Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Opus 1870 by Penhaligon's

Total Reviews: 15
Desperately wanted to love this as it was recommended as a pepper-dominant fragrance, but the notes above are accurate: The pepper is only a top note which doesn't linger for more than 30 enjoyable minutes. Then it's a combination of woody straw and a sweet sweat fragrance which bizarrely was very reminiscent of a teenage crush - but I'd be very surprised if she was wearing a relatively expensive men's fragrance in those days!

A grown-up fragrance, certainly, but a little sweet for me. It puts me in mind of a friendly English professor; winsome, but a bit fusty and asexual.
15th May, 2017
Nice scent with a fruity berry blast.
29th January, 2017
Why does Opus 1870 seem to embody the clichés of English ‘men’s ’ perfumery of the aftershave variety when clearly it is doing a few different things? Maybe it’s the discreet powdery florals tucked almost out of perception in the centre, or could it be the rather ho-hum quality it projects, or maybe it is just the emphasis on the fresh and bracing? Whatever, it is unusual for the above average dose of black pepper in the composition, which rests on a shaved pencil woods accord and is introduced by something citrusy with a hint of swimming pool bleach at the start.
The woods are clean and just shaved off and the pepper similarly has the liveliness and faint citric punch of the stuff that is just ground. But the presentation of these decent notes seems a touch indifferent and middle of the road – nothing here that is truly radiant. An offering that is likeable but not among the first tier of guests you want to invite to the party of your life.
27th November, 2015
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Second time I've had a sample of Opus to wear and I still can't quite warm up to it. The top is a boozy like pepper spice that's almost a bit heavy, but redeems itself in that it doesn't present for very long. The drydown is a slightly sweet cinnamon floral over woods. Nothing really stands out beyond the cinnamon. There's a bit of a barbershop tone, but not as prominent as in several other Penhaligons offerings. There's also something about this fragrance that seems elderly. Mild sillage and longevity, in the Penhaligons fashion, but it'll wear lightly for about 4 hours. Didn't turn me off, but not compelling enough that I would wear it very often either. A deserving Neutral rating for me.
08th October, 2015 (last edited: 27th October, 2017)
Marais Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A nice, warm, slightly berry-fruity, transparent rose (akin to that in Voyage d'Hermes parfum) on a cedar wood background, with a very light dusting of pepper. Not bad for what it is, which is a very safe and understated office-type scent. It lasts ages on me, but after 30 minutes, projection is measured in microns, even with a dozen sprays. A starter rose scent, sans frissons. I defy anyone's knees to tremble whilst wearing (or smelling) this.
02nd January, 2015
A nice fragrant thingy without praise or blame, basically a cedar-incense (pencil sharpener) with gentle floral notes, notably rose, with a light, silky and warm fruity feel, and a pepper note giving the right amount of, well, pepper (meaning "dynamism"). The notes smell honestly more ordinary than it may seem reading the pompous names listed above – it's a decent, a bit dull blend of cedar, flowers, pepper, citrus, in short a unisex classic cologne with a bolder wood accord. Despite it is really nothing special, it is still a nice, refined, bright scent, lively like a mid-spring afternoon in London, also with a slight and pleasant "barbershop" vein running all over – some classic, dandy, delicate and shady mood, mixed with a sheer, urban sort of transparency. Sophisticated soapy drydown. Nothing exceptional, but nice.

18th August, 2014
The Opus 1870's opening is promising on my skin despite i tend to appreciate far more some completely different type of fragrances. I'm soon surprised by an extremely sharp, subtle, translucent and sophisticated citrus/dry spices (pepper) accord that is yet incensey and soaked by rosey and woody nuances. This aqueous introduction possesses a typical Penhaligon's stiff vibe, spicy, dusty, conservative and astringent, something projecting an extremely sharp and almost ozonic fruitiness in the air. What does it happen in a while? On my skin gets to operate for a really short span just a definitely faint, definitely close to the skin and vague incensey/spicy feel (a la 7 de Loewe but a touch smoother and sweeter) with woody (dominant cedarwood)/rosey accents. The aroma disappears at all in a couple of hours on me. My skin is therefore able to project just a faint woodiness which is sweetly spicy (due the interaction by cloves and cinnamon), incensey and faintly floral. A well crafted concoction for the lovers of the "olfactory translucency" but a too much evanescent experiment for my full pleasure (apart that i would deflect towards the stouter and more mysterious 7 de Loewe at half of the price).
04th April, 2013 (last edited: 07th January, 2015)
An interesting bland yet spicy opening, giving me not much faith for this one. Once it faded, I became confused. As if I put on an entirely different fragrance. It went from a coriander bomb, to rose, rose, rose. Smooth, and beautiful, is the only way to describe this type of rose note. Slightly fruity, as if somebody poured apple juice or white grape juice all over the rose pedals. A bit feminine though at this point imo (as rose notes tend to sway to the feminine side). A neat salty accord behind the rose note, that keeps my interest.. It becomes a little powdery and musky after a bit. A base of woods is quite dominant, as the note breakdown suggests.

