Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Sartorial by Penhaligon's

Total Reviews: 54
A worthy fragrance at last from the house that seems to me to enjoy developing "subtle" gentlemanly scents. While by no means a sillage powerhouse, Sartorial does break the Englishman boundaries a little. It's an excellent, and somewhat complex take on a traditional lavender over oakmoss, but there's an interesting supporting cast of wood, spice and green elements. Very clean smell, without a soap or chemical imbalance.

I like where the designer went here, and would wear this in cool weather, as it's sophisticated enough for formal attire and clean enough to be office safe. Looking for a sample and would likely purchase a bottle. Thumbs up.
09th September, 2016
Initial smellings reference Brut (or is it Old Spice?) quite closely. There is nothing shy and retiring about Sartorial, and it comes across as a choice for a man who doesn't mind invading space with his scent.

After some hours of development, though, the beeswax and honey come to the fore, and hold the floor thereafter. The result is something stronger but much more subtle than the opening would suggest, with enough variation and development in the accords to keep your nose coming back for more.

I have no experience of working with tailors but it seems to me that the marketing does cohere nicely with the form of the scent. Worth trying.
18th May, 2016
This is straight forward gentlemans scent in the English tradition. It smells well made and is easy to wear. I get neroli, cardamom, lavender, leather and some oakmoss. I would say it lasts about 5 to 6 hours on myself with little projection. It would be great on weekends or to the office for sure. For the price (online $65 to $70) and quality it's great. Enjoy!
23rd April, 2016 (last edited: 26th May, 2016)
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I will say up front that fougere is not my favorite scent family. With that out of the way, there are components of this I enjoy. The woody notes are nice and do give off the intended Savile Row tailor shop note.

But I find the scent too sweet and cloying with a pronounced vanilla note for this to really work for me. It also is a very penetrating and potent scent.

Lastly, this reminds me of a scent I used to wear in high school and while I can't remember which it was, it makes this smell kind of imitational and low-rent.

Just not for me.
26th February, 2016
The ‘smell of a high end tailor’s shop’ was so hyped on this one when it came out, that people felt inclined to go into rhapsodies about steaming hot irons and offcuts of twill and what have you. Thank goodness I didn’t test it then – who knows, maybe I’d have succumbed to all that nonsense, too.
In any event, I approached Sartorial with caution, applying just a tiny bit first and got quite puzzled with what my poor nose was smelling. It was sweet, it was daddy-o, it was Brut as I remembered it from my teenage years, with what seemed like a massive aromachemicals cloud that threatened to trigger headaches.
However that’s no way to treat a perfume, and so I finally gave it a decent spraying and this, surprisingly, worked much better. Sure the Brut reference was still prominent, but now I could appreciate that this was a somewhat more complex and engineered composition. So beyond the lavender and tonka sweeties which acted as traditional ‘man cologne’ signifiers complete with non-specific woody backing, there were several subordinate notes playing little harmonies from the wings.
A faint hiss of something metallic at the start, a mellowing touch of cardamom in the heart, floral notes, aldehydic and ozonic twists, resinous murmurs, and oh yes, ‘white musk’, yards and yards of it.
Ultimately Sartorial is backward looking, a typically sweet ‘English’ barbershop fougère, and I’ve had my bellyful of those. Still, there is no denying it has been crafted with skill.

22nd January, 2016
Interesting. Like a cross between Brut and Grey Flannel, heavy on the metallic violet leaf and minty lavender. There's an ozone element as well, like the smell of aluminum foil, as well as some cinnamon/mace pie spices. The whole thing comes together to smell like an abstract warm brown mix of woody earth, dank greens, pie, and outer space.

Personally, though I can see how they contribute quite a bit to the modernization and artistry of this scent, I find the ozone distracting and unnecessary, so I'm only voting neutral. Personally, I'll just stick to Brut.
06th January, 2016
Whenever I hear the word “Sartorial”, I think of the song Victoria by the Fall and substitute “Sartorial” for the chorus, “Victoria”. Sartorial is a complex and updated take on the Fougère genre. Daring in its creation as Fougères are not very popular these days and tinkering with the classic structure that the old guard still wears may not have been the best decision. Despite this, Sartorial triumphs over all these obstacles and Duchaufour has created an outstanding fragrance.

