Perfume Directory

Castile (1998)
by Penhaligon's

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Castile information

Year of Launch1998
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 190 votes)

People and companies

HousePenhaligon's
Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group
Parent Company at launchGlynn Manson and Peter Kedge

About Castile

Castile is a masculine fragrance by Penhaligon's. The scent was launched in 1998

Castile fragrance notes

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

Reviews of Castile

Castile (1998) is an exercise in extending the life of the classic eau de cologne formula by the folks at Penhaligon's, much in the same way Eau de Guerlain (1974) was Jacques Guerlain's attempt at the very same several decades prior, but Castile's unknown perfumer tries to suspend the lightness of the neroli profile in time rather than just seguing into heavier base notes for sustain like Eau de Guerlain. Castile takes it's name from the Spanish countryside and more succinctly, from the soap made in that region, which is often scented like a classic eau de cologne anyway with a clean neroli head. The fact Castile is themed this way brings it up directly against the eponymous Mugler Cologne (2001), which would appear a few years later and also be themed after fancy milled soap Thierry Mugler tried recalling from memory, and Mugler's take came to dominate the "extended cologne" segment over Penhaligon's scent or the much-older Guerlain entry, plus came in enormous quantities as if it were just a cologne. Penhaligon's isn't a designer on the scale of Mugler and just doesn't have the same market footprint as them, but I find Castile's take on "soapy orange blossom" best among what I've tried, as it's longer-lasting than the others of its genre in addition to being more realistic with the usage of neroli oil. While not unknown, Castile feels like a veritable "secret weapon" by comparison, since it isn't even the most known of Penhaligon's creations. If you don't like eau de cologne themes or orange blossom for that matter, you should probably stop reading this now and save some time.

Castile opens up with (surprise) neroli, and lots of it. The orange blossom isn't the only facet of the plant to make it's way into the scent however, but more on that further in. The neroli is very potent and natural-smelling here, far beyond the quality of most outside Penhaligon's fellow niche peers or the really venerated cologne classics, asssisted by a bit of aldehyde. Most higher-end cologne-inspired scents don't really justify their price often, but the staying power of the star note here makes it worthwhile to me. A very nice petitgrain joins the neroli to dry it and make it more piquant, before a middle of bergamot and rose enter the freshness fray. The bergamot further adds dryness due to it's generally stark nature, but orange peel also makes a show, adding a tad bit of juiciness back like a tit-for-tat exchange with the bitter bergamot on display, hiding much of the rose in the process. The base is the only real usage of synthetics in Castile, since iso e super and white musk appear in large enough quantities to anchor that undying aldehyde-assisted neroli/petitgrain top to the skin, with just the faintest wisps of cedar near the end to attempt sweeping the iso e under a rug. Anyone wishing that citrus top notes in cologne lasted forever will certainly love this, and you'll smell beautifully of fine Castile soap for hours and hours into a summer day. This stuff was literally built for summer to my nose, and can be worn by anyone, like most traditional eau de colognes new or old. This may come as a shock but Castile is also among the stronger non-parfum selections from Penhaligon's, bucking their notoriety for makinf fragrances of fleeing sillage. You'll get recurring plumes of top notes all day without having to spray on fabric, which is really awesome.

Castile was released at a time where Penhaligon's hadn't quite reestablished itself as a desirable upscale niche barbershop like it once was and now is again, having been sold off by Sheila Pickles to The Limited, after using Penhaligon's as a springboard for her own career and keeping them on life support long enough to limp through the 70's and 80's, only to see The Limited off-load it to Glynn Manson and Peter Kedge by the time this came around. Penhaligon's at that stage was betwixt living much in the past as a floundering niche perfumer with new takes on it's own older themes, and attempting a few awkward stabs at then-modern 90's styles to inject relevance to the brand, causing many a scent from them at the time to be received with mixed success. Castile is thankfully one of the former "back to basics" scents from this period which worked instead of coming across as tired, and methinks it's because they looked outside their UK heritage to concoct it, since it is a German eau de cologne style inspired by the Spanish soap which was scented like said German cologne, presaging the aforementioned Mugler variety in the process. Again, how you feel about Castile reflects how you feel about the genre since it does nearly nothing new besides some chemical parlor tricks to sustain the wear time, but sometimes small tweaks are all it takes to make ordinary into extraordinary. I think Castile is near-perfect for temperature flare-ups in otherwise mild Pacific Northwest summers, spring nearly anywhere else it gets truly hot, or after bath at home any time of year, maybe after using actual Spanish-milled soap after which this is themed. Castile is just a well-done comfortable and surprisingly long-lasting eau de cologne for lovers of Neroli, nothing more and nothing less. Splendid!
15th August, 2018 (last edited: 20th August, 2018)
Castile is a definite thumbs-up for me. I love neroli, and this opens with a nice neroli kick. It becomes more soapy as it develops, but I still smell it's citrus aspects, even hours later. It's become more of a skin scent on me after about 5 hours. I would like a bit more longevity than I'm experiencing. I can live without major sillage with a scent like this if I can have some longevity. Still, a vey enjoyable fragrance that I really like. I don't get as much of a soapy aspect from Castile in it's dry down as I do from Neroli Portofino. More citrus and perhaps just a touch of floral and finally some light musk. A very nice fragrance.
04th December, 2016
Excellent fragrance. It opens up with a massive scent of neroli and lime and dries down to a musk, woods and petitgrain scent that I really enjoy.

