Perfume Directory

Ostara (2015)
by Penhaligon's


Ostara information

Year of Launch2015
Average Rating
(based on 38 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerBertrand Duchaufour
Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group

About Ostara

Ostara is a feminine perfume by Penhaligon's. The scent was launched in 2015 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour

Reviews of Ostara

I can't imagine anyone not smiling when they get the first burst of springtime with a spray of Ostara. It has a lovely honeyed narcissus smell, with some green keeping it bright. It's a heavy hitter for such a springtime scent, but is so beautiful that it doesn't get cloying. As an evoker of sunshine and spring flowers, I would put it almost on a par with older Diorissimo, except for that great green burst in the opening of Diorissimo. The green tinge in Ostara seems to strengthen later on and weave in and out over time.

It's the middle of summer here and I was a little wary of wearing it today, as I love this in late winter or early spring, when it brightens the day with the promise that spring is coming. It isn't as great in July as my memories of it on dank days in February, but it's still very good - somehow bringing to mind the feeling of expecting spring. Ostara is a ringer for the type of white narcissus with orange 'bells' I remember in my next door neighbour's garden in my youth. This is a real scent picture perfume but never seems flat - rather it's a lot of notes blended beautifully so that there are little jolts of different scents but individual notes rarely stick out.

Why it was discontinued remains a mystery, maybe because it's more of a perfume than the cologne scents that would normally be associated with Penhaligon's (in my little world anyway). Although it's an EdT it packs more punch than quite a few EdPs I've known.
05th July, 2017
Different. Unique. Kafkaesque and Bois de Jasmin have comprehensively reviewed Ostara with my experience being closer to Kafka's than Victoria's. She gave Ostara 5 stars; such bounty, from a fully trained perfumer and critic that it behoves us to examine Ostara as potentially great. I am bothered by the musk in the mid phase, as is Kafka, but overall it is a charming fragrance with a soaring opening. Imagine a perfect spring day, a fresh breeze on a hilltop, the grass a little too long and daffodils swinging their heads at the edges of a pond. You begin to run, kite in hand, and the heady scent of the grass mixes with the remaining headless narcissi stems. Up she goes and you stand to gain control, feeling the kite dip and surge higher. You smile broadly, compelled to by the sun on your face, eyes creased at the glare, and realise that you are giggling, no, gurgling, with pleasure.
23rd June, 2016
A burst of sunshine tinged with green; that's my impression of this one for most of its duration. There's so much in here: sticky buds, tart fruit, citrus juice & petals, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, & I enjoy it more sniffed from a distance than closely analysed. It's slightly sharp, leafy, fruity & floral all at the same time, & doesn't change much in the drydown, except for the addition of woods after an hour or so. There's also an added sweetness to the floral notes later on, when the bitter edge dies down. The projection is low, & seven hours in it's almost gone.
After blind-buying this & wearing it several times, I'm still not convinced that it's for me, as green notes aren't really my thing. There is something compelling about it though, & if you're looking for a bracing green floral for spring, this might be perfect for you. But get it quick as it's already being heavily discounted, & showing signs of being discontinued.
01st June, 2016
Almost surrealisticly, this fragrance blooms in the most yellow of fragrant colour interpretations. Wearing it feels like sitting in a field of intensely yellow rape-seed flowers. It smells waxy, nectar/honey and a very realistic bee-pollen accord. A soft ambery base lurks around which is actually quite generic, and I am not so sure Ostara actually smells nice in a traditional way, but big thumb up for being amazingly real! And yellow (did I mention yellow?). It smells YELLOW:)
10th May, 2016
The Talisman -- Paul Sérusier
22nd April, 2016 (last edited: 26th March, 2017)
Duchaufour puts to good use every trick at his disposal to whisk us off to a green field with buttery daffodils shaking in the breeze. That image is perhaps more important to this perfume than the recreation of a real narcissus scent – although this gets shockingly close. Ostara attempts to go one better and improve on nature.
First off it seems to dispense with much of the fatty and unctuous qualities of real narcissus blooms, instead pushing its recreation skyward on a surge of green notes – it’s a fragrant meadow of an opening. It’s perhaps due to this fantasy setting that Ostara tricks the nose into believing this is how narcissi should always smell.
A few things need observing. The first is a vegetal green that smells curiously of flesh; it will be disconcerting to some although I felt it didn’t particularly stick out in compositional terms. Bear with it, it subsides in about 15 minutes. The second is that as the perfume evolves it becomes evident that two other heavyweight blooms are responsible for bolstering the star of the show – hyacinth and ylang. The natural spiciness of hyacinth and, to a lesser extent, the narcissus itself reveals itself as the perfume settles. At this stage, Ostara becomes quite heady, despite wearing light.
But that is to pay too close attention to Ostara. Its main tricks of bringing a rush of spring to the wearer and its completely convincing narcissus are to be applauded.
It’s an impression that isn’t sustained, however, and Ostara gets milky and vague after the three hour mark, whereupon it’s time to reapply.

18th March, 2016

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