Satorial’s opening is a waft of violet leaf and ginger and some other complementary notes. Smells sophisticated and deep. Hints of black pepper and those heady aldehyde notes chime in as well. The heart deepens with a waxy and slightly sweet Beeswax note combined with lush lavender and leather. Where the heart notes teased with a light sweetness, the base notes bring them to the forefront with tonka, vanilla and amber standing tall. But there is also some moss and woody notes that keep things from going too far into the candy store. Not quite sure what Gurgum wood and “Old wood effect” are but I do know that there’s a new clothes accord that I detect in Sartorial.

In the end, Sartorial is more than the sum of its parts and is definitely in the shortlist of top men’s fragrances to come out in the last 5 years.

04th January, 2016
Clean and beautifully made...

This is a fragrance which I have no problem loving. As soon as I smelled it I realised it pleased me. For me it's honey and beeswax and lavender, surrounded by green herbs and mossy woods. A very grown up, very "gentleman" like fragrance.

This one gives me the impression of being clean and groomed, like trying on a brand new suit in a shop, which I guess was the intention, given the brief and description of the fragrance (ie that it should smell like a tailor's workshop). I would happily wear this formally. I find nothing wrong with it whatsoever in terms of style and character. It gives me a good feeling to wear. The feeling it gives is gender neutral. Just a lovely, impressive aroma of brand new fabric and of wearing nice clothes. I do find it would suit a well dressed man perfectly, but a woman could pull this off too.

Some people say the smell is old fashioned. I don't. I think it's quite modern. The use of aromachemicals here is very cleverly done, and by a very talented perfumer (Bertrand Duchaufour). I would recommend this one to gentlemen for formal wear, and for anyone who not only likes to be well dressed, but who would like to smell like that too. Very well made. Impressive.
02nd October, 2015
I absolutely love this fragrance! It's warm and inviting with a touch of mystery. It's a perfect fall winter scent! I was wondering if anyone also found The Satorial smells very similar to Lothair?
18th August, 2015
I wonder if penhaligons description of this fragrance has influenced my judgement but i honestly smell clean linen and engine oil, now this may sound an odd combination and one that shouldn't work but it does..This scent grew on me and by the third time I wore it i was utterly convinced that this is a superb fragrance. I usually like citrus fragrances like trumpers gft but this is a great alternative, I really like the waxy pepper dry down too...a modern classic from penhaligons
15th November, 2014
I set out to buy Endymion from Penhaligon's and took the chance to sample another couple of fragrances from their collection. Sartorial stood out as different but classic. I completely get what they are trying to achieve with this scent. While the idea of evoking the tailor's workroom may not sound like the basis for a great scent, Penhaligon's have managed to do that expertly while producing a very nice fragrance.

Some people may buy Penhaligon's fragrances in the spirit of their marketing. Judging by their boxes, bottles, imagery, even the scent itself, it might be easy to think that you have bought a little piece of English heritage. In reality, they are as guilty as the next of inventing a back story to fit their needs. The modern reincarnation of the Penhaligon's name is no more dated back to 1870 than I am Queen Victoria!

Leaving the marketing aside, Sartorial by Penhaligon's is a classic men's fragrance well worth a try. The only down side is, although longevity is better than other Penhaligon's fragrances, it doesn't last more than a couple of hours.
26th October, 2014
Genre: Fougère