I can see the "powdered laundry detergent" analogy some make, but it is more refined than that and certainly more natural and less "artificial" or "chemically" smelling.

Longevity is decent and sillage is good. I think the two Floris scents I own have better longevity and sillage than this (or Blenheim Bouquet for that matter), but this is such a nice spring, summer, and daytime frangrance that I can live with that.
30th March, 2016
Castile is a very difficult fragrance for me to evaluate. Some previous reviewers mentioned that this fragrance smells very similar to powered laundry detergent -- it does. In fact, if you go into your first impression of this with that smell in mind, it is all you will smell. I think what ruins Castile, is that it's too familiar. It smells clean, but it smells like a cleaning product, not a personal fragrance. Too many hand soaps and laundry detergents smell identical. It had so much potential, maybe just some subtle tweaks here and there with the blend, and it might have been really special. As is... ehh.

I really wanted to like this, given that I'm a Penhaligon's fan, and I wanted something fresh/clean/light in their line for casual use, particularly in the warmer months... but I just can't love this, no matter how much I want to. I think the reviews paint a bit of a false picture as to the quality of this fragrance. It smells good, but if you walked by most people and they smelled this on you, they probably wouldn't think you were wearing a fragrance, they would instead probably think you just washed your hands, or pulled your clothes out of the drier 10 minutes beforehand.

If you are interested in this fragrance, I'd strongly recommend getting a sample first. Cannot recommend as a blind-buy.
17th December, 2015 (last edited: 20th December, 2015)
Starts with a cute orange citrus blast quickly followed by plenty of floral neroli dominated notes that linger around on my skin, one reviewer compared this to concentrated washing powder ..I can totally see that comparison but I love the smell of soap powder (that reassuring I'm clean today smell) and clean linen so I love this fragrance in a comforting soapy way, I feel more like I'm in a garden near the med some days , it's really sunny and hot after a quick rainfall. Be liberal with this and buy a 100ml...enjoy the summer smelling clean and botanical. Performance for me is excellent considering this type of unisex fragrance d.n.a. The key element in castile is the neroli, it's one of the most natural I've encountered, a true masterpiece by penhaligon's.
30th September, 2015 (last edited: 01st November, 2018)
jspo Show all reviews
United States
Amazing opening of citrus like soapy fresh clean smell - floral, but a man can pull it off. Huge problem with sillage and longevity, as it drops off in about 20 minutes and remains a skin scent. One would have to apply very liberally, nearly take a bath in it for any kind of projection.Therefore, neutral, as some may prefer a nose to skin scent.
18th May, 2015

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Castile by Penhaligon's London for Women 3.4 oz EDT Spray Brand New

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Castile by Penhaligon's Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 oz For Men

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Castile 3.4 oz Eau De Toilette Spray by Penhaligon's for Men

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PENHALIGON'S CASTILE EDT 100ml (2018)

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Penhaligon's 'Castile' Eau De Toilette 3.4oz/100ml Tester Unboxed

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Penhaligon's 'Castile' Eau De Toilette 3.4oz/100ml Tester Unboxed

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CASTILE by Penhaligon's 100 ml/3.4 oz Eau de Toilette Spray NIB

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Castile by Penhaligon's Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 oz for Men

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Castile by Penhaligon's 3.4 oz 100 ml EDT Cologne Spray for Men

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Penhaligon's 'Castile' Eau De Toilette 3.4oz/100ml Tester Unboxed

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Castile 3.4 Oz Eau De Toilette Spray By Penhaligon'S Cologne For Men

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Penhaligon's 'Castile' Eau De Toilette 3.4oz/100ml Tester Unboxed

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Castile by Penhaligon's Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 oz

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PENHALIGON'S CASTILE EAU DE TOILETTE SPRAY 50 ML / 1.7 FL OZ.

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Penhaligon's Castile EDT Spray 100ml Men's Perfume

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