Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Douro Eau de Portugal / Lords by Penhaligon's

Total Reviews: 33
In the world of the niche fragrances with huge impressions, this scent would get lost. For me, after Blenheim Bouquet, it is quintessentially Penhaligons and very British - clean, groomed, of the barbershop type of scent. But more than that, it is the only scent that I buy and wear because it reminds me of someone. Not a lover or something so romantic - but the partner of a close friend who I find to be an inspirational British gentleman. Maybe its a 'Bro-mance' but this gentleman from Dublin is a man of creativity and style, at once a bloke and a gentleman, and someone I genuinely admire (not to mention very handsome with an Irish intensity.) Fresh, clean, appropriate for almost any occasion, it is not the first scent I recommend but I really should. For anyone who wants to project a dignified, confident aura, this is it. Does that sound boring? I don't mean it to be. The gentleman who inspired me to purchase this is anything but.
01st February, 2018
Douro is another nice scent from Penhaligons that unfortunately has terrible performance. The opening smells very similar to Caron's Pour un Homme without the later's prominent vanilla note. It's a tart, aromatic citrus and lavender accord that has a retro feel to it. The opening, while nice, doesn't last more than 30 minutes, then fades to a scent very similar to the dry down stage in Sartorial. On me, Douro was a skin scent after an hour, and gone completely at 3 hours. Penhaligons has some terrific scents but many simply don't offer great performance. Sartorial, Endymion and Bayolea are in my rotation because they are unique, smell great and offer adequate performance. Since is fairly similar to Sartorial, and I own and love wearing Caron PuH, Douro for me is pointless. I'll give it a neutral for the pleasant fragrance in the short time it lasted.
27th October, 2017
An old school fragrance with a clean soapy smell. As others below have put it, it "conjures up images of public schools, stately homes and cricket whites" and "could have come from Bertie Wooster's very own bathroom". Soaps with this kind of smell include Cussons Imperial Leather in England, Speick (Germany) and Savon Fougere by Roger and Gallet, France. It is indeed a traditional fougere, with lots of lavender underscored by oakmoss and also some lily of the valley reinforcing the 'clean' quality. I would choose Duoro when donning my Harris Tweed Jacket to attend a classic car rally.
29th February, 2016
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I've been looking for a fantastically fresh every day scent, and this is it for me. It opens with a blast of lemon and settles on a very clean finish that is beautifully sophisticated.

I'm very new to the world of higher end fragrances - every cologne I've ever bought has been a typical department store purchase. I recently picked up a few Penhaligon's fragrances and all I can say is I'm looking to buy many more.

I would describe them as sophisticated and complex, distinct and refined, yet very familiar and intriguing.
19th April, 2014
Starts off citrus dominant. Then a strange medicinal/chemical note. Dry down gets rid of the chemical odor. Penhaligon is a classic house, but this isn't their best. Last's moderately long.
10th June, 2012
Review for the 2004 edition of Douro:

Not exactly old-school but more sort of "old-school-inspired" citrus aromatic with the usual lavender presence and a slightly synthetic, kinda mossy, vibe. Not terrifying as I expected but let's put it like this: if I should compile a list of my 100 favorite fragrances, Douro would be #83.257.

Note: The original Douro (Eau De Portugal) was released in 1985. The same year when the world got its first contact with Derby, Poison, Caron Le 3me Homme, Sables, Lauder For Men, Green irish Tweed...Hard times for minor fragrances.
08th May, 2012
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Initially a lemony welcome greets me, tempered by bergamot and always herbal with mild sweetness. After about thirty minutes neroli comes forward, with a bit of labdanum, distinct mossy notes developing later joined by a woody note, without specific sandal characteristics. Throughout the life of the scent there is always a herbal, dry bitterness with a touch of soapiness and after the initial note there is no sweetness at all when I am wearing it. It is always a elegantly restrained. For a Penhaligons Eau de Cologne the longevity is astounding; after eight hours it is still present on my skin, albeit quite close to it - perfect for work. By comparison, BB disappears on me after an hour or two. A great masterfully composed cologne.
12th March, 2012
This is a nice one. Cannot pick out the individual ingedients but overall it 's a warm and comforting scent. Staying power id quite good, you pick up the scent ever once in a while. Certainly not a middle of the road scent, which for me already does half the trick. Recommended
29th February, 2012
Opening is a nice citrus blast. There is something wrong in the base though. Kind of wretchedly soapy too. All in all, i was disappointed.
30th January, 2012
For me, Douro opens with a spectacularly realistic invoaction of lemon candy. This lemon candy is balanced with an aromatic spine that cuts the sweetness and gives the candy an airy, cool, refreshing (eucalyptus or mentholated, not minty) counterpoint that smells very natural. If this opening were a real candy, I would eat it by the crate.

