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  1. #1

    Default Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    It would be fair to say that I have been waiting for this one all year since I first heard whispers of it's development back in January - actually it may have been earlier, thinking about it.

    I was then privy to three early versions of the fragrance being developed by Betrand Duchaufour, each of them playing with variations on the theme of scents evoked and found in a Saville Row tailor's workroom at Norton & Sons. One version, indicated only by a white dot on the sample vial was exquisite, it was where I very much hoped the fragrance would evolve.

    And so the waiting through the late Spring and the Summer began, by September my anticipation was unbearable.

    Today, my torture came to an end and I was finally able to appreciate Sartorial in it's full glory.

    Was it worth the wait?

    Oh yes.

    I'll start with the pyramid.

    Head Notes: Aldehydes, Ozonic Effect, Metallic Effect, Violet Leaf, Neroli, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Fresh Ginger

    Heart Notes: Beeswax, Cyclamen, Linden Blossom, Lavender, Heather

    Base Notes: Gurgum Wood, Patchouli, Myrrh, Cedarwood, Tonka Bean, Oakmoss, White Musk, Honey Effect, Old Wood Effect, Vanilla, Amber.

    An astonishing list you might think. And you'd be right, it is.

    The overall result though is breath-taking. Quite literally. Some of these accords escape out of the bottle like a flock of startled birds at a farmer's shotgun. The metallic and ozonic edges fly past the nostrils in a fluttering fury of fantastical imagery. It's a sensory kaleidescope, the cardomom and ginger and peppery edges, lifted by florals Cyclamen and Linden blossom - but they hint at one of the true characteristics of Sartorial - warmth.

    It's a very clever allusion really. Duchaufour wanted to create a fragrance that evoked a tailor's workroom. Close your eyes and picture the scene. Bolts of cloth in stacks, tailor's scissors, needles, beeswax, chalk, the edgy metal of sewing machines. Edges and textures, warmth and coldness all juxtaposing each other in a common cause.

    This is Sartorial. Where there are edges there are softening contrasts.

    Duchaufour wanted to create a fragrance that throughout featured the honeyed warmth of beeswax and found counterpoints to it that lift and hint to their existence as the fragrance develops. Yes, you can detect the lavender, but where in Caron's Pour Un Homme, the lavender is a crudely cut bouquet thrust to the nostrils, here, the lavender is so beautifully blended with the softer sweetness of heather they are almost seamless in their co-existence.

    I am currently wearing Sartorial in three different areas of the backs of my hands and arms in different stages of its development. In each stage it is honestly intruiging, captivating and arresting.

    The drydown is lovely, imagine an enfolding warmth of amber and patchouli, something akin to the last dying breaths of Givenchy Gentleman, but with the elegance of Chergui or a softer, mellower Ambre Sultan with just a hint of wood.

    It ticks other boxes too. Projection is very good and, unlike others in the Penhaligon's line like the lovely but short lived Opus 1870 or Endymion, longevity is excellent.

    Is it elegant? Yes. Is it the scent of a refined gentleman? Yes. Does it stand up with the best of the Penhaligon's range? Yes. Has Duchaufour achieved everything he set out to do? Oh yes, and then some.

    Is it beautiful? Oh God yes.

    This is a modern classic in the making.


    (Thanks to all at Penhaligon's Covent Garden for allowing us this pre-launch insight)
    Last edited by HDS1963; 13th October 2010 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Spelling!
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  2. #2
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    scentsitivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Sounds like one of the most interesting fragrances of the year.

    Thanks for the thoughtful review!
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  3. #3

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Thank you for this!

    Now I simply must try this scent.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
    Currently wearing: Rose Ambre by Fragonard

  4. #4

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    How soon will this be hitting their website then?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Must test.
    ASAP.

