Endymion. I was hoping for something mythical, something that could take me into the clouds of a dreamy story.
Same dollop of millennium Leather "Boil in a Bag" generic nastiness that Demachy dropped onto the top of Eau Sauvage "Cuir?" Scrubber extraordinaire!!
One of the most (or should I say, “few”) intriguing fragrances by Penhaligon’s together with Sartorial, both sharing the same peculiar feature – showing a sort of deceptive designer-oriented nature, but creatively elaborating it with what I’d personally consider an interesting and very compelling “artistic” twist (sorry for that, I hate the concept of “artistry” applied to fragrances; don’t take it too literally, it’s just meant to refer to the creativity involved in this). Endymion is basically a very gentle, impeccable, sophisticated and truly British in spirit sort of plushy powdery-gourmand Oriental scent with a fantastic smooth bergamot opening and a coffee-infused, musky-woody and slightly honeyed-resinous foundation, that overall undoubtedly contains echoes of many designers – from YSL La Nuit de l’Homme to Zegna Intenso to the drydown of Rochas Man, but it wouldn’t really be fair to compare them. There’s echoes, they may share a similar sort of inspiration, but that is really not enough to make a proper of comparison in my opinion, as their “substance” differs enormously. Endymion has a whole different quality and texture, which briefly put, is better – or well, surely more fascinating. It smells at once more substantial than them (except for Rochas Man maybe, that was a masterpiece already), more crisp, more quality, and most of all delightfully more ethereal, impalpable, boundless and sophisticated. “Emptier yet fuller”, if that makes sense. And it’s not simply a matter of lightness, I think it’s just a whole different approach and construction, and that’s what marks the difference.
As Diamondflame brilliantly explained below in fact, Endymion belongs to that small family of “airy”, weightless (yet more than substantial and rich in character) scents together with Hermès Cuir d’Ange or Prada Infusion d’Iris: stuff which doesn’t smell like a “normal” blend of notes, just rather a unique heavenly whiff of “pure scent”, which you’ve to take and enjoy for, well, just what it is – in which the materials are so good and blended so effortlessly well and out of any formal pattern, that you only get “it”, as a whole. And that’s truly a delightfully poetic effect on skin, as you almost feel you aren’t wearing a fragrance – you rather feel surrounded by an impalpable, almost nondescript yet perfectly detectable and enjoyable scented aura of distinguished lavendery-gourmand British class, tightly blended and masterfully balancing a sort of “double cleanness” – clean zesty top notes of bergamot, clean “laundry-talc” musk and soapy sandalwood on the base notes, wrapped around a warm, velvety heart of lavendery-gourmand-herbal elegance with a perfectly mannered shade of woody smoke (which will arise more prominently on the drydown). It’s warm, sunny, cozy like an English sunset. It feels familiar, but unique. Truly irresistible. I’m probably over-romanticizing this and I am not sure if I made some sense with my description, but just I enjoy immensely the way Endymion disguises its evocative uniqueness under a deceptive, easy-to-dismiss designer-oriented look. And regardless of that it just smells fantastic, surely more on the discreet side of the spectrum projection-wise (albeit quite persistent), but it fits the scent and the inspiration perfectly. A lovely uplifting gem.
Endymion is liquid sincerity in a bottle. Something about it just projects virtue, and authenticity. It is subtle, classy, sophisticated and even sexy, but in the least pretentious way possible. I would absolutely recommend a blind-buy if you are considering doing so, especially for any guy out there who considers himself more gentleman than player, and is looking to impress the kind of woman who appreciates the former. This is definitely daily/signature scent-worthy, and I think could be worn for every occasion and in every season. It is unique, but at the same time virtually impossible not to like.
If the projection and longevity were as good as they should be for a niche at this price, then this would be 10/10 for me. As is, these are the only negatives to this fragrance. Assuming Penhaligon's never gives us an EDT or EDP version, I'd recommend applying liberally.
18th December, 2015 (last edited: 19th December, 2015)
I don't know what it is about Penhaligon fragrances, but every offering I've sampled to date has suffered from below average sillage and terribly poor longevity. Endymion was no exception.
While it lasted, the scent was a combination of lavender and vanilla, supported by a base of wood, vetiver and leather. The composition falls between clean laundry and barbershop, but it's really nothing original. Unfortunately, the whole scent collapsed within an hour, and I had the same result with Opus and Juniper Sling. Given the $100+ price, I couldn't recommend any of the house's offerings. Thumbs Down for me.
Endymion is a lavender, pepper, vetiver, leather, vanilla fragrance. Its not as sweet as Caron pour un Homme, and not as green as Villoresi Uomo but similar to both. It is also similar to MFK Pluriel but has a little more barbershop influences with the pepper and sweetness. Endymion is a very special fragrance whose aroma is comforting but is also complicated enough to offer some hint of fine breeding. I like the smell of it but the sweetness is a bit much for me.