30Roses, that makes more sense.
Peoneve is more of a botanical fragrance than a perfume that reminded me of my mother’s french rose water. It’s light, transparent and true to nature. Whether that nature is a rose or peony, I can’t decide because my brain flip-flopped throughout. It’s fairly linear with few surprises and there’s nothing off-beat, artsy or weird about it. It’s what I would expect from this 150-year-old English perfume house. It’s not what I would have expected from a french nez.
By hiring Olivier Cresp, I was wondering whether Penhaligon’s was looking to shake things up and reach a different corner of the market, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. He hasn’t gotten all frenchy on us and shown-off with a lab concoction of 100+ ingredients. Whether he received strict guidelines or he purposefully maintained respect for the Penhaligon history, OC successfully reigned in any primal french urges. (FYI, my history with Penhaligon’s is limited, knowing only Orange Blossom, Violetta and Blenheim Bouquet, all likable, but lean, restrained stick-figure scents compared to the opulent bodice-busters from across the channel.) [This is actually his second commission for them, so he apparently passed the test with Juniper Sling.]
-1st sniff from under the cap: Lightly peppered rose
-1st minute on skin: Brief, sharp burst of mashed greens and a squirt of natural fresh orange peel. A hint of neroli.
-Five-15 minutes: Receding greens giving way to rose water, so light and clean it’s potable. A rose scent from a new, fresh bloom, not that of a dense, mature flower. Watery, not oily.
-30 minutes in and the strength is still climbing, so keep this in mind when applying, especially if atomized.
-30-45 minutes: Fresh green vetiver emerging, not a bale of the dry, smoky stuff
-2hrs in: Rose skin scent
Penhaligon’s lists “Cashmere wood” in the base. I could only find something in the IFF material database called Cashmeran (insert registered trademark symbol), described as “Diffusive, spicy, musky-like odor with strong floral reinforcement. Powdery, velvet nuance. Long lasting. Aromatic, apple, earthy, woody, red, fruit pie.” The associated “ScentEmotion” -->“mystical”.
This might not have been the same ingredient, because I didn’t get any musk and I certainly didn’t see any unicorns.
Peoneve tapped in to distant memories of a friend who wore YSL’s Paris. There’s also a similarity (albeit, de-tuned) to the recently tested Estee Lauder Pleasures Intense in the Aldehyde Pass.