    Their Anthology Eau De Cologne & Eau De Vervaine were both unusual and impressive, for such simple scent names, each with unexpectedly new/classy/intriguing profiles. With that steam, and Duchafour, this has the makings of something quite good. Fingers crossed for Penhaligon's making a huge step back towards the limelight.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Quote Originally Posted by DULLAH View Post
    Must test.
    ASAP.
    My friend, it is lovely. It really is.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    I have recently become a big fan of this line and was drooling over trying Sartorial. I received samples from luckyscent last week.
    I must say that it is not for me. It smells dated, and like an updated Brut in a way. Rive Gauche Pour Homme also comes to mind. It did last forever, and gives off the aura off a no-nonsense gentlemen, that over splashed his after shave. The extreme drydown, was a bit dirty on me as well. I absolutely love Endymion, and several others by this line...but Sartorial smells a bit like every other traditional fougere ever released. If this is your genre then get your credit card out. I am averse to smelling like the guy who wears Aqua Velva in large quantities, so I will stick with Endymion for now.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock_With_Scents View Post
    I have recently become a big fan of this line and was drooling over trying Sartorial. I received samples from luckyscent last week.
    I must say that it is not for me. It smells dated, and like an updated Brut in a way. Rive Gauche Pour Homme also comes to mind. It did last forever, and gives off the aura off a no-nonsense gentlemen, that over splashed his after shave. The extreme drydown, was a bit dirty on me as well. I absolutely love Endymion, and several others by this line...but Sartorial smells a bit like every other traditional fougere ever released. If this is your genre then get your credit card out. I am averse to smelling like the guy who wears Aqua Velva in large quantities, so I will stick with Endymion for now.
    If I could find the "draw drop" smilie, I'd be using this now. Sartorial is nothing like a traditional fougere, not at all, it's way more refined and frankly how you can like Endymion and not like this is bewildering to be honest. As for Brut??? It's poles apart.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Quote Originally Posted by HDS1963 View Post
    If I could find the "draw drop" smilie, I'd be using this now. Sartorial is nothing like a traditional fougere, not at all, it's way more refined and frankly how you can like Endymion and not like this is bewildering to be honest. As for Brut??? It's poles apart.
    I was extemely upset when I didn't care for it. I was willing myself to find a way to like it, but what I describe is what my nose gets. Obviously your nose perceives something totally different and for that you are lucky!

    You have to understand my aversion to 'dated' smelling fragrances. It is me getting this correlation, hopefully others will not. With Endymion, I don't feel like I am wearing a men's cologne; I do with Sartorial.

    Jealous that it works for you though, and I can't wait to acquire either Opus 1870 or Extract of Limes soon. Love this line.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    It just goes to show we all interpret scents differently. I am in fragrance Heaven at the moment, the beeswax, patchouli mix and subtle warmth of vanilla and amber in the far drydown are just sooooo good. The thing I would say, having tried some of the sample vials I also have is that they don't bring the best out of the fragrance the way the atomiser bottles do. Which is why I wish Penhaligon's would switch to atomiser samples.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    On a separate note, Opus 1870 is beautiful, but it just doesn't last or project the way I would like it to. Same with Endymion which is a fantastic fragrance. I've been pushing to persuade them to produce an EDP of it, because to my nose it warrants it. Extract of Limes is a great fragrance, very creamy in its composition resulting in a really smooth and rich drydown. I prefer it to the Trumpers equivalent.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock_With_Scents View Post
    I have recently become a big fan of this line and was drooling over trying Sartorial. I received samples from luckyscent last week.
    I must say that it is not for me. It smells dated, and like an updated Brut in a way. Rive Gauche Pour Homme also comes to mind. It did last forever, and gives off the aura off a no-nonsense gentlemen, that over splashed his after shave. The extreme drydown, was a bit dirty on me as well. I absolutely love Endymion, and several others by this line...but Sartorial smells a bit like every other traditional fougere ever released. If this is your genre then get your credit card out. I am averse to smelling like the guy who wears Aqua Velva in large quantities, so I will stick with Endymion for now.
    As a lover of this line myself, Eau De Cologne, opus 1870, and Castile being my favorites.......When you mention Brut and Rive Gauche, do you mean Sartorial shares the tart, "Tonic" type notes Brut shares so prevalently with Acqua Di Parma's Assoluta, and also shares with Penhaligon's Racquets??, or do you mean in the soapiness/shaving cream type that Brut, Rive Gauche and R&G's Open, all share? Perhaps you tried the sample vial of Racquets instead of Sartorial? As I have always found Racquets to be Brut-like.

    Also, would you say the Beeswax and Vanilla make Sartorial alot smoother and creamier than Brut/Rive Gauche/Racquets, or is it still sharp/tonic-like in it's overall profile?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Sounds exciting. I haven't smelled any of Duchaufour's work for Penhaligon's and this sounds like a wild-ride. Although the metallic notes have me a bit disconcerted. Nonetheless, I'm excited to try it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Quote Originally Posted by DULLAH View Post
    As a lover of this line myself, Eau De Cologne, opus 1870, and Castile being my favorites.......When you mention Brut and Rive Gauche, do you mean Sartorial shares the tart, "Tonic" type notes Brut shares so prevalently with Acqua Di Parma's Assoluta, and also shares with Penhaligon's Racquets??, or do you mean in the soapiness/shaving cream type that Brut, Rive Gauche and R&G's Open, all share? Perhaps you tried the sample vial of Racquets instead of Sartorial? As I have always found Racquets to be Brut-like.

    Also, would you say the Beeswax and Vanilla make Sartorial alot smoother and creamier than Brut/Rive Gauche/Racquets, or is it still sharp/tonic-like in it's overall profile?
    The soapiness/shaving cream type is what I got. I have tried Raquets before and got a cologne vibe from it...but this was Sartorial I tried for sure. Yes Sartorial is creamy, and it has some clever twists (ozone, beeswax...), but the underlying bones of the fragrance were strong and clear for me. I quite like the opening, but my heart sank shortly thereafter. If you are not offended by traditional fougere style, you may well love this.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    I think what separates this from traditional fougeres is the way the fragrance mutates throughout, with the constant sweetened warmth of the beeswax throughout.

