Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Punjab by Roberto Capucci

Total Reviews: 13
A masterwork of pure nostalgic bliss, a gentlemanly universe in a disappeared bottle, objective heaven under my fugitive nose in tuxedo. I don't resign myself to a vulgar olfactive decline. Where are your ensigns of classy refinement? A spray on my skin and I see the royal streets of the "early 900's" Vienna, learned and aristocratic in its ontological loftiness. Probably I'm by now tired to pick up plenty of bombastic words from my old moonshiny top hat so I will be almost short in prose. Punjab is pure masculine chypre poetry and one of the greatest olfactory representatives of a disappeared golden age so distant from the hodiernal common olfactory chemical banality.
Actually, if you seriously appreciate aldehydic/powdery/mossy/waxy/sharply floral classic pillars a la Oleg Cassini Men, Visconti di Modroni Tabacco d'Harar, vintage Arrogance Pour Homme, original Denim, Geo F. Trumper Eucris, Aramis Devin, Monsieur Rochas, Helmut Lang Cologne, Moustache Rochas, Captain de Molyneux, Hermes Equipage, Balenciaga Portos and "aromatic stuffs" like those, well you can't go wrong with Punjab. This old Capucci's smells like a radiant, piney, herbal-hesperidic, aromatic/barber-shop and retro mélange of animalic/honeyed amber, wax, sharp floral notes, musks, roots, resins from the deep mountain's forests, aromatic hesperides, castoreum, aldehydes and woods, overall encompassed by an almost liturgical and moldy spicy-incensey blanket. Geranium and carnation master the scene as well as encompassed by a glaring/dazzling vintage "northern light" rich of aldehydes, balsamic resins, barber-shop aromatics, stiff patchouli, moss, leather, powdery woods and wax. A carnation/geranium bomb, a balsamic-waxy-aldehydic juice, a softly leathery-honeyed dry down. Overall the trip is a virile/animalic experience full of tradition, severity, culture, manneristic ambiences and perfect balance. A left back disappeared universe piercing in depth this old nostalgic heart of mine.

P.S: the obscurely mossy-leathery and ambery (but still soapy-airy at same time) Punjab's dry down is quite close to the final wake of a following (posterior in inception) fragrance which I quite love, namely that discontinued Enrico Coveri Pour Homme whereof creation has been possibly influenced by this earlier great piece of classicism from Capucci. Gucci Nobile is another juice jumping on mind as well for several of its characteristics.
10th May, 2016 (last edited: 11th May, 2016)
Punjab is a beautiful and fairly peculiar masculine chypre of the 1970s, with quite a close resemblance to Phileas by Nina Ricci: same exotic inspiration, and a certain common ground of notes. Basically it is a chypre rich in aldehydes, herbs and spices, with humid flowers (jasmine, mostly) and a range of base notes on the camphoraceous-resinous-earthy side, also slightly skanky-leathery and woody. Aside from Phileas, the other reference I can think of mostly because of the flowers is Ténéré by Rabanne, although the similarity is not as strong as for Phileas. Punjab has however a certain and remarkable sort of "lonely-adventurer" refinement all over, with an amazing blend of rawness and class, telling us stories which seem just out of an Emilio Salgari book. The aldehydes are quite prominent, as it was in fashion back then, so it kind of smells "clearly" out of the '70s, therefore not exactly that modern; still it's fairly unique and memorable, mostly because of its peculiar exotic sophisticacy, raw and shady, but also somehow fun and effortless. Worth a try for sure.

