Perfume Directory

Castile (1998)
by Penhaligon's

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Castile information

Year of Launch1998
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 203 votes)

People and companies

HousePenhaligon's
Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group
Parent Company at launchGlynn Manson and Peter Kedge

About Castile

Castile is a masculine fragrance by Penhaligon's. The scent was launched in 1998

Castile fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Castile

I can see why others like this, but it did not work for me. This frag has 3 distinct stages. The opening does have that neroli and fresh green/soapy vibe, followed by a distinct powdery middle stage, followed by a vetiver drydown and skin scent. The neroli only lasts an hour, maybe 2 at most, so if neroli is what you desire I would skip this one. It's more about the powdery vetiver finish, which will linger for many hours. It is very reminiscent of Tom Ford Grey Vetiver by the end, with almost none of the neroli remaining. Oddly if you spray this on a piece of paper and smell it directly, you get 90% powder and almost none of the other notes. So my recommendation is you really need to sample it on the skin over a period of hours to get the full effect. If you are a fan of scents that evolve over time you may like this, but unless you like all 3 of the stages described above, I would skip or sample only. It becomes a skin scent by hour 4-5 so overall I would not consider this a strong performer.

There are much better neroli frags out there, and I would steer you toward Profumum Roma Neroli and Zegna Essenze Mediterranean Neroli first, followed by Tom Ford Sole di Positano and Neroli Portofino.
30th May, 2020
A nice clean neroli cologne - very similar to AdP Essenza but less intense and with more citrus that makes it overall more balanced, refined and interesting. Thereís lots of neroli fragrances out there but itís the blend with the citrus that sets with one apart. Itís become a real favourite and daily go-to for the office. Iím a big fan! Donít over spray though - it looses all the subtlety that makes it special!
14th January, 2020 (last edited: 17th February, 2020)
In the style of neroli based, classic "colognes", Castile is a sure winner. What makes it special is the twist of rose in the middle, that I feel is what prolongs performance for the better. Castile is an extremely long lasting freshy, with at least 8 hours, and 6 of those house going strong, and 4 of those hours projecting like a beast.

I disagree that this will not fill a room, because it absolutely will. Be careful on the trigger. I over-sprayed with 6 sprays the first time (I had expectations of most of neroli fragrances with poor performance), I think 2 would have done the job well.

Well done Penhaligon's but a bit overpriced. This should cost no more than $70 a bottle imho.
19th November, 2019
A wonderful barbershop neroli scent, this actually smells like Castile soap from Spain. It is a simple combination of orange blossom, petitgrain, musk, and rose, and reminds me a lot of both Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza and Acqua di Parma Colonia. Longevity is also fantastic, with good projection for over 4 hours. I've smelled most of the Penhaligon's line, and this one was my favourite by far. There isn't really much more to say about it other than that this is one of the best masculine neroli scents out there.

5/5
19th April, 2019
Similar to other cologne style fragrances with its fresh, citrusy neroli and petitgrain opening that drys down to a soapy musk. There is, however, a nice deviation that happens shortly after the fresh, green opening...some nice, dry sweetness from the orange blossom appears and starts to build a bridge to the clean musk finish.