Whether it’s Edmond Roudnitska’s clever twist on eau de Cologne in Eau Sauvage or Francis Kurkdjian’s gloss on the classic chypre structure in Enlévement au Sérail, reinterpreting a traditional formula presents an ideal opportunity for talented contemporary perfumers to showcase their powers of invention. In Sartorial, Bertrand Duchaufour takes on the time-tested aromatic fougère style, an idea honed to a fine point in scents like Azzaro pour Homme, Tuscany per Uomo, and Tsar, then largely superseded by the tide of lighter, less serious, fruity-aquatic fougères that followed the success of Cool Water in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Sartorial is an unabashed throwback, with all the gravity and substance of its classical antecedents, filtered through the sensibilities that brought us Avignon, Timbuktu, Dzongkha, and Paestum Rose. The result is a serious composition that tempers the traditional barbershop associations of citrus, lavender, and tonka bean (coumarin) with the occasional 21st century embellishment. The first of these are bold ginger and black peppercorn top notes that deftly clothe the anise, bergamot and lavender opening in contemporary garb. The next, and most conspicuous to my nose, is beeswax, which emerges after roughly half an hour and grows more potent with wear. The beeswax brings a subtle and fascinating animalic warmth to what might otherwise be an overly starched and sanitary composition. As it is, the interplay of soapy and sensuous elements generates a low-key background dissonance that animates Sartorial right through its drydown.

In keeping with its traditional aromatic fougère roots, Sartorial is a dense, potent, and lasting composition. It doesn’t take much to make an impact, and a single application lasts me all day long. My only reservation is whether Sartorial truly offers more than predecessors like Tuscany and Azzaro pour Homme, which match it closely in style and quality, but at a mere fraction of the price.
02nd July, 2014
Big thumbs up. Penhaligon's packaging and presentation is great as usual and the juice that is inside the bottle matches. I've heard the comparisons of Sartorial to Brut. Eh, I kind of see it but Brut wishes it were Sartorial. Sartorial is mature, complex and develops nicely on the skin. I've heard Penhaligon's fragrances don't have much longevity, but I got almost 6 hours with one spray to the wrist during sampling. It does stay close to the skin as it develops but I'd rather be discovered than noticed as the old saying rings true... At least for me.

The development of this fragrance holds up to online reviews I've read and watched. A lot going on here but it's all great. Slightly sweet, the smell of starch and an iron... The steam, the beeswax... It's all there plus more and amazingly, it all makes sense.

Find a sample. Get your nose on Sartorial and sniff it out.
01st May, 2014
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Generic (English)man. Will make the wearer blend right in to the office crowd.
03rd December, 2013 (last edited: 07th December, 2013)
You would think with all the notes in this one, it would be a total disaster. Wrong! This has that barbershop vibe to it and I will have to get this one in the collection. Very mature and classic smelling fragrance. More suited for the fall and winter months.
04th November, 2013
More retro than modern.

I approached Sartorial without expecting much because its pyramid lists my two most disliked notes: violet leaf, and leather. The opening is delightful – aldehydes and ozonics – done well – classy. The pyramid mentions a metallic effect, ok, possibly I am getting a slight tinge of headache. I don’t smell the violet leaf nor the neroli nor spices listed, except to say that the aldehydes and ozonics and metallics are definitely grounded in a light but solid, organic, warm texture. I really do like this… not only do I like the smell of this accord on the skin, but the sillage is delightfully warm and fresh.

It bogs down in the middle level. I don’t find the leather any kind of annoying, but it does take the character out of beeswax and florals – it just kind of bores things down and creates a generic texture accord that contains a minimum of interesting things happening.

With the drydown Sartorial perks up a little – that programmed boredom of the middle is relieved with some variety and sweet… I don’t get much wood or even patchouli; I doubt that wood notes were meant to take a strong part in this fragrance – and I agree, it would be inconsistent for Sartorial to turn into simply another cedar base. I do get a controlled sweetness and, oddly enough, the white musk is strongly represented – I don’t often get a strong white musk. I do get a myrrh and oakmoss, and for sweet, I get honey and vanilla. In, all I truly enjoy the drydown except that it is recessive and has quite limited longevity.

