist within such a straightforward creation. I've become, on paper, a bit of a pessimist where reformulations come in but this is just such an easy win-over for me. My first English Lavender was the current version as of 2010 and I absolutely love it; bergamot, light white musk, and Lavender, easy as it comes. Makes for a great body scent, room/pillow spray, natural bug repellant, and layering agent. I have since acquired several vintages and I am happy to say the current holds up. The 70's and 80's versions are only slightly stronger, like an EDP of what exists now. The only real standout from the crowd is the 40's/50's era (oldest I have) version, which is richer and sweeter but, because of the age, has a bit of dull sourness in the top notes - this one lasts an almost unreasonable time for a lavender and hot damn is it a beauty. Why, then, do I not find the newer one wanting? Because one can reapply as needed. Sure the old juice is richer and more delicious but you can't reapply it like the new without piling up musk like an Abercrombie store. In short - This is a great fragrance in every incarnation, and one of the best unisex/utility florals around.
Consider the following.
Houbigant Fougere Royale 1882. Allegedly the first "fougere"
Geo. F. Trumper Wild Fern 1877
Yardley English Lavender 1873
Both of the latter share the same fougere-style formulation of lavender, tonka and oakmoss.
Well, I won't answer for Trumper's claim to the title here. But I can say that although Yardley's Lavender has the structure of a fougere, it is so lavender-prominent that it is correctly termed a lavender scent rahter than a fougere.
I can't speak to vintage juice -- I am commenting on a current bottle. The lavender starts off very dry. It has a medicinal-herbal quality, actually quite camphoraceous due to the rosemary and eucalyptus. These, along with the lavender, give the scent a very cool and airy tone. Gradually the dryness diminishes and the scent takes on a rather floral note, with a fairly sweet musk. The musk asserts itself for a while, and then amazingly the lavender appears as a shadow note to the musk.
I'd say that this has amazing longevity for a lavender scent. I feel that a vintage version would have been exceptional. This is pretty good for a what is a drugstore scent.
This perfume is easily one of my favorites. I wear it quite often when im at home because it has a soothing quality to it. I guiltily spray my bed with this perfume since I absolutely love to smell it when I walk into the room.
I rarely wear it out of the house because I find the scent is easily lost in the big city.
However, if I am going to the theater it is always the first perfume I consider. Even though it is meek next to most other perfumes after the dry down it is still present. I have had numerous compliments from my fiance when I spray it into my hair.
Considering the low price, it is definitely worth the small investment.