Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Castile by Penhaligon's

Total Reviews: 51
Castile is a definite thumbs-up for me. I love neroli, and this opens with a nice neroli kick. It becomes more soapy as it develops, but I still smell it's citrus aspects, even hours later. It's become more of a skin scent on me after about 5 hours. I would like a bit more longevity than I'm experiencing. I can live without major sillage with a scent like this if I can have some longevity. Still, a vey enjoyable fragrance that I really like. I don't get as much of a soapy aspect from Castile in it's dry down as I do from Neroli Portofino. More citrus and perhaps just a touch of floral and finally some light musk. A very nice fragrance.
04th December, 2016
Excellent fragrance. It opens up with a massive scent of neroli and lime and dries down to a musk, woods and petitgrain scent that I really enjoy.

I can see the "powdered laundry detergent" analogy some make, but it is more refined than that and certainly more natural and less "artificial" or "chemically" smelling.

Longevity is decent and sillage is good. I think the two Floris scents I own have better longevity and sillage than this (or Blenheim Bouquet for that matter), but this is such a nice spring, summer, and daytime frangrance that I can live with that.
30th March, 2016
Castile is a very difficult fragrance for me to evaluate. Some previous reviewers mentioned that this fragrance smells very similar to powered laundry detergent -- it does. In fact, if you go into your first impression of this with that smell in mind, it is all you will smell. I think what ruins Castile, is that it's too familiar. It smells clean, but it smells like a cleaning product, not a personal fragrance. Too many hand soaps and laundry detergents smell identical. It had so much potential, maybe just some subtle tweaks here and there with the blend, and it might have been really special. As is... ehh.

I really wanted to like this, given that I'm a Penhaligon's fan, and I wanted something fresh/clean/light in their line for casual use, particularly in the warmer months... but I just can't love this, no matter how much I want to. I think the reviews paint a bit of a false picture as to the quality of this fragrance. It smells good, but if you walked by most people and they smelled this on you, they probably wouldn't think you were wearing a fragrance, they would instead probably think you just washed your hands, or pulled your clothes out of the drier 10 minutes beforehand.

If you are interested in this fragrance, I'd strongly recommend getting a sample first. Cannot recommend as a blind-buy.
17th December, 2015 (last edited: 20th December, 2015)
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Starts with a cute orange citrus blast quickly followed by plenty of floral neroli dominated notes that linger around on my skin, one reviewer compared this to concentrated washing powder ..I can totally see that comparison but I love the smell of soap powder and clean linen so I love this fragrance, I feel more like I'm in garden near the med, it's really sunny and hot after a quick rainfall. Be liberal with this and buy a 100ml...enjoy the summer smelling clean and botanical. Performance for me is excellent considering this type of unisex fragrance d.n.a. The key element in castile is the neroli, it's one of the most natural I've encountered.
30th September, 2015 (last edited: 16th November, 2017)
jspo Show all reviews
United States
Amazing opening of citrus like soapy fresh clean smell - floral, but a man can pull it off. Huge problem with sillage and longevity, as it drops off in about 20 minutes and remains a skin scent. One would have to apply very liberally, nearly take a bath in it for any kind of projection.Therefore, neutral, as some may prefer a nose to skin scent.
18th May, 2015
Afraid this smells soapy on me also, and to the noses of my family
13th December, 2013
This Penhaligon`s scent is an absolute sheer delight to wear.

It starts fresh, crisp and citrusy until the neroli note arrives; this note plays the main theme of the scent for hours.

Longevity on me is good; at least 5 hours with 3 sprays on my neck and chest.

I choose to wear it on bright sunny winter days because of the uplifting effect it has on me. If the winter weather gets you down spray a bit of "Castile" on your neck and see what a big difference it makes on your mood and spirit.

A Big winner from the House of Penhaligon`s.

Big Thumbs up!
05th January, 2013
This smells like concentrated laundry soap on me, the powdery kind. Not for me, unfortunately.
18th April, 2012
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The initial burst of orange and floral notes has restrained sweetness, and is never cloying on my skin. The floral note remains, develops a hint of rose but is counterbalanced by clear neroli that maintains a certain freshness. Musk appears in the base note too as does bergamot, and this is quite a complex fragrance that has good longevity of about four hours. A rich and elegant fragrance for warm summer evenings, and never too sweet or boring. Richer and less fresh than Blenheim Bouquet.
15th February, 2012
This is a great summer scent in the lines of a classic EdC. Starts a bit citrusy in the same veins as AdP, but quickly settles into a very nice orange and neroli throughout. There is some hints of florals in their (rose?), but overall a very nice and pretty much linear classic summer cologne fragrance that wears pretty light.
09th February, 2012
Elzéard Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A fragrance similar in character to Blenheim Bouquet, but the citrus is not quite as bitter or distinct in this. There seems to be a soft orange blossom floral and herbal base, over which lemons and lavender glisten away. Undoubtedly pleasant, but a little too conservative for my tastes.
28th December, 2011
A nice neroli orange blossom fragrance that is perfect for that out of the shower into the Summer sun feeling.

