It is predominantly Bergamot I get, with a floral drydown and wood. Not bad, but on my skin there is little development and a longevity of just about three hours.
A fine range of citrus, florals, herbs and dry fruited notes appear to suggest a classic cologne, but when the imposing fog of bestial musk overwhelms the scent, all splendor is erased.
29th January, 2011 (last edited: 30th January, 2011)
Here is Taylor of Old Bon Street's description:
"A fresh masculine fougere opening with bergamot and mandarin intertwined with citrus ozone notes supported by a fruity floral heart resting on a woody amber base. Contains Coriander oil, Geranium oil, Lavandin Grosso, Lemon oil, Patchouli oil, Pine oil and Spearmint oil."
This sounds excellent, but the reality disappoints. I'm not sure if I would call this a fougere since there's nothing remotely fernlike or even plantlike in it. I can detect the lemon oil, the patchouli and the spearmint. In the drydown I get a whiff of the amber. The fruity florals are indistinct and aquatic, like Cool Water without the faintly herbal bite. It nods to Taylor's hairdressing heritage with some subtle notes of barbershop soapiness.
This is very, very sweet and light and utterly mediocre. Smells like a pleasant mass-market deodorant. Longevity and sillage were very poor for me. The juice is a bright electric blue and the bottle is quite beautiful and traditional (as Badir said above it's a shaker).
It's inexpensive, but if you want an inexpensive traditional English cologne you might as well get one of the spectacular scents from Geo. F. Trumper. This couldn't possibly offend anyone, but I don't know why anyone would buy it in the first place.
Of the four main traditional English grooming companies (the other three being DR Harris, Trumper and Truefitt & Hill), Taylors of Old Bond Street are the most affordable and are by far the best value for money (DR Harris are at a similar price point, but most of their fragrances lack longevity and silage). St James is TOBS' entry into the world of fresh aquatics - a vivid blue juice with hints of sweetness, soap and, do I detect?, some light and subtle herbs. There are some generic mid to low price moisturisers and aftershave balms available in the UK which have been heavily influenced by the clean St James scent (and no doubt made in the same factory by the same parent company), which goes to show how inoffensive it is. It's not really anything new and it won't knock your socks off, but it's nevertheless a pleasant splash with nothing to really dislike and, for less than £20 (often close to £15) for 100ml, it's a steal. The double bonus for most is that it still comes in a traditional glass shaker bottle, which looks great on the shelf, though I would still prefer a spary. Unfortunately, as with many TOBS frags, this one dries my skin substantially in the winter so I only tend to use it in the summer. Nice stuff, anyway.
This is Taylor's entry into the kids market. I think that's oceanic. Not bad, but not for me.