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  1. #1
    itsthepens's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Cambridge, Leeds, London and Newcastle (It's complicated!)

    Post penhaligons visit + 2 mini reviews

    went to the penhaligons shop in cambridge (either it's very new or i'm completely blind!), the wonderful woman in there helped me smell basically all of their men's fragrances, using pre-sprayed strips in order to get an idea of their dried down scents she said.
    i was very interested by several, and when the weather gets warmer i'll definately go back to re-smell blenheim bouquet (uplifting citrus) and english fern (wow, so green!).
    in light of finding something more suitable for keeping me cosy whilst the weather is so horrid, i smelled and rather liked LP no.9, endymion, and hammam bouquet. she gave me samples of all three, 1.5mls which seems quite generous - they look large anyway! so below are some first impressions of hammam bouquet and endymion.

    Hammam bouquet initial blast - ROSE, fresh, wet, crushed petals, sweet.
    some lavender creates aromatic waft, plus bergamot, like the light spritz of a wedge of lime being squeezed
    bergamot intensifies, yet whole does not become 'citrussy', stays rose-oriented.
    progresses - something in common with one of my mother's perfumes, a floral note - jasmine i suspect. this is also joined by a dry, woody tang as the cedar becomes distinguishable.

    at this point, the rose is still prevalent though not as green/fresh smelling, and the lavendar/bergamot fades rather seamlessly into the drier cedar/
    jasmine accord. my overall impression is very.... smooth, not overtly feminine (as has been said by others, this is floral but not 'flowery'), still quite masculine i think.

    some musk starts to appear after a while, sitting nicely alongside the light cedar and pervading rose. ever-so-slight powderiness, quite old-fashioned (as to be expected!).
    this seems to be another masculine rose i'm a fan of, though quite different to the spiky, dirty rose of TDC's rose poivree. hammam bouquet is quite potent, perhaps best suited to formal occasions. no 'animalic' notes yet.


    first impression is quite generic sweet, orangey, this is the mandarin playing it's part i think. made more astringently citrussy by what must be the bergamot, also aromatic herbal accord,
    sage and lavender with a touch of invigorating cardamom.

    then after a minute or two there comes a kick of spice, the cardamom being joined by a light but forceful, buzzy black pepper and the faint piquancy of nutmeg.
    the (quite creamy?) amber also comes through around now, and an earthy twist of vetiver mingles with the sage.

    theres a lot going on, quite difficult to pick out individ notes..... a vague notion of coffee starts to present itself here, warmed by the amber and still quite sweet, yet not at all gourmandy, this is not the coffee of a*men, not dark and bitter and burnt but light, actually smells hot, like a weak americano with a touch of milk being carried past the spices and herbs, along with the ambery sweetness, which are the real focus here. theres something here that reminds me of bond no.9 silver factory, a creamy sweetness, though
    this is sweeter, overall impression is quite serene, though quite unlike SF it remains lightly spicy with the peppery tingle, and grounded by the mild, lightly bitter coffee-ed vetiver. i think i also get a hint of leather (not 100% sure if this is right, but it smells to me like my new leather jacket!)

    am i falling for a sweet fragrance? i think so! downside - it is rather light in general, i suspect this is the downside of the cologne concentration. although i've only tested a tiny bit, so i might just use all of the rest of this sample next time.
    can anyone give me any ideas on the sillage and longevity of this?

    (apologies for note-form of this post, i'll tidy it up later along with further impressions of the two scents after several more hours.)


  2. #2

    lightgreen22's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: penhaligons visit + 2 mini reviews

    Have you tried their Extract of Lime yet?

  3. #3

    Default Re: penhaligons visit + 2 mini reviews

    Thanks for the comments.

    Did you try their Castille. Sort of a soap-like fragrance with a some sweetness.

  4. #4
    argogos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Winter Park, FL

    Default Re: penhaligons visit + 2 mini reviews

    I once balked at Endymion for being too trendy. I have grown to appreciate more these days. The pepper and coffee give it a more masculine feel that I overlooked earlier.
    Support your local Leonberger rescue.

  5. #5
    itsthepens's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Cambridge, Leeds, London and Newcastle (It's complicated!)

    Default Re: penhaligons visit + 2 mini reviews

    extract of lime left me utterly cold, i guess i'm just not geared towards citrus-dominated fragrances. castille i expected to enjoy, but (as andrew_b notes) was rather soapy - soapy is not a favourite scent feature of mine, to me it defeats the objective of a fragrance - i already smell a bit soapy in the morning as a by-product of showering! a fragrance is me 'dressing' for the day, smell-wise.

    on first sniff of endymion my worry was that it might be too 'trendy', in that it was borderline generic-young-designer smelling. now i find it has so much more going on, im considering a bottle tomorrow....

  6. #6
    Scentronic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Metro Detroit, Michigan

    Default Re: penhaligons visit + 2 mini reviews

    Douro might also take a little while to warm up to, but once you begin to appreciate it's "aromatic warmth", it is a gold mine of gentlemanliness!
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

  7. #7

    Default Re: penhaligons visit + 2 mini reviews

    Check out Opus 1870 on your next visit. Perfect for these colder months.
    "I exist for myself, and for those to whom my unquenchable thirst for freedom gives everything, but also for everyone, since insofar as I am able to love - I love everyone. Of noble hearts, I am the noblest - and the most generous of those that yearn to give love in return. - I am a human being, I love death and I love life."

    Egon Schiele - Self-Potrait

    My classics: Dior Homme EdT, YSL Rive Gauche PH, Helmut Lang Cuiron, L'Occitane Neroli (vintage), Davidoff Zino, L'Occitane Eau des Baux

  8. #8

    Default Re: penhaligons visit + 2 mini reviews

    Speaking as something of a Penhaligon's anorak I am surprised you didn't go for Elixir, their new fragrance, for colder months, it has a rich spicey and deep wood accord sweetened with Turkish Rose (referencing Hammam Bouquet).

    I rate Penhaligon's as one of the best perfume houses in the world. Their fragrances have a house signature to them (how many can honestly say that these days?) and a deep quality to them which is not always appreciated by those giving their fragrances a cursory evaluation.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

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