In the opening I get quite a bit of juniper, with orange and hints of cardamom and cinnamon added. A touch of gentle spiciness in the drydown leads to a rather generic ambery base, the weakest phase in the development of this scent.
Apart from the rather pleasant opening blast there is on my skin a feeling of a certain thinness and mediocrity; it does not convince very much overall. The sillage is moderate and the projection acceptable, with six hours of longevity on me. 2.5/5.
A limp little woody thing. The juniper is there, but hardly. Very soft projection but good longevity as a skin scent. Although disappointing, it's not worth crying over: Pell Wall's Gin and Lime is a much more convincing and robust recreation of a gin-based cocktail.
It's not that there's anything wrong with Juniper Sling. What it does, I like. Despite the crowded notes list, I smell mostly clary sage, with a hint of pine from the juniper berry, a bit of salt to give the illusion of fizziness, and some iso e super smoke. It just sort of hangs around smelling unremarkably herbal and green, eventually ending up as a minimalist version of a chypre base, mostly galbanum and the lingering herbs.
But it's just kind of dull. It wears very thin (though it has plenty of lasting power) and, in my opinion, veers from "minimalist" into "dull". I think it could be argued that Juniper Sling was inspired by Terre d'Hermes, particularly its combination of iso e super and herbs, but while TdH is compelling in its weirdness, Sling keeps things safe, possibly to its detriment. Meh.
Juniper Sling opens with a woody accord comprising vetiver and cedar (Iso E), plus juniper berries, a subtle note of cloves, a dusty base of patchouli, amber and perhaps cocoa beans, with a light animalic/musky note which I can not distinguish clearly but however gives a "carnal" and dark allure to the composition – there may be leather too. A decent, unusual take on a classic chypre, more spicy and less flowery, also less animalic/leathery, but with the same camphor feel, at the same time with a masculine, austere barbershop breeze. As minutes pass it also emerges better a rooty-powdery-soapy side of orris roots, and also the leather note arises more prominently, on a balmy-earthy base. Overall I'd say it's a "not that bad" scent, a nice rooty-spicy-earthy composition with a couple of less-usual accords (juniper), but overall it's also a bit artificial and pale. In other words, a missed opportunity.
The London dry gin idea – juniper berries and citrus rind – appeals to me in its simplicity. My high hopes for the re-release of Lubin’s Gin Fizz collapsed when its juniper and citrus accord turned out to be tantalizingly ephemeral, and I’m sad to report that Penhaligon’s entry in the gin-and-tonic style suffers the same liability. I get five minutes of astringent juniper berry and citrus refreshment, then nothing but a very pale, clean soapy musk skin scent. The only juniper berry scent I recall having any lasting power is Creed’s Baie de Genièvre, but the Creed is a much darker, heaveier composition than Gin Fizz or Juniper Sling, and manages to endure on the skin by substituting a spicy vetiver base note for the effervescent citrus accord that lends the Lubin and Penhaligon’s their short-lived buoyancy.
I’m still waiting for my perfect Tanqueray No. 10 cologne…