As a longtime fan of classic British horror movies produced by Hammer, Amicus or Tigon, I’ve always lived with a sort of “mythical” imaginary of the British countryside - permanently foggy, rainy, unwelcoming, with small shabby cottages and ghastly antique boutiques where everyone looks like Peter Cushing or the Shadmock from “The Monster Club”. Well, this little gem by James Bronnley I acquired by a complete casual chance, is the closest, most vibrant thing to all that world I’ve ever smelled. It has them all: while being apparently a very traditional citrus-herbal “barbershop” cologne, it has an impressive feel of dusty-camphorous decadence, impeccably blended with a distinguished smell of powdery moss, grass, aromatic herbs, vetiver and a nondescript, quite bold sort of “damp wood” feel (I think due to moss again, infused with something resembling to chamomile or sunflower), and a top accord of greenish citrus and neroli – which isn’t really “zesty” or particularly fresh, rather more bitter, dry, slightly floral and creamy.
Besides being exceedingly compelling and elegant, the overall feel is just quite more bizarre and puzzling for me, and surely I wouldn’t really associate this fragrance to summer. It may be just me, but I get a very dense feel of grayness, of dusty “countryside” mossiness, definitely something more autumnal for me. Think of entering a shabby cottage and catch a whiff of the inside – the smells of musty dust, cracked damp furniture, dry soaps, old books, cider dripping out of a cracked glass, the dapper landlord lying murdered on the stairs. Basically what many would refer to as an “old man” fragrance – and by “old” I would mean here two, three thousands years old. It’s a spooky and amazingly fascinating foggy mist halfway archaic and funereal, it smells sophisticated and very natural, breezy yet almost oppressive, very distinguished and neat yet almost off-putting. Associations aside, as I said (and as others already said better than me) it’s basically an impeccable “barbershop” citrus-mossy classic eau de cologne with a powerful sense of dusty melancholy, projecting just fine and lasting for long with an utterly enjoyable herbal-powdery drydown, still bearing a decided neroli note. Shortly a British decadent take on 4711 and the likes. Surely quite mature and fairly austere, but truly classy and pleasant. A true little gem far more unique and distinctive than it may seem by the composition, definitely worth it if you’re into classic “gentleman’s” stuff.
This is an affordable scent that is very reminiscent of Aqua di Palma. Lemony and lavendery.
You'll smell like a 50s film star in a freshly laundered suit. Or something.
Very light and pleasant for every day wear. This is how the company describes it:
"top notes of bergamot, Italian lemon and neroli give way to a herbal and mossy heart. A wild mint twist adds a subtle freshness complemented by a woody base of amber, cedar and vetivert."
I couldn't put it better myself and for the price well worth it.
This reminds me very much of 4711 - powdery citrus. Very pleasant and rather chic.
Also reminiscent of the best of the Mediterranean citrus scents, Acqua di Parma, and Borsari's Acqua Colonia.
Quite affordable too. Worth the investment - a very nice summer scent.
this really smells of English melancholic late summer evenings
20th July, 2012 (last edited: 24th January, 2013)
"Gentleman's Cologne" is right - this is an extremely refined scent. This is simply a lovely dry, very green floral cologne that smells like a light green floral chypre.
What I particularlly love about this is how it manages to sustain the green essence of lime, well past the opening. It dries down to a gentle dry base of oakmoss and coumarin. Very subtle spicy and wood notes can be detected in the background throughout it's development, like a smell that is way off in the distance.
This is beautifully crafted, and I'm impressed with how everything is handled with a light hand, resulting in a truly lovely scent. This is the definition of timeless and classic.
MY RATING: 8.5/10