    The other thing which I particularly admire is the smooth transitions and how well it's blended throughout.

    An example of the opposite to me would be 1 Million by Paco Rabanne which is a clunky fragrance as it shifts down to the drydown. Sartorial is smoother than purified honey down velvet.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  16. #16

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    I have to admit-- I've never smelled a single scent from this line. HDS1963, your beautiful review made me want to grab a bottle ASAP. Jock/W/S, your nose is one that I trust quite a bit to be similar to mine, so I'll be sure not to get weak and buy it blind.

    So, I'm jogging in place at the crossroads...

    I have to sample this.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    How does it compare to English Fern? I assume there will be a lot of distinction, Penhaligon's would not go to all this trouble just to create a variant of something they created 100 years ago.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Quote Originally Posted by andym72 View Post
    How does it compare to English Fern? I assume there will be a lot of distinction, Penhaligon's would not go to all this trouble just to create a variant of something they created 100 years ago.
    It's nothing like English Fern at all. English Fern is VERY green, this isn't.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Thanks for the great review, HDS1963. I've already got a bottle on pre-order from LuckyScent and can't wait for it to arrive. I love smell of beeswax like that used in Anteaus. I once owned a raincoat from the UK that was coated in beeswax and had leather trim. I LOVED the smell of that jacket (which has some great memories linked to it). Might be why I love the beeswax accord.

    On another note (no pun intended), I think the whole concept of Sartorial is very cool. Sure paints a vivid picture.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNY View Post
    Thanks for the great review, HDS1963. I've already got a bottle on pre-order from LuckyScent and can't wait for it to arrive. I love smell of beeswax like that used in Anteaus. I once owned a raincoat from the UK that was coated in beeswax and had leather trim. I LOVED the smell of that jacket (which has some great memories linked to it). Might be why I love the beeswax accord.

    On another note (no pun intended), I think the whole concept of Sartorial is very cool. Sure paints a vivid picture.
    My pleasure, I keep wondering what smells so good - then realise it's me. It's a compulsive nose to skin fragrance.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    I gave it an ever so brief test from a tiny sample an SA at Lucky Scent had a couple of weeks ago.

    I've been circling Lucky Scent's Scent Bar like a shark ever since. Think they will have it next week.

    Thanks HDS1963. Been waiting for a nice write up. That "wondering what smells so good" is one of my favorite effects to get from a frag. Looking forward to this.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Great review. I am sorely tempted. . .

  23. #23

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    This might replace a certain ugly bottle that I have my eye on...
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
    Currently wearing: Rose Ambre by Fragonard

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Come on LA - how're you gonna leave us hanging like that - what's it like, whadda YOU think.


    Quote Originally Posted by StylinLA View Post
    I gave it an ever so brief test from a tiny sample an SA at Lucky Scent had a couple of weeks ago.

    I've been circling Lucky Scent's Scent Bar like a shark ever since. Think they will have it next week.

    Thanks HDS1963. Been waiting for a nice write up. That "wondering what smells so good" is one of my favorite effects to get from a frag. Looking forward to this.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Quote Originally Posted by HDS1963 View Post
    It would be fair to say that I have been waiting for this one all year since I first heard whispers of it's development back in January - actually it may have been earlier, thinking about it.
    WOW, you REALLY got into this one. One of the best writeups for any frag. ell, I'm sampling in honor of the review if nothing else.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Thanks for the lovely review. Now I am dying to smell that one!! Magic words: ozonic, metallic, lavender, cardamon, neroli, Ambre Sultan, Chergui ....( I agree about the opus 1870. The longevity was poor, but the scent was very good.)

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    ( I agree about the opus 1870. The longevity was poor, but the scent was very good.)
    How odd, of the few fragrances i've aquired as a new boy to this fragrant world the one that lasts longest on me (and is my firm favourite) is Opus 1870.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Perfumes are magical! The person I tested Opus on after all ended up with Dior Homme... Duchaufour said in an interview that he was jealous only on one perfumer the one who made Dior Homme, so I chequed it out of course! Now I have to go on a Sartorial quest :-)

  29. #29

    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    Thank you, HDS1963 for a great review. I'm very tempted. I haven't been a Ducahufour fan before but I'm hoping this will change that. It really sounds better than anything I've seen this year.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Penhaligon's Sartorial - first wearing and review

    From the list of notes it does appear that Duchafour could have pulled out all the stops and threw everything in except the kitchen sink & bath tub. I gotta try this.
    Currently wearing: 31 rue Cambon by Chanel

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