It does have a soapy vibe and is a tad boring if worn to much but it does have a good opening and a aromatic charm to its character.
20th October, 2011
cello Show all reviews
United States
The opening is a blast of neroli and it's diluted honey effect. I do get the faintest of rose in this scent, and it is a green edged, new bud rose, but this never overwhelms the neroli. This is fresh, soapy and full of orange blossom. And true to Penhaligon's usual construction, the notes are clear and concise.

It does not last long, but for it's purpose and for this type of fragrance, it is a fault that I can overlook. After all, you can only feel freshly showered for so long, until, well, you are not.
01st October, 2011
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A "no surprise" eau de cologne. A blast of neroli/orange blossom in the opening joined by a subtle rose note and some floral patterns. Musk does a remarkable part during the drydown. Simple and somehow rich of clichè. I'm not the biggest fan of this type of fragrances, but my preference would go for other (legendary) compositions in the same genere. However, if you're into ADP and the likes, you may like Castile (assuming you don't get easily annoyed by a strong soapy vibe). Not for me.
07th August, 2011
I shouldn't really like this. It's a summery, soapy floral lemon to start with, like a mixture of Acqua di Parma and a good eau de cologne such as Extra Vieille. Maybe it's missing the rose in former, or the saltier herbs in the latter, but either way it just feels better balanced to me. Sniffing closer after a few minutes, it's a bit darker and greener with a wet, rich grassiness, but still somehow light and crisp; a combination seen in some of the better Gendarme scents such as Green. In the end, unfortunately, little is left beyond a well-groomed florid soap aura.

Generally I'm very harsh in my judgments of Pen's scents because many have a common theme that seems too "perfumey" and feminine to me...Castile almost should as well, with such extensive floral notes, but I think it avoids that by its crispness, and ends up somehow unisex in a well-put-together way. Be prepared for the drop-off in strength later on, but I'd say that's forgiveable in this scent family.
23rd January, 2011
I agree with others that the opening is very nice - but it just doesn't last long. It stays pleasant throughout, but hotel soap is "pleasant" enough. Clean, non-offensive, yet unspectacular
31st December, 2010
One of the best openings going. A aromatic blast of Neroli that feels like finally a perfumer has bottled spring. Rose slowly unfurls its petals and joins the Neroli in a dance in the garden. True to its EdC nature, the drydown is short-lived and weak. Faints musks try to anchor this baby, but I find the anchor missing on most days. Still, buy this for the first hour and you won't be sorry.
04th December, 2010

Seriously, this has got the best opening one can find in a citrus based cologne. It's just gorgeous and definitely love at first smell. Very wearable and yet distinctive at the same time. Two thumbs up.
13th July, 2010
MOONB Show all reviews
United States
As much as I'd like to give Castile a positive review, I just can't get past its vivid impression of truck-stop restroom soap. Nice bottle, though.
25th June, 2010
pcrisp Show all reviews
United States
Well, to me it is fresh, sporty, and somewhat aquatic? I've got a very untrained nose for sure, but this is really good stuff. I can see where people might want to say that it is a bit barbershop like, maybe even "fresh out of the shower", either way it smells super classy and enjoyable. Several people mention the rose smell. I can sense a little bit of rose, but on a really fresh and clean side. At the first spray, it's honestly NOT my favorite. Same thing goes for smelling it straight from the bottle. However, within a couple minutes it begins to shine for me. Just now while typing this, my 4 year old son (he has his own cologne, so that he doesn't use all my good stuff) walked up to the computer. He asked "do you have cologne on?" I said yes and asked if he like it and he said "uh huh, it smells GOOD!".
12th June, 2010
I find this a rather restrained and reticent when compared to classic Eau de Colognes, but it does possess the spirit of many of the classics in that genre. Penhaligon's have avoided making the opening too potent, and instead have opted to create something that hits the ground running, and give it plenty of stamina. The citrus opening is a noble and dignified presence, and it allows Castile to slip seamlessly into the middle phase without it being a distinct shift or contrived second stage. The tartness is maintained in the fusion of neroli and rose, and this endures to create an accord of austere beauty. The base lacks a little potency and direction, and it does tail off a little prematurely. Generally, I found the longevity to be adequate, and the projection appropriate for a fragrance of this type. This is in no way ground breaking stuff, but it is awfully good.
17th December, 2009
Tried this today. Call me a philistine, but all I'm getting is a soapy mess. Bland and unattractive. Not for me....
24th August, 2009
Castile is a natural and graceful scent. What i love the most is its opening -- the neroli is so vivid and clear, it's gorgeous. And later on it changes into a soft blend of florals and musk. It is nice and wonderfully-done, however I feel it is too floral-sweet (I prefer bitter neroli) and tender for my taste. Was surprised to see Penhaligon's marketed it towards men rather than women.

