Originally created in 1911 for Percy Croft of the Croft Port Dynasty. Released to the public in the eighties with the name Lords. In 2004, the fragrance was named Douro after Portugal's famous port region.
In 2009 the fragrance packaging was changed and the scent was renamed Douro Eau de Portugal.
Douro Eau de Portugal / Lords fragrance notes
- lemon, lime, mandarin, bergamot, lavender, basil
- neroli, muguet
- labdanum, oakmoss, musk, sandalwood
Where to buy
Latest Reviews of Douro Eau de Portugal / Lords
As the citrus and aromatics settle, what surfaces is a heart of nuanced floral elegance. It's evocative of the finest neroli and lily of the valley soaps that gradually gets mossier and woodier in the dry down. The development is classic, yet in no way cliched, just expertly executed. Perfumer Michael Pickthall seems to really know what he is doing. Maybe I really *should* look into that curious Bluebell he composed...
Several hours in, and whispers of musk and labdanum make the skin nuzzle-worthy. Yes, Duoro has won.
Douro Eau de Portugal opens much like one would expect from the best mid-century aromatic citrus chypres marketed to men, with lemon, lime, lavender, geranium, basil, and bergamot. Sweet mandarin keeps Douro from going into bitter citrus overload, and the heart furthers the classic theme with two florals commonly found in these kind of creations. Michael Pickthall, who was the perfumer behind a lot of the Sheila Pickles-era scents by Penhaligon's, was certainly not alive in 1911, but his vision of this genre of masculine fragrance is outstanding. Neroli and a dominant muguet offer a very cologne-like segue into the classic chypre base of oakmoss, sandalwood, musk, and a heap of labadanum, leaving a crisp mature men's finish most vintage lovers will appreciate. The huge citrus lavender/geranium top with it's 4-way blend dominates long enough that the significantly simpler neroli and muguet floral heart can sort of lean against it and blend into it, creating the kind of semi-meaty accord tarragon usually affords, and here is but a ghost note. The spiky English lavender used, which also reminds me of MEM Wind Drift (1970), creates a slight metallic ring that hearkens to the much-later Penhaligon's Sartorial (2010), which itself was composed by the dubious Bertrand Duchafour, and might have in part been a nod to Douro's tailored gentlemanly demeanor. Sillage and longevity are good for a Penhaligon's eau de toilette, but average when compared to everyone else, with better usability in summer or indoors than in colder climates; I guess "Eau de Portugal" says it all in regards to what climate inspired this and the relative temperatures for which it's best-suited. The oakmoss here might let you get away with autumn use too, assuming you live in a temperate area.
Douro doesn't need fancy custom captives and aromachemical magic to make it's wearer smell properly groomed and structured, which for some might make it a superior fragrance to the later Sartorial, but since one is a chypre, and one a fougère (respectively), I find them wholly incomparable outside the few similar notes they share, and there's just a level of Penhaligon's intertextuality between them despite the lack of an intentional house note. I'm such a sucker for masuline chypres that I'm inclined to favor this one above all other Penhaligon's I've smelled, but the cold hard truth is its main draw to me is that it's similar to things I ultimately find better in this genre. Douro walks the same walk and talks the same talk as an "unvaulted" Creed with its "originally from 19XX but never mind it's actually composed by Y in Z year" gimmick, which deducts some points for a seemingly retroactive pedigree cash-in. This doesn't stop me from liking what Creeds I've sniffed, so likewise it won't stop me here, but it's a bit of ham-fisted historical bluster worth pointing out. If you look past the smoke and mirrors, Douro is a really freakin' good aromatic citrus chypre from the niche barbershop masters, worth every penny for fans of this genre that only suffers from "if you like X then you'll like this" syndrome. Seriously though, when has that ever actually stopped a lover of vintage perfumes from making a purchase? Don't answer that. Good for office or casual use, Douro is Penhaligon's at what they do best: making you smell exceedingly well-kept.