I agree with those who said that Sartorial is more retro than modern or even than combo. Granted, there is that excellent use of ozonics in the opening, but the ozonics are very strongly supported by aldehydes, which are quite retro. In structure and impact, Sartorial does remind me of Azzaro Pour Homme, as Off-Scenter had said. My skin gobbles up this fragrance… on paper I get incredible longevity, but it races off my skin, probably because the wood notes are so weak. Sillage is medium in the opening and base, but quite weak in the heart notes.

Pros: v good opening with ozonics and aldehydes.
Cons: Heart and base are too insignificant. "

19th September, 2013
Not impressed

Nothing special, had very high hopes but.. Azzaro pour homme more seductive and elegant fragrance.

14th September, 2013
Horrifyingly rigorous post-modern recreation of early 70s Brut and those who wore it. I was transported unwillingly back to about 1972 and the way adults smelled to me as an 8 year old: stifling aftershaves, slightly musty though recently pressed flannel suits and an impossible-to-ignore note which I can only describe as the smell of a block of alum after it has been rubbed over a fresh shaving cut. A million miles from Savile Row, but not from the easttbound District Line during the morning rush hour, when Ted Heath was prime minister.

Neutral only for the sheer intensity of my reaction. I can't even handle this as irony, let alone on my skin.
17th March, 2013 (last edited: 18th March, 2013)
Fish Show all reviews
United States
As a user of Opus 1870 and Endominion I find Sartorial an excellent addition to my growing collection from Pen. Sartorial comes across as a very refined wear that stands out above the crowd of modern EDT's for the older or mature individual. From the opening till it's completely gone, the kaleidoscope of notes come together to produce a continuing array of wonderful scent vibes one feels proud to wear.
An excellent if not the perfect fougere for it's class.
09th January, 2013
Beautifully refined masculine aromatic fougere with excellent longevity and good sillage.

Thumbs up!
08th January, 2013
Sartorial is the epitome of an aromatic fougere - you can smell a whole spice rack worth of lovely dried herb smells entwined within this stuff. The herbs definately smell like essential oils too and nothing fake. This is real 'barbershop' juice, and is the perfect scent for anyone who loves the very similar Rive Gauche for men or Azzaro PH and fancies moving up to something more refined. This is the essense of a 'suited and booted' daytime fragrance.
27th December, 2012
Smells classic and sophisticated. It has a nice barbershop vibe that makes it very masculine. Well balanced and has a decent level of sweetness. Longevity, lasting power and sillage are medium-high. Definetely worth a bottle.
12th December, 2012
First I tried this fragrance on one of my trips to London. I gave it the skin test. Ten minutes later I thought it was nothing special. However, one hour later it became much more masculine, and one of the best scents I ever tested. So I quickly ran back to the store before it closed to purchase one bottle. The longevity of this fragrance is amazing. It lasts on skin and on clothes forever. It has got a deep and very complex combination of scents. The sales person described it as a tailor's workshop, but frankly to me it rather suggests a mix of shaved businessman, young pirate and passionate lover all in one. It's got some pretty unique nuances, and it peaks at around 2-3 hours, which makes it suitable for long dates with women/men who love masculine & powerful.
20th November, 2012
Sartorial is Bertrand Duchaufour's fragrant recreation of the smells, the feel and ambiance of an old world mens tailor haberdashery. You smell the bolts of many varieties of finely woven fabric, the shoe leather polished to a dull shine, and wafts of old world fougere cologne coming from workers of the establishment. The combination of differences makes this a truly international establishment. I like it.

The opening scent is an amberish fougere with a characteristic lavender/coumarin/oakmoss effect that warms you all over. Could be boring, but shortly after, in 10 minutes or so, the scent is taken over by a bold sauté of incense spiced woods (ginger, black pepper, oud wood, cedar, gurgham) and this multinational middle tone is stabilized with warm leather tones.

