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  1. #1
    Redbeard's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Westchester County, NY

    Default Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    ...I'm approaching the end of my rope with this house.

    I've gotten samples of Racquets, Castile, Opus 1870, and their sample set containing Hammam Bouquet, Blenheim Bouquet, Endymion, English Fern, and Quercus.

    Overall, I've been finding all of these purportedly masculine fragrances to be terribly heady, flowery, stuffy or feminine. (I know, a few are unisex, but those aren't the ones I find to be the worst offenders!)

    Before I give up altogether, I was wondering which scents from this house strike you guys as the most masculine and wearable, or that you simply love. Next on my list to try would be Douro, but I'd be curious what you think about the ones I've tried and the ones that I haven't.

    Thanks for your opinions!

  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution
    petruccijc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Clearwater Beach, Florida

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    LP No 9 for Men
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    I found Castile to be the "safest" as it is just a basic interpretation of the infamous Castile soap, and nothing too much beyond a soapy, slightly synthetic smell.

    Hammam Bouquet is a musty rose enshrouded in poorly-executed woody notes that smell of alcohol and synthetic citrus. Wearable just just barely. Can't speak for any of the others.


  4. #4
    StylinLA's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Los Angeles, CA- too damn close to Scent Bar

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    Since you've fairly well dismissed almost the entire line as "heady, flowery, stuffy or feminine," I'm not sure what the point is in giving opinions.

    I like Racquets, Endymion and Hammam Bouquet.

    I just don't think the Penhaligon's style of scent works for you.

  5. #5
    mtgprox05's Avatar
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    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    Honestly, compared to most other traditional masculines and feminines, I don't really see how Endymion, Blenheim Bouquet, Racquets, Quercus, Opus 1870 or English Fern could be considered heady or feminine? Castile is beautiful, but if you find the smell of soap to be feminine, then I suppose I could understand you finding that feminine and Hamman Bouquet, DOES IMO smell feminine.
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  6. #6
    Sugandaraja's Avatar
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    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    My favorite is Elixir, but it's an incensey, spicy floriental - not what you want at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by StylinLA View Post
    I just don't think the Penhaligon's style of scent works for you.
    I'll second this. Move along, nothing to see here.

  7. #7
    bokaba's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Redlands, CA

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    Penhaligons has seen better days...but among its extant fragrances I enjoy Blenheim Bouquet for a spicy no-nonsense pine/lemon reminiscent of Churchill no doubt. I have not had a chance to sample their new Eau de Cologne yet. Hammam is too musty, too cloying, and well too Elizabethan for my taste. Perhaps vintage Hammam was better? Castile is a good rosy eau de cologne type fragrance but it's too soapy for me. I prefer Floris no 89 or Acqua di Parma really.

  8. #8
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Edmonton, Alberta

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    I like Blenheim Bouquet, lemony and rosemary-pine. I can't imagine that being feminine in any sense.
    I also like English Fern. Compared to Geo F. Trumpers Wild Fern (which is a unisex sort of scent) I find EF to be more masculine, with woody notes, less simple greenness.
    Opus 1870, a fairly substantial cedar scent. Perhaps a bit opulent but still pretty masculine in my books.
    Others, like LP or Hammam, are very opulent and rich. Whether that translates to non-masculine is a matter of taste, I guess.

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  9. #9
    DULLAH's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    Their concepts are great, but the execution is just slightly less than where it should be.
    Castile and Opus were both very close for me, Castile enough to buy 100ml.
    I think ZZ or Ruggles was spot on years ago, when he said Penhaligon's topload their fragrances with beautiful top and midnotes, only to finish with bases to boring and synthetic to carry such wonderful tops.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    Douro Eau de Portugal is also a fantastic male fragrance. Very subtle. Very distinctive.
    "If a perfume stinks, it's a disaster when she turns off the light." - Jean-Paul Guerlain

  11. #11

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    I agree - great perfumes, cheap materials. Still I quite enjoy Castile and Racquets and if I didn't have Crown Town&CountryI'd own BB as well. Hammam has greatly declined in my estimation since getting to know natural fragrances in the same vein - it must have been grand in the past, though. The Fern is quite nice, too, though again, I prefer Crown Perfumery. I would also agree that perhaps the classic English styles simply don't suit you.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    Penhaligon’s fragrances are perhaps not for everyone and they most definitely have a distinctive style and character. I work just around the corner from their shop on the King’s Road in Chelsea (London) and last time I went in the kid behind the counter was dressed like an Edwardian dandy!

    The Eau de Cologne is very good – not far off from Eau de Guerlain. Douro Eau de Portugal is also very nice though I would rather wear New York which is far deeper and complex.

    The rest of their line I cannot comment on as I’ve not had time to test them.

    I can imagine wearing the two fragrances mentioned above on a warm summer’s day in Cambridge, wondering through the magnificent university buildings or lazily wiling the day away taking a punt on the River Cam.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    I can't imagine anyone thinking of Douro as feminine, but one might think of it as formal or stuffy.

    I found the Eau de Cologne to be a miss; more fleeting than most EDCs.

    I do enjoy Blenheim Bouquet, Endymion and Opus 1870. To a lesser degree English Fern. Have never tried Racquets.

    I would say Opus 1870 is quite masculine as well.

    I tend to agree with those suggesting "move on".
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  14. #14

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    I like Penhaligon's fragrances and think that instead of heady they usally defer to traditional elements in perfume design to relate to old fashioned ideas in perfumery. My favorites of those I've tried are:

    Blenheim Bouquet - the only one I own now.
    Eau de Verveine - green grasses and comforting.
    Extract of Limes - bracing limes
    Elixir - scintillating incense woods
    Endymion - smoothe

    I have rarely been disappointed with a Penhaligon's scent. Some are not my taste, but the only one I would not wear is Hammam Bouquet - it is a little too much pomp and circumstance in a rose fragrance for me.
    Last edited by Buzzlepuff; 8th July 2010 at 04:53 PM.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    I don't understand the concept of wanting to like a house, or wanting to "write off" a house. There are so many fragrances to sample. Just move on to find your next great love (wherever you may find it).

  16. #16

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    +1 for Douro. Love the stuff, and happen to be wearing it today. You won't find it feminine in the least but, as Scentsitivity said, you may find it stuffy. I don't particularly.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Alas, Penhaligon's Fans...

    You absolutely must try LP No 9 for Men. It's bomb-diggidy.

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