This accord of lemon and airy aromatics persist throughout the wearing, but get filtered through the heart and base notes.

As others have noted, the heart is floral. That said, this floral heart is a complement to the top accord, and develops in a rather linear fashion. At its best, I get an amazing heart of sweet, spicy, floral honey that is deep and complex, but unfortunately rather fleeting. While it lasts, this is an intoxicating scent.

When that fades, I am left with a sweet lemon drydown with only hints of the aromatics.

Douro is masterfully blended - it's notes are SO realistic, never clash, and are balanced so perfectly in the top and heart. That said, its longevity is average at best and sillage is quite low. Ultimately, I don't often want to smell like lemon candy, fine as it is. These two factors almost resulted in a neutral rating.

I would prefer this as a shower gel, scented candle, or home fragrance. I think many women could wear and enjoy this very much.
20th January, 2012
I probably should have done a side-by-side with Tiffany, Chanel PM, and PMC, based on forum comments. Initially very promising, it opens with a pleasant (non-acidic, non-fizzy) lemon over anisy barbershop-type spices, a top that I'd expect to herald a good wood scent farther along. It seems to get a bit weaker after the first few minutes and the lemon gets duller, sweeter and more powdery, like a lemon analog of the orange in Habit Rouge. It develops just the slightest bit of "wild/english fern" type herbal green in the mid notes, and initially remains more spice-oriented than that group, until the spices recede more and the ferny-ness becomes more apparent. In the end, I feel like I'm left with a sweet spice/wood scent that would be really great if not for the intrusion of powdery, anisy and ferny notes which I would prefer not to have. Their Opus 1870, while built around a different selection of wood notes (more cedar), feels more uncontaminated to me because they've chosen ancillary notes that don't bother me as much: sharper spices and maybe a little fruit.
26th September, 2011
Having created Blenheim Bouquet, perhaps the finest citrus and pine cologne known to the perfumier's art, the House of Penhaligon always has an uphill struggle to match it with any other of its citrus creations. And so it is with Lords [Douro]. In spite of the obvious quality of its ingredients, it strikes my nose as one-dimensional and harsh, somehow combined with a dusty, fusty Englishness.
01st August, 2011
Great. This one lords over many others scents from the same brand in my taste cause is marvellously classy and stiff but in a more modern and wearable way. Douro Eau de Portugal starts with a blast of citrus, lavender and bracing basil but the top is not as severe as in Blenheim Bouquet despite even it is standing in the boundaries of the dry and conservative territories. The heart is discreetly floral with its demure muguet and the neroli flower. The latter, joining its juicy floral radiancy with the mandarine swirling in the top, provides the scent with a more pleasant radiant fruity touch and a less properly tart citrusy vibe while in BB the floral vacancy and the lack of an orange-mandarine tandem smelled too much sour and conservative. The base is heaven with its mossy, creamy sandalwood, so soapy due to the support from labdanum. Overall the fragrance, while slightly sweet and daring, effortlesly still upholds its composure. Constantly aromatic. Pure modern though traditional distinction.
28th January, 2011 (last edited: 07th January, 2014)
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Oh, WOW! I just got some of the vintage of this stuff, and I am bowled over. I am not typically able to write concise reviews, but...
This scent combines the Latinate, full-bodied Majesty of Czech and Speake's Cuba with the simple, citric good-breeding of YSL's original PH. And it's just divine, in an all-man, lavender-soapy, yet-stately way.
17th June, 2010
Not a fan of citrus fragrances. Douro leans into the aromatic family but still nods his head towards the citrus family with that zingy top of lime and lemon, sweetened slightly with mandarin and freshened with our old friend basil. Lavender helps tilt this handsome well groomed gents head back over to the aromatic realms.

