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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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 clear...it 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.
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!"'
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...