A nice fragrant thingy without praise or blame, basically a cedar-incense (pencil sharpener) with gentle floral notes, notably rose, with a light, silky and warm fruity feel, and a pepper note giving the right amount of, well, pepper (meaning "dynamism"). The notes smell honestly more ordinary than it may seem reading the pompous names listed above – it's a decent, a bit dull blend of cedar, flowers, pepper, citrus, in short a unisex classic cologne with a bolder wood accord. Despite it is really nothing special, it is still a nice, refined, bright scent, lively like a mid-spring afternoon in London, also with a slight and pleasant "barbershop" vein running all over – some classic, dandy, delicate and shady mood, mixed with a sheer, urban sort of transparency. Sophisticated soapy drydown. Nothing exceptional, but nice.
A timeless classic from Penhaligon's
Of course beauty is always in the eyes and noses of the beholder, but IMHO, Penhaligon's Opus 1870 is one of the most magnificent fragrances ever created - a true masterpiece! The top notes of pepper and citrus meld quite quickly into a woody complex of cedar and rose undertones with a slight hint of musk. The combination conjures up delightful scenes of some of London's most beautiful squares and parks (Berkeley's, St. James's, Holland) in the late summer and early autumn. Opus 1870 epitomizes European city life at its finest. Along with Rochas' Macassar, Opus 1870 is truly a timeless masterpiece.
Pros: Wonderfully sophisticated, urbane fragrance of unusual complexity
The Opus 1870's opening is promising on my skin despite i tend to appreciate far more some completely different type of fragrances. I'm soon surprised by an extremely sharp, subtle, translucent and sophisticated citrus/dry spices (pepper) accord that is yet incensey and soaked by rosey and woody nuances. This aqueous introduction possesses a typical Penhaligon's stiff vibe, spicy, dusty, conservative and astringent, something projecting an extremely sharp and almost ozonic fruitiness in the air. What does it happen in a while? On my skin gets to operate for a really short span just a definitely faint, definitely close to the skin and vague incensey/spicy feel (a la 7 de Loewe but a touch smoother and sweeter) with woody (dominant cedarwood)/rosey accents. The aroma disappears at all in a couple of hours on me. My skin is therefore able to project just a faint woodiness which is sweetly spicy (due the interaction by cloves and cinnamon), incensey and faintly floral. A well crafted concoction for the lovers of the "olfactory translucency" but a too much evanescent experiment for my full pleasure (apart that i would deflect towards the stouter and more mysterious 7 de Loewe at half of the price).
04th April, 2013 (last edited: 07th January, 2015)
Bit of a masculine powerhouse imo and as dry as a bone. I like the topnotes of yuzu and peppers, but any citrus note would have worked. It then gets real spicy and woody with cedar to the fore --it's quite a dominant note throughout actually. Opus is trying to be 'modern' but I think it would suit the older man better. Vey nice.
The scent opens with a burst of oriental sweetness, liquorice root tea, but still expresses itself very dryly. Think panela sweetened sugar syrup, that has half dried onto a cedar palette. It is surrounded by salt which has taken the water of the syrup and made it more chalk like. There is not much that is overly resinous about it. The musk sits behind the wood. A light old formulation of English Fern stirs on the side of a paddock 500m away and is carried through somehow on a breeze to the mens tea room of this scent. There are peach coloured roses to the side, falling off the bush that also nest under the trees/woods. The pepper is very powdery and aged, finely ground white pepper with cinnamon of the same age in there too. Pepper takes over and a handful is thrown over the mound lightly coating it. Small patches of thin moss spring up, cousins of the fern. The softness from the Australian sandalwood, which compared to Indian sandalwood, is much more rounded at the ends and lends the scent a certain femininity that is balanced by the pinch of old, polite incense.
Maybe I will wear this scent when I retire and are in the reading room.
The smell makes me think of the museum cottages here in Australia that recreate colonial domestic scenes with old washing apparatuses, combs, mirrors, worn but pleasant things. The wood lacquered again and looking worn still. A suspended patina. It's polite with a bit of brightness, it's character is playful but in a methodic way: an uncle's tried and tested joke, there is nostalgia in the feel of it.