Creamy synthetic vetiver and sandalwood, citrus, a mint-lavender combo reminiscent of older fougères, and a thick spicy-ambery accord which seemed everywhere among woody mainstreams of the 2000s together with the other big “jolly” of that time - violet. That’s London, and it’s quite nice. For some reasons, despite being partially quite conventional (woods, violet, tonka...) London smells quite more young, vibrant, genuinely “urban” than many other fragrances sharing the same notes. It smells “pop”, somehow traditional and somehow contemporary – like so many British pop bands in fact; always “fresh”, yet always so rooted into Britain’s pop heritage of the 1960s. London shares the same “concept”; it’s like a fresher, renovated, kind of juvenile and lively version of uncle’s Dunhill colognes – more synthetic, more transparent, with a couple of “metrosexual” features (mint, violet). Far from being groundbreaking, but a really versatile and nice fresh-creamy-spicy woody scent, a bit plastic and almost cheap quality-wise but somehow in a positive meaning – that type of “plastic syntheticness” many niche brands are still able to disguise as “avantgarde”, so why shouldn’t we play that card for Smith too. Grab it in case of good deals.
Paul Smith London must have been a sort of prototype for some of the latest stuff by Anoine Lie (I'm looking at you Nu_Be Mercury). A sparkling citrus opening supported by a kind of lactonic / coconut combo that revolve around an oriental-fougere-y bone structure with woody (sandalwood) and floral facets. Incredibly similar to Nu_be Mercury if not for the fact that Paul Smith London is definitely less metallic, less daring and a tad *cheaper* in texture.
Not much to add to the excellent note descriptions provided by Way Off Scenter and others, except to say I suspect the spiky texture in the top note is provided by pink pepper, eugenyl acetate and citral.
There's a strong chemical feel to the profile. It includes a powerful melamine-like harsh woody-plastic note that persists almost from the start, and continues relentlessly into the depths. I should admit I'm hypernosmic to this material as well as finding it repulsive, and when it's part of a formula, that perfume effectively becomes unwearable for me. (Anyone who knows what it is please PM)
This could have been just another face in the crowd of fresh woody masculines, but thanks to Antoine
Lie's skill it rose above the mediocrity we have come to expect of this genre, displaying an interesting evolution from spiky mandarin through violet leaf to creamy wood.
Way too synthetic, but an interesting frag and worth checking out if you find it, but not worth spending money on in my opinion.
It could have been good, but with a formula that includes a molecule now used in bathroom cleaner, it smells just too cheap to be a contender.
06th February, 2015 (last edited: 18th March, 2015)
Genre: Woody Oriental
Paul Smith London has a top note that smells oddly of lemon zest, dusty carpet, and dry grated coconut. It’s actually more pleasant than it sounds, but gives no clue as to where it might lead. The coconut actually grows more intense over time, and combines with aromatics, sandalwood, and cedar in a warm, nutty, off-dry accord of considerable distinction, marred only by a faint suggestion of suntan oil. The tanning product connotation of coconut-and-sandalwood accords at first kept me from enjoying Maître Parfumeur et Gantier’s superb Santal Noble, but in that case I eventually got past the obstacle, and can just as well forgive it here.
Above its nutty, woody bass line Paul Smith London oscillates gently between a crisp herbaceous violet leaf and geranium accord and a warm nutmeg-spiced amber. This motion continues for a few hours at moderate intensity until the creamy sandalwood, amber, and soft musk drydown takes over. The impression left is one of refined urbanity, sophistication, and subdued comfort, making Paul Smith London at once versatile and gratifying to wear. All in all an admirable offering, and an impressive rebound after the bland and derivative Paul Smith for Men.
A simple but delightful, fresh and fruity opening of mandarins that are not ripe and hence lack sweetness. Soon it is combined with a green note, which in the drydown is joined by and ambery woody vanilla in the base. The top notes are the highlight, and in spite of its simplicity this is overall a good scent. With decent silage and good projection, a major pro is the impressive longevity of nine hours. Nice for a spring day.
Paul Smith London opens up with a dark coconut vibe, a heavy dose of green mandarin, violet, and a boozy note. This dries down to something along the lines of Polo Double Black, but without the coffee, it has that same sort of stuffy smell, mostly tonka meeting sandalwood. At some point in time it starts to smell a little like cat piss, but I can't seem to get enough of it.
This has been compared to Obsession Night, and I see the similarities to some degree, but for the most part, this is a pretty unique and unorthodox scent. Now discontinued and pretty hard to find, prices can get really high, I wouldn't pay more than retail for this one though, if you could find it. I was fortunate enough to find a bigger bottle of this a couple years ago for about 50 bucks, which was a great price. Longevity and projection are both excellent.