A hesitant thumbs up for Marlborough. It's a very hard smell to describe, more complex than the simple mix of geranium and sandalwood that's listed here. There's bergamot and citrus on top, supported by bright greens. But the real star of the show is an incense smell. It's not the modern "niche" CDG kind of frankincense that incense perfumes usually smell like now. Instead, it's more like Nag Champa or some other smell that cheap Indian incense sticks would be scented with. The sandalwood is in the background, a sort of dry sawdust smell that hovers beneath the Nag Champa.
Really, that's about it. Indian incense sticks and dusty wood. I'm not in love, and I wouldn't classify this as any kind of masterwork, but it's pleasantly "exotic" in the Victorian sense and an interesting enough smell to merit a positive review.
Don't see this one discussed too much on the wet shaving forums, but i feel it to be a very masculine scent that is wonderful after a nice hot shower and shave. Not too heavy nor light, just right and very clean. The geranium scent is light and not over powering and mixes well with the sandalwood and perhaps a tiny bit of cedar. I thought I noticed a bit of citrus at the open and that kind of put the icing on the cake. Can't say it's sweet or bitter, just right in my book. (Very little cedar, NOT as much as mentioned by one poster, perhaps he was thinking of D.R. Harris Marlborough, which I like, but it is heavy with cedar)
A hint of citrus opens this one up, but quickly becomes a smoky scent for a couple hours. The review hinting towards pencil shavings hits this part of the fragrance spot on. The geranium is there from the get go, but becomes more pronounced in the heart. Some musky/woods pop up towards the end. This is a very classic masculine scent and surprised me in a good way.
Not the worst fragrance or the best by any means. Trumpers all seem to be of middle of the road quality and this is certainly true of Marlborough. The opening is an ashy lemon with a little geranium and an ultra-thick cedar heart and base. I get nothing but stale ashy cedar from this unfortunately. Sounded like a promising fougere, but I would go with Wild Fern or Penhaligons English Fern. Even YSL Jazz is much better.
Today I am briefly testing Trumper's drier, more leathery offerings Astor, Curzon, Eucris and Marlborough together. It took me a few tries to distinguish them.
Marlborough is different...cleaner and floral without getting too sweet, but somewhat powdery and with a bathroom cleaner spray aura. Drydown is masculine, slightly leathery florals like a much lighter VC+A or the floral side of Aramis.