Sartorial is a successful combination of 3 old world disciplines in fragrance styles: fougere + incense + oriental leather. If Sartorial had continued down the same old fougere path I would not have liked the result. However, the combination of seemingly different fragrance pathways has created a woven tapestry that is as good as the name "sartorial." Possibly a new world masterpiece.
01st November, 2012
Another fougere of sorts from Pen's...opens with a quiet, dry, grassy green, and includes a heavy dose of the same type of subtle florals as in Monsieur de Givenchy, as well as some slightly musty fruit. After a few minutes it starts to get sappier, and some sort of sweet spice becomes more noticeable underneath, like drinking a Dr. Pepper in damp earthy grass. The vanilla starts to show up a little later but stays restrained behind the spices. At this point I have trouble remembering the differences between this stuff, their English Fern, and Houbigant's reissued Fougere Royale, though I'm not the best judge of traditional fougeres. I like how it avoids the wintergreen-like note that usually bugs me in this group, but because they've replaced it with cola-type spices, it's a dubious victory by my tastes. Still, it manages to stay more masculine than most of their "masculine" scents, and stays old-fashioned without being too dated. I also recommend it, along with Polo Modern Reserve, as a green scent that starts out "summery" and slowly becomes heavier and more "wintery" toward the end.
06th May, 2012
I just smelled this perfume today, I like it because it's very similar to Le Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier (which they probably used as an inspiration), but I find that Sartorial is much more refined. Many of the notes are the same, mint, powder, lavender, spices, but it's not as sharp and the notes flow in a very mellow way. If Le Mâle is the bad boy that parties all night, then Sartorial is his dapper English brother with a day job.
07th March, 2012
I won’t bother describing the notes on this one as it has everything and the kitchen sink in there. This is a classic aromatic fougere that evokes images of businessmen in suits sitting around an office hashing it out. It is a very refined and sophisticated scent that bespokes a classic British feel to it as many of Penhaligon’s offerings do. If you are a fan of the fougere genre you must check this out. Classic, refined, sophisticated and simply great stuff.
09th February, 2012
This opens up with the smell of a steam iron going across a shirt then the lavender and violet creep in to add dimension.

As time goes by your nose is hit by many different notes all trying to catch your attention at the same time. I can smell neroli,woods, beeswax along with the starched shirt accord.

This fragrance is complex and unequal and I have not smelled another fragrance like it. As time goes by it gets a little more sweeter with the tonka bean and amber showing up amongst the many notes.

As the fragrance drysdown it cannot seem to hang on to the captivating opening accord and becomes like many other fragrances with a sweet woody base. Thumbs up though.
26th January, 2012
Sartorial by Penhaligon's - Upon application, one is treated to a remarkable, barbershop accord. This clean melange is an amalgamation of the green, mowed grass of violet leaf, the sour, orangey neroli, the mildly sweet cardamom, the spicy black pepper as well as the candied sharpness of ginger. An interesting aura of ephemeral steam as well as an errant, metallic something intrude; and aldehydes impart their laundered linen effect. Meandering to the awaiting middle, muguet-like cyclamen, sweetly green linden bloosom, as well as the freshness of lavender lovingly add their veiled, floral facets to the somewhat stuffy opening. This exquisite heart is wonderfully showered with earthy and buttery beeswax yielding a slightly carmelized blend, while hints of leather flitter about. Transitioning to the commonplace base, balsamic gurgum wood, clean oakmoss, dry cedar, fleeting driftwood, vanillic tonka bean, boggy patchouli, soapy white musk, faintly powdery amber, woody myrrh as well as some source of oiliness, all combine as the groundwork for the refreshing drydown. Albeit this composition is constructed and layered well, it is nonetheless just another barbershoppy, oldmanish fragrance, with good longevity and projection.
08th January, 2012
drseid Show all reviews
United States
A mild thumbs up from me for Sartorial. I like its opening that really is a nice aromatic blend of citrus and spice, but then the scent calms down to a kind of barbershop fresh vibe at its heart that stays for the rest of its duration that I feel like I have smelled before. A well done scent to be sure, but a somewhat sub-par effort from a great nose like Duchaufour who has created so many truly outstanding scents. From almost anyone else I might call myself impressed with the results. 3 to 3.5 stars out of 5.
03rd December, 2011 (last edited: 26th December, 2012)