Douro has a stunning white floral heart, this heart of Lily of the valley and neroli coupled with a base of labdanum resin oakmoss, musk and sandalwood may explain its rather persistent lasting power. Technically a Chypre fragrance but he has so much more character than to be thrown into that large pool of fragrances. A stunning fragrance on both men and woman harking back to a time when people really did take good care of themselves. Glass of port anyone?
26th April, 2010
There's a lot to love in this, but I'm afraid it just doesn't do it for me. Douro is, in fact, a rather 'heavy', robust cologne; it's so much more than just its lively hesperidic topnotes. I find the 'shaving cream' middle pretty difficult to pull off, though the fresh lavender and basil notes are undoubtedly lovely ...

I'm reluctant to admit that this is a masculine that I seem unable to wear. It's a truly refreshing scented experience on a hot, humid day, but the drydown, in particular, smells fusty on my skin. Over to you, gentlemen ...
21st April, 2010
Hema Show all reviews
United Kingdom
First off, the citrus accords greet you like a good firm handshake with a dry down like expensive fine-milled soap from Bertie Woosters very own bathroom. The sandalwood is a typical gents sandalwood; soapy and masculine and overall its not remarkable.

Perhaps its because I work with men, but this fragrance is perfect for work. In a place where nobody notices anything, Ive had a surprising number of compliments from my fellow XYs…and then gone home to find my chick friends wanting to know what it is too. So it must be good.

Having been given a bottle, I’d never have bought it, but now that its nearing the end, I’ll miss it very much. What this frag taught me is that smelling clean and neutral is sometimes just the ticket.
13th April, 2010
This glorious fragrance is served up to you as a citric punch, that induces the tendency for multiple wrist sniffing. It dries down seamlessly into a warm Sandalwood base that compliments the freshness of the opening. If one could bottle the essence of a "Gentleman", then I can imagine that it would be similar to this. Well mannered, urbane and discreet, I will be happy to take this out in the evenings as well as in the boardroom.
29th January, 2009
A refined lemon on top, a masculine floral in the middle and a superb drydown of sandalwood. Amazing scent and great for for "high end" office jobs but this can be worn by whomever feels like it. The sandalwood is the shining example of masculinity in this scent.
24th July, 2008

Douro has qualities which are similar to Blenheim’s Bouquet (BB) and some that are opposite. It conveys a sense of dignity, reserve and class, much like BB. But while BB is has cool freshness to it, Douro has a warmth. Penhaligon’s classifies Douro as an aromatic. The opening is soapy clean, with bergamot and lime dominating. Sandalwood and musk are in the base, giving a warmth to it. Indisputably masculine.

21st April, 2008 (last edited: 10th July, 2010)
This is a very well balanced fougere to my nose, unlike their English Fern which reeks of anise/fennel, although neither is in its make-up.

DOURO is up there with Trumper's Wild Fern and Truefitt's Grafton as being a top of the line fougere

13 notes:

Top: Geranium, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Bergamot, Lavender, Basil
Middle: Neroli, Muguet
Base: Labdanum, Musk, Oakmoss, Sandalwood
11th January, 2008 (last edited: 13th July, 2011)
A clean and staid British frag that would be as at home in a Victorian barbershop as in a 21st century boardroom.