While it does have better performance than most in the genre, itís not something that will fill a room or only needs to be sprayed lightly. This can be sprayed quite liberally due to its pleasant nature and light-handed projection. Longevity is fine on my skin, pushing into them 6-7 hour range.
08th February, 2019
Castile (1998) is an exercise in extending the life of the classic eau de cologne formula by the folks at Penhaligon's, much in the same way Eau de Guerlain (1974) was Jacques Guerlain's attempt at the very same several decades prior, but Castile's unknown perfumer tries to suspend the lightness of the neroli profile in time rather than just seguing into heavier base notes for sustain like Eau de Guerlain. Castile takes it's name from the Spanish countryside and more succinctly, from the soap made in that region, which is often scented like a classic eau de cologne anyway with a clean neroli head. The fact Castile is themed this way brings it up directly against the eponymous Mugler Cologne (2001), which would appear a few years later and also be themed after fancy milled soap Thierry Mugler tried recalling from memory, and Mugler's take came to dominate the "extended cologne" segment over Penhaligon's scent or the much-older Guerlain entry, plus came in enormous quantities as if it were just a cologne. Penhaligon's isn't a designer on the scale of Mugler and just doesn't have the same market footprint as them, but I find Castile's take on "soapy orange blossom" best among what I've tried, as it's longer-lasting than the others of its genre in addition to being more realistic with the usage of neroli oil. While not unknown, Castile feels like a veritable "secret weapon" by comparison, since it isn't even the most known of Penhaligon's creations. If you don't like eau de cologne themes or orange blossom for that matter, you should probably stop reading this now and save some time.

Castile opens up with (surprise) neroli, and lots of it. The orange blossom isn't the only facet of the plant to make it's way into the scent however, but more on that further in. The neroli is very potent and natural-smelling here, far beyond the quality of most outside Penhaligon's fellow niche peers or the really venerated cologne classics, asssisted by a bit of aldehyde. Most higher-end cologne-inspired scents don't really justify their price often, but the staying power of the star note here makes it worthwhile to me. A very nice petitgrain joins the neroli to dry it and make it more piquant, before a middle of bergamot and rose enter the freshness fray. The bergamot further adds dryness due to it's generally stark nature, but orange peel also makes a show, adding a tad bit of juiciness back like a tit-for-tat exchange with the bitter bergamot on display, hiding much of the rose in the process. The base is the only real usage of synthetics in Castile, since iso e super and white musk appear in large enough quantities to anchor that undying aldehyde-assisted neroli/petitgrain top to the skin, with just the faintest wisps of cedar near the end to attempt sweeping the iso e under a rug. Anyone wishing that citrus top notes in cologne lasted forever will certainly love this, and you'll smell beautifully of fine Castile soap for hours and hours into a summer day. This stuff was literally built for summer to my nose, and can be worn by anyone, like most traditional eau de colognes new or old. This may come as a shock but Castile is also among the stronger non-parfum selections from Penhaligon's, bucking their notoriety for makinf fragrances of fleeing sillage. You'll get recurring plumes of top notes all day without having to spray on fabric, which is really awesome.

Castile was released at a time where Penhaligon's hadn't quite reestablished itself as a desirable upscale niche barbershop like it once was and now is again, having been sold off by Sheila Pickles to The Limited, after using Penhaligon's as a springboard for her own career and keeping them on life support long enough to limp through the 70's and 80's, only to see The Limited off-load it to Glynn Manson and Peter Kedge by the time this came around. Penhaligon's at that stage was betwixt living much in the past as a floundering niche perfumer with new takes on it's own older themes, and attempting a few awkward stabs at then-modern 90's styles to inject relevance to the brand, causing many a scent from them at the time to be received with mixed success. Castile is thankfully one of the former "back to basics" scents from this period which worked instead of coming across as tired, and methinks it's because they looked outside their UK heritage to concoct it, since it is a German eau de cologne style inspired by the Spanish soap which was scented like said German cologne, presaging the aforementioned Mugler variety in the process. Again, how you feel about Castile reflects how you feel about the genre since it does nearly nothing new besides some chemical parlor tricks to sustain the wear time, but sometimes small tweaks are all it takes to make ordinary into extraordinary. I think Castile is near-perfect for temperature flare-ups in otherwise mild Pacific Northwest summers, spring nearly anywhere else it gets truly hot, or after bath at home any time of year, maybe after using actual Spanish-milled soap after which this is themed. Castile is just a well-done comfortable and surprisingly long-lasting eau de cologne for lovers of Neroli, nothing more and nothing less. Splendid!
15th August, 2018 (last edited: 20th August, 2018)

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