Lemon on top, mixed with a lot of barbershoppy lavender and a pinch of something sort of piney, quickly drying down to a weak mix of cloves and verbena. It's slightly powdery and VERY old-fashioned. It's hard to imagine people with modern tastes really enjoying Number Six, but it's worth a sniff as a museum piece, like sniffing a big curly powdered wig in a bottle. That being said, fans of other historical cologne lines like Trumper or Roger & Gallet may really enjoy this. It deserves a thumbs up just for historical significance, but I'm voting neutral because, with all due respect to George Washington, I just don't really like the smell.
This stuff doesn't last at all. It's even short-lived for a "classical" eau de cologne, though it's not as dilute to start with as 4711 is. Plus it smells like sprite or 7-up to me at first, and then turns into weird musty florals, geranium or something, and makes me envision a flowering garden shrub that's dead and just starting to rot. I'm sure it's not bad for 1780-whatever, but I've tried too many interesting EdCs, and EdC-esque EdTs, to really use this regularly. As is so often the case with real EdCs, the first few minutes are lively and exhilarating enough that I just had to keep it around, though its contemporary 4711 seems less rough around the edges. I prefer Monsieur de Givenchy on the sweeter side, and Burberry Weekend on the drier side.
A clean, fairly formal fragrance - really very much what you'd expect the gentry of 18th century Virginia to favor. Don't expect to be blown away, though -- this juice lacks in sex appeal what it makes up for in snob appeal.