Hammam Bouquet 
Penhaligon's (1872)

Average Rating:  61 User Reviews

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About Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's

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Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's

There are 61 reviews of Hammam Bouquet by Penhaligon's.

A very unique scent, almost difficult to describe. The opening is a big, in your face, spicy smack in the jaw and the nearest I can describe is walking into a steam room when someone has splashed some sort of essential oil?

Personally, I think this is a fantastic scent, easily the best I have sampled from Penhaligon. I guess it could be polarising but a huge hit from me.
Jul 28, 2021

Love it! Love it! and . . . Love it!!!!!!

It's just like an opening door to the classical Victorian era where masculinity and dandyism are the main principles of every gentleman in every corner of the street.

Also, . . .

If you want to feel how it's like to have confidence, strength, and firm in yourself, make sure to try it.

Mar 8, 2021

*This is a review of vintage Hammam Bouquet

Hammam Bouquet goes on with nose tingling bergamot spiked natural rose before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its heart the rose remains sans bergamot turning dark and dull, now pairing with co-starring animalic musk rising from the base with slightly aromatic lavender and subdued jasmine support. During the late dry-down the musk laden dulled rose gradually recedes, unveiling soft, slightly powdery amber in the base that takes the fore through the finish. Projection is good and longevity excellent at just under 12 hours on skin.

When I first sprayed Hammam Bouquet on skin I was quite excited, as the bergamot laced natural smelling rose open is truly quite impressive. If I could bottle that open and make it last into the heart section this review would be much more positive and enthusiastic... Alas, things go south quite quickly, as the composition's key heart section has "mortuary" written all over it with its gothic, dulled, musky rose presentation that falls flat. The late dry-down restores things back to life in relative terms, but it is really just a quite typical pleasant amber led finish that normally would go unnoticed, save for its rescue of a perfume that was previously coffin bound. The bottom line is the approximately $100 per 100 ml on the aftermarket vintage Hammam Bouquet is a relatively disappointing offering that contains quality ingredients but gives new meaning to the words "dated" and "lifeless," earning it an "above average" 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5 rating but an avoid recommendation to all except vampires.
Aug 2, 2020

A classic melange that does point to a Victorian age.
It unfolds naturally through opening and heart. Rose is gorgeously presented. The whole scent is lightly painted to be a gentleman's discreet soapiness. It dries down to a babysoft amber powder.
Jul 31, 2020

The top and heart notes seem to blend together upon first application. Sweetish, sour, and floral all at the same time. Rose and cedar stand out. There was a brief second of citrus. After the rose and cedar appeared, an iris-like note came into play. Then, a slight, dirty jasmine adds to the rose and cedar. Notes seem to bounce around here. Rise and fall. Changing tones, as it were. Always woody floral for a time. I find HB to be very pleasant, easy-going.

Much later, sandalwood. Hints of amber & musk. Pleasant and beautiful, hours later. Easy to wear, from a woman's perspective.
Mar 31, 2019

Hammam Bouquet is a pioneering cornerstone in the crafting of male-specific fragrance, at a time when everything was either a parfum meant for a lady, or a light cologne water meant for everyone. Granted, important men of noble courts had long since commissioned perfumers to make them bespoke scents, and that is ironically how Penhaligon's next masculine scent, Blenheim Bouquet, would come to pass (until it too saw sale to the public later on), but in the 1800's there was very little documented masculine-only fragrance outside of this, the works of Ed Pinaud (now Clubman Pinaud), and perhaps Fougère Royale by Houbigant, making this very significant indeed. Regardless of who what when, 1872 was a very very different time for men than even 1972, let alone today, and all perfumers were arguably "niche" since everything was on a much smaller and more personal scale back then. The very first sample of this upon an unprepared nose will reveal an entirely different concept of what suited a man's sensibilities, which is to be expected, and is vastly different than pretty much anything made in the 20th or 21st century. For starters this is primarily a skanky rose scent, since the idea of abstract fragrance wouldn't come around until Guerlain's Jicky a decade or so later, and the skank was probably the only way to "man it up". Just to think that rose was seen as the best choice for a man's toilet water in 1872 regardless of who is the perfumer nose making it is just mind blowing to me. William Penhaligon made this scent in dedication to the smell of the Hammam down the street from his first shop, where he used to be a barber for the bathers coming and going.

He had other formula ideas before creating this, that the modern company has since brought to life, but my guess is this was something he whipped up to apply on his clients after a cut or shave based on his experiences with that Turkish bath (or Hammam). This stuff isn't very "barbershop" compared to Pinaud and other things made closer to the turn of the 20th century, but it's the distinction of his early works that earned Penhaligon his royal warrants as perfumer. Hammam Bouquet is a hallmark of the thinking found in it's era of creation: florals up front, woods and/or animalics in the back, and herbals or more florals in the heart notes to muddle them up. The only thing making this a masculine scent is the aforementioned skank and lack of any real sweetness, which results in that urine-like sharpness which seeks to emulate male sweat. This skank is a characteristic many folks find off-putting now or rarely attracting, and was probably perfected in execution with YSL's Kouros a whopping 109 years later. In this pioneering Victorian-era rendition of the "acrid scent of male", rose orris is introduced with very dry lavender and then pushed way up front, then dried some more with cedar until the classic basenotes of sandalwood, musk and ambergris lay it down to rest. The whole thing just screams of a classic dandy with flowers in their 19th century sartorial attire (usually a frock or morning coat depending on what end of the era we're on), a top hat, cane, and a detached emotionless gaze judging you by the grace of your walk and manner of speech.

I find this scent enjoyable in much the same way one would appreciate a classic aria or a traditional continental dinner, but in no way shape or form is this appropriate for anything besides 19th century reenactments or maybe (and this is a long maybe), an extremely formal evening where the modern equivalent to the attire I mentioned would be worn. This stuff is just so stiff and archaic that there's absolutely nothing relaxed about it, which is part of what I find amusing when wearing it. Also be warned that the stuff doesn't scrub off skin or clothes easily, so when you wear it, you're in for the long haul. Hammam Bouquet is such a time capsule that it's the quintessential Victorian period piece of men's fragrance, challenged only by Trumper's Eucris, which was released 40 years later at the end of this era. It's the genuine article that all the new-generation hipster-targeted products wish they were, and a stoic exercise in the perseverance of fragrance history preservation that it's almost required academia to wear it once if not own a bottle. For the full effect, I suggest a nice brandy and a copy of Wuthering Heights under arm when trying this scent. Conversely, you can try wearing it outside if you absolutely want alarmed stares from everyone. Either way, it's a beautiful history lesson in a bottle that has about as much practical use as a vintage show car in the garage.
Nov 26, 2017

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