Inoffensive unisex oud based (not a dominant note) complex oriental fragrance I would envision for Arabs who aren't super-rich, although this isn't cheap it's not super expensive. The sample I tried dissolved quickly, opens quite sharp with a soft, pleasant dry down.
Starts promising, ends mediocre.
The opening has good note. Plummy bergamot. A melange of spices, well blended and not sweet. Is there a eucalyptus note? Something is minty here. Perhaps it is the cypress -- if so, well done. The leather is mild, the oud is restrained, the resins are robust and pleasant. To this point, all is well done and subtle. Here is a low-key, dry oriental -- commendable in that regard. Patchoulie and vanilla are very minor elements, certainly not problematic.
And then (as others have noted) a rather shallow synthetic note appears and it is on that note that the scent dwells for the rest of its time on earth (or my skin).
So in sum, the scent is not bad but not brilliant. Probably does not warrant its price tag.
Hollywood invaded the market with a massive quantity of franchises that, after the more or less original idea of their respective pilots, they turned into the most shallow and cynical movie projects ever. X-Men 75, Batman 44, Ice Age 36, Toy Story 98 and so on and on and on…
Well, perfumery is following this example and Penhaligon's Halfeti could be re-named Saffron + Faux Oud 5936. We've seen this movie way too many times. Smells decent but It absolutely adds nothing new to the table while potentially subtracting (silly) money from your pockets.
A pretty average and characterless arabian themed composition with saffron, rose, faux oud, patchouli, other woods, other spices. Yawn. In very few words, oriental boredom.
Halfeti starts off pretty great but then goes to the dumps. First, the good part: Cedar and incense with subtle fruits and spices, mixed with a dark, inky rose and deep patchouli. Second, the bad part: All of this takes place over a horrid, cheap "woody amber" aquatic aromachemical base. The end result is a perfume that smells like it's going to be truly great but ends up besot by garbage, like Jubilation XXV with hints of Arabie paired with the inky rose of CDG2, but haphazardly layered with an Axe body spray.
I just don't understand Halfeti. This is a $200 perfume - that should be more than enough to pay for some decent basenotes. Whatever the case, Halfeti is almost great, but sadly misses the mark.
The opening blast is an olfactoric onslaught of high levels of complexity: bergamot, citrus notes, a herbal undertone and a nutmeg/saffron note combine to a successful fresh-herbal-oriental prelude: rich and exciting.
The drydown ups the ante, with the star of this composition coming forward: a deep and rich rose, accompanied by white floral impressions, which on my skin mainly consist of lily if the valley. The floral bouquet has some jasmin and violet added, and an gentle overarching but not overwhelming oud adds a woodsy and spicy touch. The floral and the spicy notes are complimenting each other very well.
The base takes a sweeter turn with tonka and cedarwood adding more richness and depth; the cedar is fairly light and without strong pencilshaving componenents. The rose is fading out slowly, with a nice mild and sift amber impression briefly appearing towards the end.
The performance is excellent with strong quite strong sillage, excellent projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.
A scent that in its complexity is never too chaotic, is well blended whilst concurrently remaining well structured. A great autumn fragrance, and one of Penhaligon's most convincing releases overnight last few years. 3.75/5