30th September, 2014 (last edited: 05th December, 2014)
Genre: Woody Oriental

Capucci’s Punjab starts out on the skin as if it’s going to be a muscular 1980s fougère in the manner of Jules or Lauder for Men, and that’s precisely what it is…for exactly ten minutes. Then, quite suddenly, the bergamot and moss that prevailed at Punjab’s opening are overtaken by a cinnamon, carnation, and jasmine accord that reminds me more than a little of the parallel cinnamon, carnation, and rose in the likewise extinct Patou pour Homme. Punjab also shares some of the Patou’s incense and amber, but it distinguishes itself with more obvious moss and leather in its base notes, compositional traits that again align it more closely with the 1980s fougère “power scents.” In fact, the thing that interests me most about Punjab is the balanced tension it maintains between woody oriental and fougère character. While not overwhelming in its projection or sillage, Punjab is no lightweight, and it persists on the skin for hours before its warm ambery, labdanum-infused drydown. An excellent scent and a sad loss.

23rd June, 2014
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rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
From the first moments this is a highly original creation: bergamot, citrus, juniper berries and artemisia combine with a herbal undertone to a very convincing mixture. Quite bright but rich and intense. In the drydown cinnamon apprears together with a flowery jasmine, and a complex pine-and-cedar aroma is added together with very nice geranium impressions. This is a beautifully complex yet very balanced phase, which on my skin assumes a honey note at times. The development is titillating, with a wet leather, amber and olibanum giving the base notes another twist. Very traditional yet highly original, with occasional hints of gentle spiciness, it is perfect for warmer autumn days. Superbly blended with excellent projection and good silage and a truly amazing longevity of over twelve hours on my skin. Capucci's masterpiece.
06th January, 2014
This is a very well-made scent. The ingredients are powerful but beautiful and well blended, and the scent is not heavy if it is carefully applied.
It starts aromatic and herbal, with bright juniper, citrus, and attractive herbal notes. It develops a lovely old-school spicy-barbershop character. The spices are quite peppery. The leather and amber are not a problem, and more of a background note. Overall, there is a charming warm-cool vibe.
12th March, 2012
Capucci have chosen quite an intriguing evolution for Punjab. It begins tightly wound, rich, dense and bittersweet – and it is simply allowed to unfurl itself.

It unwinds into a dry, spare, cedarwood heart, with a distant leather note. It does appear to run out of steam after a couple of hours, and even produces a brief period of dead air - but it is merely a comma in an excellent passage of creativity.The soft and aged leather finish it ushers in is quite lovely, and well worth the wait.

Punjab is a clear case of concept and execution being of the highest order.
29th March, 2011
Floriental leather. Everything about it, except for the sillage and monster smell, it all middle-ground. Mild spice, mild leather, mild oriental accords. Now, turn them all way up and it's huge. A stinky leather just on the verge of too much "sweaty" notes. Heightened by green, pink and white florals which can smell animalic to some, Punjab is a jab in the nose. An aging fragrance that's hard to find. The appeal is rarity in quantity available, quality of ingredients and style.

For uniqueness I'd give it a thumbs up but I, personally, do not like the scent.

I'll close by remarking, imagine what the world would be like if Abercrombie & Fitch's Fierce was Punjab.
13th January, 2010

The herbal greens and the wormwood grab the opening of Punjab and almost immediately I get a rich but discreet leather note in the background along with a background resinous note that seems neither herbal nor wormwood… it’s a soft mixture, I believe of amber and myrrh – quite a beautiful and smooth background note. Smoothing out… not really the background, but the platform of the fragrance… is a reticent patchouli / floral / coniferous accord. This is a complex scent: Already ten minutes into the opening I’m getting three different accords – all aromatic… all distinct. Hmmm. I’ve never encountered something like this before. As a unified sillage away from the skin, these distinct accord combinations lose their distinctiveness, and respond to the nose as a complex mass accord giving, I suppose, a strong impression of herbal - leather. It is potent, rich, resinous, masculine, and more linear than its complexity would suggest.

I admire the complexity and the wearability of Punjab. I won’t be looking for a bottle because of my lack of fondness for leather notes; however, I recognize this as an excellent fragrance.