Don't go into this one expecting sex appeal, and don't go seeking revolution here, either. This is a classic bergamot and sandalwood concoction -- very old school. If you like most Penhaligons and most Caswell Massey frags (the reformulated Greenbriar being a clear exception), then you'll likely go ga-ga for the stiff upper lippishness of Douro.
10th January, 2008
Douro is masculine, well constructed, and pleasant. The citrus (lemon, lime, mandarin, bergamot) in the opening is present, but, to my nose, the aromatic (lavender, basil) element is in control of the accord. It’s a showy aromatic / citrus accord that has an attractive tanginess about it that holds for a long time. The movement to the middle level is smooth. The middle notes and base are discreet woods and musks: quite soapy and barbershopish. They are nice accords in the middle and base but they feel thin and stretched to me. Maybe I’m being unfair because I’m comparing Douro to the fullness of several other Penhaligon fragrances: Douro doesn't stand up to them. Douro seems to be more about style than substance, and it does have style. It’s pleasant, but it is also shallow. I’m not condemning it altogether — it holds up well and I find it enjoyable. What Douro does, it does nicely – and smelling nice is what it does. I don’t find it at all compelling; but it has a delectable masculinity, performs well, and is easy to wear. Not a bad scent but Penhaligon's has much better scents than this.
20th November, 2007 (last edited: 13th November, 2014)
Bergamot opening, clean, Sevillan barbershop clean, and then a fairly linear progression to the woody base. Nice citrus but not complex or long lasting. Just nice in the mornings or for daywear.
17th June, 2007
Duro (formerly Lords) is, in my opinion, well-constructed and a true masterpiece of sandalwood delights. Many of the reviews below focus on the citrus notes. While they are there, I think the real strength of Duro is its woody and soapy/brisk warmth. There are three very distinct phases, and it is a real pleasure to watch them develop. First, there is a very spicy and zesty opening of citrus, herbs and lavender. This is dry, not floral-sweet and is very good. At this stage all is seamless and it is difficult to isolate individual elements. Then, there is a dry floral middle, which also is very good. The muguet contributes a *very dry* powdery effect which is quite pleasant. Normally I don’t like powder but it really works here. At this point Duro has a brisk, efficient air. It is very classy and remains resolutely dry while at the same time conveying warmth and appeal. Finally, aromatic woods emerge. The sandalwood is very well done, having lovely woody and soapy notes. The dry-down gets richer and richer but somehow remains restrained and non-tiring. Full marks for this one.
30th April, 2007
Men who are uncomfortable with most scents, and think them in concept "girly" would have no trouble with the citrus, lavender and sandalwood elements of Duoro/Lords. I have owned and worn it happily as a signature scent back in the early days when it was called Lords. Since then I have often recommended Duoro to business colleagues or friends, and many have found it to be a scent of choice. This is a first class "executive" scent, subtle, masculine, inoffensive, if applied in moderation, yet distinctive, if not too long lasting. In the end it is definitely boardroom material. It's not a "particularly sexy" fragrance, and not a scent for going out clubbing, but while it may not get the attention of the girl you're interested in, it won't hurt your chances for a Vice Presidency. Far better than just about any mass market fragrances, and an excellent place to start for a guy interested in developing his own tastes and building a fragrance wardrobe.

01st August, 2006 (last edited: 27th September, 2015)
Douro doesn't do it for me. It reminds me of sevberal other, not exactly posh fragrances such as Aqua Velva and other cheap perfumes. It's fresh and light, but completely ordinary and boring.
13th October, 2005
First released as Douro, later renamed Lords, now back to its original appellation, this fragrance is a dress-up power citrus, stronger in both woods and citrus than Taylor's Eton College. Another upright Brit, not really sexy, but not stodgy, either. Great for the office and a visit to the club after work. Much more in line with Hammam Bouquet, Blenheim Bouquet and English Fern in Penhaligon's stable than the newer and more contemporary scents such as Racquets and Castile.
30th September, 2005
Recently received a very generous sample of this and quite frankly I don't get extatic reviews. This is a very basic scent, just like Hennepin says it, consist of lemon (not even different types of citrus), musk and wood. That is all there is to it, hardly very regal in my opinion, on the contrary quite "poor" and definitely simple. The staying power is indeed good but that hardly makes it purchase-worthy. Very weak effort compared to Blenheim Boquet or even Castile.
26th September, 2005
Perhaps my all time favorite scent. A powerful lemon note combines with musk and wood. A tremendous citrus scent with lots of staying power.
06th June, 2005