The name commonality of the J. Peterman brand with the beloved Seinfeld character notwithstanding, 1903 is a very agreeable men's cologne, somewhere in the middle, intensity-wise, between a very citrus-heavy freshie (i.e. Dior Sauvage, 4711) and a heavier fougere or spicy offering (i.e. MDCI Invasion Barbare, Chanel Pour Monsieur, Antaeus).
It's a pleasant blend of citruses, tobacco, clary sage, cardamom, leather, and olibanum. For me, the clary sage is the main standout, its semi-dirty / semi-green quality working well with the tobacco to create an outdoorsy vibe to accompany the standard citrus cleanliness.
It's a nice offering, overall, and gives a different cologne vibe from others that I've tried. Its pricing is reasonable, too, per the house site: $62 for the 100ml vintage cologne (splash) and $45 for 100ml spray cologne . I believe these are the same but the former comes with the pictured wooden container around the bottle.
Good value and a neat item that I'd not previously heard of.
Actually it is very good and manages to create a vibe of class and sophistication without being oppressive and "nichy". Top notes are not very prominent and I manage to get mostly an herbal aroma from the get go. I also think that the clary sage dominates the heart of this fragrance, and that is a good thing. The base kicks in about 2 hours later and it lasts for a while. Prominent on my skin is the tobacco and leather with just a hint of spice which is more clove-like than the listed cardamom. Overall, it lasts for a good 6-8 hours on my skin and up to 10 hours on my scarf...yes, I think this is a fall and winter fragrance and may be overbearing in warmer climate.
I was so excited to try this given all of the reviews praising it. It also seemed like every time I searched fragrances by note on here 1903 popped up in the list. I decided to take the stab and blind buy a bottle from the J. Peterman website. Oh man did I not like this one at all. As I awkwardly applied the cologne from the "classic" style bottle I was suddenly whisked back to high school gym class as this smells EXACTLY like the 'regular' version of Mennen Speed Stick to me. I didn't get much but an extremely soapy/spice/green from this one the entire time it was on my skin. Every time I went back to my arm to take another whiff I was really wanting those leather and tabac notes to be there, but alas they never showed up. I will say that the staying power is excellent, but that unfortunately is not enough to get me to keep the bottle. If more classic style/barbershop fragrances are your thing you probably will enjoy this burly man-juice quite a bit.
I will just get to the point. This is a very smoky, rich and leathery cologne with true staying power. It's rare, which is what I love about it even more. Gets compliments every time. A real winner cologne. In my top 3.
Here's another appreciative review of this retro marvel. The opening notes have crisp citrus and dusky green aspects which remind me very much of Truefitt & Hill's Grafton. A fair bit of peppery spice keeps a warm touch to balance the cool notes. These cool ones may be from the frankincense, certainly they have a coniferous, mountain-air quality. Gradually the old-school notes of leather, moss, smoke and tobacco appear. These are restrained, classy, and very very similar to Gucci Nobile. This is a well-made scent in a warm, masculine style.
Is it really the replacement for Dunhill Edition? The opening is a very sweet but surprisingly organic wood with sharp spices. It has some of the soapiness of DE, but because the spices aren't as smooth, the soap connection is weaker. The leafy, live character of the wood reminds me of that aspect of Burberry London, even though they aren't too similar beyond that. Later on, it starts to resemble potpourri a bit more as the spices mellow out and lose astringence. Perhaps some of this is also from an apple cider note, as if taken from Michael Kors? For the most part, I'm intrigued by how this brew splits the difference between the stronger, dryer 80s wood scents and the exotic but very sweet spice scents that I find so fascinating (Eau Lente, Maharadjah, Tea for Two?). Still, the base has a cold, waxy, concrete grayness (violet, I suspect, as in Narciso Rodriguez) that makes it all a bit impenetrable and stubborn, and slightly dated. Overall, definitely worth a try, though I'm not using it to replace my Dunhill Edition.