Perfume Directory

Eau Sans Pareil (1870)
by Penhaligon's


Eau Sans Pareil information

Year of Launch1870
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 28 votes)

People and companies

Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group

About Eau Sans Pareil

Eau Sans Pareil is a shared / unisex perfume by Penhaligon's. The scent was launched in 1870

Reviews of Eau Sans Pareil

Honestly, I can't quite believe that I rated this as neutral. The original ESP is easily in my top 5 frags of all time. Truth be told, this reformulation is probably a thumbs up on it's own, but here's the deal... They have obliterated the original Eau Sans Pareil. For all of a fleeting second, one gets a hint of the ethereal, confident, mysterious, and commanding scent from 30 years ago. Yes, 1988-2018, time flies. Alas, just as quickly, a soft, powdery, dusty Sweet Tart (American candy) scent takes over and the hypnotic power of a headier, aldehydic potion becomes but a mere waft of flowery poof. What was more akin to a classic Chanel, Robert Piguet, or Guerlain (the wicked, feisty ones) is now in league with contemporarily sweeter sorts like, Prada, Arpege PH, or (forgive me) The GAP.

Having said that, it is a pleasant enough frag on it's own, but doesn't fill the original's shoes. It's in much the same way that the reformulated Esprit Du Roi is delightfully nuanced and pleasant but doesn't have the pungent thwack of the original. Frankly, Tralala feels more like a reformulated ESP than this reworking. Sure, not so much in terms of actual accords, but in overall impact- the new ESP just doesn't have the command and power of the early twentieth century innovators which original ESP referenced in feel , if not formulation.

It's pleasant. It's classy. It's transitional. It's everything beautiful, basic, and neutral one could want. Probably more decidedly feminine than the original.

18th July, 2018
Good Fun

Sadly I haven't ever sampled the original Eau Sans Pareil, which sounds sublime, however the current version is actually a whole lot of fun.

Sweet fruits dominate the initial zingy opening, but unfortunately also seem to dominate the flowery heart, which is difficult for me to pick out. The warm woody base works well to ground the scent without being at all cloying. This is a gorgeous scent for summer days and nights, but probably a bit too fruity to wear in the office if you're an XY 

Pros: a lively fruit punch
Cons: too playful for work chaps

16th May, 2013
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I can't compare to the original as I never encountered it, but I found ESP to be the nicest of the anthologie series -- the top notes are a really wonderfu melange of peppers, fruits and citrus, which are surprisingly mellow. The floral notes are mixed nicely with the woody base. Not sure how the mossy ambience is achieved, probably due to the musks used, so not strictly a chypre. I don't get the reference to Hypnotic Poison, i.e. I can't detect any mimosa/heliotropin at all. I am pleased to see it isn't categorised as 'feminine' as it does veer that way slightly and I have already purchased.
30th May, 2012
I don't like to write negative reviews. But this scent it isn't original at all. And for a parfum called "without comparison" it is a paradox! Sorry but it strongly reminds me of Hypnotic Poison. I never tried the vintage version, but this modernized version is really too fruity and sweet to be smart. Strange for Penhaligons that is such a brave company.
20th December, 2011
HDS1963 Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The original Eau Sans Pareil is an absolutely beautiful fragrance, truly elegant and evocative, combining a vague barbershop feel with a beautiful perfumed air of distinction. Woody and aromatic in feel and a very slight powderiness giving it a dry but sweet edge.

The Anthology series version is nothing at all like the original.

I am really quite shocked that Penhaligon's would issue what you would expect to be a "re-release" edition of a former scent, that bears no resemblance to it's forebearer at all. Don't get me wrong, it's pleasant enough, just not exceptional, which the original most certainly is.

So, thumbs most definitely up for the original but only a neutral for the Anthology release and a thumbs down for Penhaligon's for what I feel is a piece of commercial sleight of hand.
29th November, 2011
This is an old school complex woody-chypre with a coniferous green aromatic temperament, a fruity-floral vintage backbone (citrus, raspberry, pineapple, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine) and a soul of rooty patchouli and earthy vetiver finally civilized by musk and balsams. Yes, there are herbaceous, bitter-sweet (licorice) and almost mentholated elements around  and we are talking about artemesia, cloves and sage (may be rosemary, angelica, mint?). Some lavender, in its link with herbs, oakmoss and bergamot produces by the first whiff a sort of traditional laundry-barber shop feel (Foetidus talks about geranium- a key element in the barber-shop kind of juices- and i see the association). This feel is finally tamed by balsams and amber. The dry down is warm, woody and incensey because of a dusty-woodsy chord of musk, olibanum and labdanum in the way you finally inhale a green-rooty-incensed breath that tends to soften towards  musk and balsams and that is featured by a sort of almost dissonant orangy-rosey-creamy kind of flavour. The dissonance produces a sort of slightly viney and rosey effect that enhances the retro and royal atmosphere. Another great Penhaligon's.
10th November, 2011 (last edited: 20th December, 2011)

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Perfumes launched in the same year as Eau Sans Pareil (1870)