Nevertheless, very classy and elegant. Like a soft dream. Suitable for graceful people... like how it is meant for those living inside old Spanish castles, i think.
07th May, 2009
Love at first smell. This frag is one of those once-in-a-couple-years scents that makes you pause like Indiana Jones did when he laid eyes on the golden idol statue in the cave. Oft compared to AdP Colonia (and its Assoluta sibling), this frag is even better, which is saying something since I absolutely love the AdP colognes and have worn them religiously for years.

On my skin, this frag has staying power and transforms from a bright neroli opening into a mindblowingly pleasant musk. It's not a white musk or a dirty musk - its a refined and comforting, distinctive musk. But it is NOT musky. It is the kind of scent that makes you want to nestle your head and stuff your nose into your own neck. . . oh. to be a flamingo and be able to do such things!

In addition to AdP Colonia's opening, the drydown actually reminds me of Dunhill Man (tonka bean 2004 frag) - not necessarily in scent, but in the emotion it gives - comfort, soothing, distinction.

From opening through drydown this is both sophisticatedly noble and classy, yet liberating and invigorating. You're not the Crown Prince, with the weight of history and your country's future on your shoulders. Rather, you're his youngest sibling. All the aristocracy of your older sibling, but none of his responsibility. Go play, Young Man1 Fly planes and drive roadsters with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a flask! Ride horses without a saddle, holding onto nothing but the beast's man!!. Date whoever you want and then tell them "mother would never approve" when you inevitably get bored of their lack of complexity.

You're a lucky SOB and you know it. You couldn't have it any better.Castiiiiiiile!
08th April, 2009
bokaba Show all reviews
United States
This is a great musky floral though it ventures into laundry detergent musk territory. The opening is brilliant citrus and neroli followed by petitgrain and rose then by musk and a light wood. Castile borders closely on being too feminine to be a masculine scent, if I were Penhaligons, I would have marked it unisex, but since most Penhaligons customers are men, this makes sense I suppose. Anyway, I find Castile similar to Chanel's new Eau de Cologne except Castile is cleaner and crisper. As nice as the soap after which it is so aptly named. Buy a bottle if you can find one--this is one of Penhaligons best so far.
02nd March, 2009 (last edited: 22nd November, 2009)
This is a neroli I can enjoy, tempered with a touch of rose, and a musk base. A quility smell. Charming, and not too sweet. Very natural, casual but elegant. If you like masculine florals and orange/neroli based fragances, try it!!!
09th January, 2009
JonB Show all reviews
United States
Let me draw on some of the descriptions is previous reviews. Classy and beautiful. Intense, vivid and colorful. A bit of a barbershop vibe going on here, but an extremely classy barbershop it is. Is there a more refreshing opening in any other fragrance?
19th November, 2008
A wonderful neroli offering, and I completely agree that it is also somewhat reminiscent of Aqua di Parma Colonia. Very streamlined in its blend, other notes sluiced together to make a very classy and clean fragrance.
Longevity is not bad, I'd say the neroli top notes last between one hour and two on me, upon which time a light musky wood base carries the scent to completion.
Overall, worth every penny, and if it ever leaves my top ten, it is only whim and circumstance which keeps it away for long.
21st September, 2008
O, the pity of it!
It does starts out with a wonderfully enchanting accord of high grade neroli which is both masculine and understated.
Hey, this is made a by one of the old-fashioned Brit houses, so you can bet your tweeds and your pipe it's going to be understated, you Platinum Egoiste mod freaks, so there!

But then the musk notes kick in and unless you're caught in a rainstorm in London or better still, in an Arctic expedition, the heat transforms the whole thing into something rather vile and violent. The notes start fighting each other rather than harmonizing and---well, suffice it to say I'd rather wear Kouros. Honestly, It would smell far better in the heat than Castile.
15th September, 2008 (last edited: 23rd December, 2011)
I wear several scents which are classified as feminine, namely Y, Bandit, Cuir de Russie (Chanel), and "Tabac Blonde;" yet for a so-called masculine scent, Castille smells too much of a feminine floral on my skin for me to enjoy it. It also smells to my nose somewhat synthetic and tends to give me a headache. Sorry, but this one may be well made and all, but I just can't bring myself to like it as much as I have tried.
18th August, 2008