Perfume Directory

Hammam Bouquet (1872)
by Penhaligon's

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Hammam Bouquet information

Year of Launch1872
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 187 votes)

People and companies

HousePenhaligon's
PerfumerWilliam Henry Penhaligon
Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group

About Hammam Bouquet

Hammam Bouquet is a masculine fragrance by Penhaligon's. The scent was launched in 1872 and the fragrance was created by perfumer William Henry Penhaligon

Hammam Bouquet fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Hammam Bouquet

Hammam Bouquet is a pioneering cornerstone in the crafting of male-specific fragrance, at a time when everything was either a parfum meant for a lady, or a light cologne water meant for everyone. Granted, important men of noble courts had long since commissioned perfumers to make them bespoke scents, and that is ironically how Penhaligon's next masculine scent, Blenheim Bouquet, would come to pass (until it too saw sale to the public later on), but in the 1800's there was very little documented masculine-only fragrance outside of this, the works of Ed Pinaud (now Clubman Pinaud), and perhaps Fougère Royale by Houbigant, making this very significant indeed. Regardless of who what when, 1872 was a very very different time for men than even 1972, let alone today, and all perfumers were arguably "niche" since everything was on a much smaller and more personal scale back then. The very first sample of this upon an unprepared nose will reveal an entirely different concept of what suited a man's sensibilities, which is to be expected, and is vastly different than pretty much anything made in the 20th or 21st century. For starters this is primarily a skanky rose scent, since the idea of abstract fragrance wouldn't come around until Guerlain's Jicky a decade or so later, and the skank was probably the only way to "man it up". Just to think that rose was seen as the best choice for a man's toilet water in 1872 regardless of who is the perfumer nose making it is just mind blowing to me. William Penhaligon made this scent in dedication to the smell of the Hammam down the street from his first shop, where he used to be a barber for the bathers coming and going.

He had other formula ideas before creating this, that the modern company has since brought to life, but my guess is this was something he whipped up to apply on his clients after a cut or shave based on his experiences with that Turkish bath (or Hammam). This stuff isn't very "barbershop" compared to Pinaud and other things made closer to the turn of the 20th century, but it's the distinction of his early works that earned Penhaligon his royal warrants as perfumer. Hammam Bouquet is a hallmark of the thinking found in it's era of creation: florals up front, woods and/or animalics in the back, and herbals or more florals in the heart notes to muddle them up. The only thing making this a masculine scent is the aforementioned skank and lack of any real sweetness, which results in that urine-like sharpness which seeks to emulate male sweat. This skank is a characteristic many folks find off-putting now or rarely attracting, and was probably perfected in execution with YSL's Kouros a whopping 109 years later. In this pioneering Victorian-era rendition of the "acrid scent of male", rose orris is introduced with very dry lavender and then pushed way up front, then dried some more with cedar until the classic basenotes of sandalwood, musk and ambergris lay it down to rest. The whole thing just screams of a classic dandy with flowers in their 19th century sartorial attire (usually a frock or morning coat depending on what end of the era we're on), a top hat, cane, and a detached emotionless gaze judging you by the grace of your walk and manner of speech.

I find this scent enjoyable in much the same way one would appreciate a classic aria or a traditional continental dinner, but in no way shape or form is this appropriate for anything besides 19th century reenactments or maybe (and this is a long maybe), an extremely formal evening where the modern equivalent to the attire I mentioned would be worn. This stuff is just so stiff and archaic that there's absolutely nothing relaxed about it, which is part of what I find amusing when wearing it. Also be warned that the stuff doesn't scrub off skin or clothes easily, so when you wear it, you're in for the long haul. Hammam Bouquet is such a time capsule that it's the quintessential Victorian period piece of men's fragrance, challenged only by Trumper's Eucris, which was released 40 years later at the end of this era. It's the genuine article that all the new-generation hipster-targeted products wish they were, and a stoic exercise in the perseverance of fragrance history preservation that it's almost required academia to wear it once if not own a bottle. For the full effect, I suggest a nice brandy and a copy of Wuthering Heights under arm when trying this scent. Conversely, you can try wearing it outside if you absolutely want alarmed stares from everyone. Either way, it's a beautiful history lesson in a bottle that has about as much practical use as a vintage show car in the garage.
26th November, 2017 (last edited: 20th December, 2017)
To start with, i can not make any connections between the name and the modern Hammams.
Maybe they used to smell like that 200 years ago but today the do not.
It is an interesting perfume with a nice lavender blast at the opening and some lemon accords. It settles quickly in a "good mannered" rose which i would say it can be worn from both sexes. I get about 8 hours out of it which is more than i usually get from Penhalligon perfumes. Still can't get the sandalwood, maybe will appear in a later phase.


Note: 6,5-7/10
30th April, 2017 (last edited: 10th May, 2017)
far out animalic rose, great sillage!
03rd May, 2016
I have been wearing The Hammam Bouquet regularly now since early January of this year and every time I put it on I fall for it more and more. It is a predominantly rose scented, but do not let that fool you into assuming that 'rose' means 'feminine.' The best way I can describe this cologne is being 'discreetly masculine.'
19th April, 2016 (last edited: 23rd June, 2017)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
After a brief lavender prelude without further ado the centrepiece of this scent steps forward: a rich, deep, quite heavy rose that is an echo of Victorian dandyism. Jasmine is added later in , as is a nice orris. Cedar, sandalwood, amber and a dark musk dominate the base, but still now the rose still rules. The sillage is very good, as is the projection, and I get around eight hours of longevity. A heavy, gloriously Victorian floral rose composition of quite unique Character.

Hammam Bouquet was not available for a while, but now it is back, albeit, as the helpful staff member in the company's Edinburgh shop today confirmed, in a reformulated version. In this new version the rose is toned down, as if rationed, and it lacks the depth and the richness of the original. For those who like such types if fragrances but find the old version too heavy and too rich, the toned down reformulation might be worth a try. A classic.
12th September, 2014
The scent of a gentleman passing by - unless you over-tip the bottle on application, which results in a quite different impression; less gentleman - more Victorian rake. One of the great historical fragrances and if you are entranced by these associations and the elements of its formula (lavender, rose , sandalwood etc) a modest dab on the beard will hold you in its spell for some time.

For me it recalls something forgotten, warm, beautiful and discovered in a cedar chest; again I think this might be bottled nostalgia!

Curiously, I think Hammam smells very attractive on some women, the way that Givenchy Gentleman does - but that is a matter of personal taste :)
22nd February, 2014 (last edited: 25th February, 2014)

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