With this one and these notes: what ya see, is what ya get. Expect those notes listed. I would classify this as an aromatic rose fragrance. It smells less intense on the rose from a distance, than up close.. although the rose may be the key note here, it's not too powerful of a rose note. AKA: This is NO Noir de Noir, for you rose lovers out there. The rose note here eventually becomes a little dirty as it fades down, due to the musk.

Recommended wear: DATE scent. For sure. This is something you wear when your significant other is close to you. It's an intimate and exotic scent. I give it a neutral rating, because I'm not a huge rose fan, and it hasn't won me over completely yet. But it is without doubt an excellent one from this house.
27th September, 2011
drseid Show all reviews
United States
I love cedar scents, but not really Opus. The primary reason is the cedar is somewhat muted and mild here (even though it is the most dominant note by far throughout the scent's development) possibly tamed by some rose and maybe a hint of pepper. I guess I just am not getting a lot of personality from Opus 1870. Not a bad scent, but not distinctive either. 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5.
18th September, 2011 (last edited: 27th December, 2012)
For me Opus 1870 is like Lartisan's Tea for Two with more longevity.
03rd March, 2011
Probably one of the most masculine of theirs that I've tried. A surprisingly transparent cedar, sweet and mild without the common acrid undertones. Much smoother than Visit, Rush, etc., and perhaps closer to a more subdued Rocabar. The deep foresty-ness is there, but is much more raw, natural and unadulterated. As it develops, it gets sweeter, with what I believe to be nutmeg...again very much like Visit but more natural and less obtrusive. It's weak, which I don't mind, but it's also oddly incomplete. I'm not sure what else I would have had them add, but it's one of those scents that feels like half a composition, no doubt because they've purposely left it simple. By the end, the spices become very heady, so even though you have to sniff vey close to smell it, it's lost some of its appeal as far as I'm concerned. Like Racquets, the far base is a bit like Geir if you only sniff it briefly.
19th February, 2011
The scent is marvelous yet it just doesn't last and makes you wish the perfume content was triple what it is. What there is is a great combination of smoky woods and a touch of cinnamon-like sweetness, sprinkled over with black pepper. It has a classic, stylish air about it that fits in well with the brand, and it can be worn for both business and informal occasions. This can also be worn by women who like a woody-musk type fragrance. Would certainly be a thumbs up if it wasn't so weak!
19th November, 2009

The opening comes to me as a sophisticated black pepper / citrus note. It’s refined, it’s excellent, and within about eight minutes it is already well into its spicy / floral heart. I like the heart even better than the opening. It’s rich and full ranged with the sweet delicate cinnamon, the deep dark red rose note, and the touch of resinous brought about by the incense. The woody base emphasizes cedar and includes a bit of sandalwood – I don’t get much musk, but I still get incense and rose. I feel that the base is the least effective of the levels in Opus 1870. I find the fragrance quite discreet – it doesn’t project much at all from my skin and it is short lived. The lack of projection I can accept and even enjoy… the limited longevity I have a harder time with…

22nd November, 2008
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This is very subtle at first. It's herbaceous and spicy. I just tried the new Davidoff Adventure and it reminds me of 1870 but turned up a lot. I also detect a hint of tobacco in the cedar note. Similar to RL Romance is that you have to wait until the drydown to get anything real substantial from it.
22nd September, 2008
This would be woody then. And lasts all of 15 minutes. And also overpriced. If this is the what they chose to commemorate their founding then hooray for new fragrance companies.
17th June, 2007