English fern is the first cologne I ever bought as an adult, and its got a strong and memorable scent that's much like an old-time barbershop. The geranium is very strong and quite sharp and pleasant, and it smells quite clean--but I'm not sure if that's the impression I want to give all day.
I bought this again off eBay trying and hoping that it wasn't as strident as remembered. It's just bloody awful, harsh and astringent. Now I remember why I poured half of my old bottle down the sink a few years ago. What on earth possessed me to purchase this again?
I love Penhaligon's fragrances and have yet to find one that smelled bad on me or clashed with my body chemistry. I really wanted to like this one because it's one of their older fragrances (1911), but for me the Geranium comes on way too strong, and geraniums have never been my favorite floral scent. Like everything Penhaligon's makes, it's well made and superior quality. If you love, and I mean really LOVE, the smell of geraniums, I'd give this one a try.
Let me start by saying that I am a fan of this house. I have been pleased with most offerings from Penhaligon's. I'm especially drawn to their tradition and history. So, I was really hoping to like English Fern as it is one of their scents that has stood the test of time having been introduced in 1911.
English Fern's opening is a extremely bold pine/geranium. These top notes are almost repulsive to my nose. I can usually find redeeming qualities in most fragrances but EF doesn't give me that opportunity as the pungent top notes dominate and stay throughout the dry down.
It is one of those fragrances that makes me shake my head and wonder how it has stayed in production for so long when others are discontinued after such short runs. To each his own, I guess. This one is not for me.