11th December, 2009
An old guy sits down to watch the evening's game on his favorite leather recliner, and up puffs a cloud of dust from the ragged, wheezing cushions - that is the smell of Punjab. I appreciate older, retro fragrances, but Punjab is unrelentingly musty and flat to my nose, its spiced leather accord devoid of all life and vibrancy. It sweetens and mellows slightly after many hours, but not so much that it's appealing, merely so much that it's no longer unpleasant. All in all, it makes me want to run outside, breathe in the fresh air, and see living things.

Not awful, not nice; original, but not interesting; unwearable, at least for me.
22nd September, 2009
Capucci Punjab: Punjab is an no holds barred, herbal, amber based scent with a unique touch of florals. i do not get the connection with Leonard Ph but, i can very safely say it has a lot in common with Nina Ricci's Phileas. only slighltly lighter than Phileas though. would be an overkill to have both in the same wardrobe, saying that, if you like these kinda herbal scents, then Phileas is to an extent Punjab extreme in it;s herbal overtone.
Punjab opens with a very warm, powdery smooth, almost chocolate kind note, but very soon the herbal overtones are pretty stays pretty warm and herbal for an hour or so before moving into second phase where the herbal accord is slightly toned down to make way for exquisite floral accord coupled with cinnamon(the cinnamon init quite clearly reminds me of Creeds seminal release, Baie de Genievere)..the florals and touch of spice gives this scent much more depth and doesnt fall into the trap of being a one dimensional, herbal scent.
What we get towards the basenotes is where scents of this era shines...luxurious accords of amber and incense spilled on used leather kinda feel. im humbled to feel such soft use of incense in the combination, very visible, yet, never taking the centerstage. the herbal feel is quite toned down by now and makes Punjab a scent which is quite versatile. in the sense, it's developments are seamless and enjoyable at every phase. it's pretty obvious that Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan derived it's structure from Punjab..and by saying so, i tip my hat to SL, for releasing a scent which offers it's customers top quality although, Punjab smells much more opplulent in the amber department..evem To mfords Amber absolute kinda pales...which goes on to show the kind of quality went into this scent.
p.s. This is not a pleasant scent, ppl who dont like (vegetal) herbal scents can safely stay away from this release. if you like Nina Ricci's seminal release Phileas, then definitely give this one a shot.
13th August, 2009 (last edited: 18th August, 2009)
I was lucky enough to come across a bottle of this at an estate sale. What a great fragrance! I have not ever come across anything like it before, nor do I think I will, unless I make it myself. This smells divine, absolutely divine. It is very, very heavy, yet is so remarkable and not a typical 70's/80's scent and has not lost it's truly unique character to this day. I can only imagine what people thought when this came out - it must have been very out there - which would explain why it's gone. Too bad. A shame that it has been discontinued for so long and never brought back.


I feel very privileged to have a bottle of it. It is only worn on very special occasions.
18th July, 2008
The Baron de Charlus once told me: 'It was, surprisingly, on a grey afternoon in a rainy English town that I first encountered that epitome of oriental exotica, Punjab by Capucci. A grizzled old ex-soldier with one eye thrust it into my hands and demanded: "Smell her, matey, and re-port your im-preshuns! I served in the old Indian Empire and I knows the jewels from the jumbles, I knows the devas from the dregs, I knows the kings from the cruds! She's mighty fine, ain't she?"
Applying said fragrance to both wrists, I reported my impressions as instructed. "My dear fellow," I replied, "wherever turbans and moustaches meet incense and dust under a scorching heat, wherever ferocious warriors embrace dark-eyed maidens, wherever love, loyalty, treachery and hate reach bacwards into the history of a proud and mystical continent, wherever in the forensic glare of noonday or the seductive velvet of night come whispers of the ancient epics of a superlative race - so, too, shall Punjab be there! Atten-shun!"'
08th February, 2006
This was a wonderful fragrance...I was given a bottle as a gift when it first came out. Unfortunately, it was taken off the market and I've not been able to locate any since.
I'd like to locate a source...or find someone who has some...
07th February, 2006
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