Sartorial 
Penhaligon's (2010)

Average Rating:  74 User Reviews

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Sartorial by Penhaligon's

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About Sartorial by Penhaligon's

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Penhaligon's
Fragrance House

Penhaligon's says:

A fragrance for a new generation of gentlemen, inspired by the scents of the workroom at Norton & Sons, bespoke tailors of Savile Row.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Sartorial by Penhaligon's

There are 74 reviews of Sartorial by Penhaligon's.


Metal usually has a smell only when our skin touches it. It's a reaction, it's what our oils, perspiration, essence, does to its surface. The breakdown of these elements is what creates that smell. One component that is produced is octenone, which humans can detect at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion. It's about contact. We also see this contact in play with the use of a hot iron when it hits a shirt: water, heated conductors, perhaps some butyric acid from traces of residual sweat. Contact.

Bertrand Duchaufour endeavored to capture this essence of contact on metal through this "hot steam iron" accord and I do get that sensation and some spray starch from wearing a crisp Oxford shirt. That satisfaction that I would feel once upon a time when I had to dress up for work, commute, and appear in an office, which is now long in the rearview as I now permanently work from home. Earthy, sweet beeswax and dusty lavender enhance this effect and as it all unfolds a linden blossom stirs up emotions: goodbye summer.

There are echoes of my old man splashing on Brut, but let me be clear this is far from a facsimile of that, because there is the whole atmosphere, the honeyed glow that is the promise of a fresh day, a sparkle in willing eyes, some loose change in the pocket, some music playing to energize: Michael Penn's "No Myth" plays. Tying up some fine leather wingtips, throwing on a cap, and I am out the door into the wild human expanse. Looking for contact.


I smelled this many years ago at a local small boutique and I can't get it off my mind since then. It struck me as very deep and contemplative. I've never been to a tailor shop before so I don't have that association to make, but it took me to a library stacked with old books floor to ceiling with no windows in an old damp building full of wooden decor. It placed me in that state of mind and I kept sniffing it because it gave me the strongest sense of nostalgia that I ever got from a fragrance.

I haven't bought it, simply because I have to be in a special state of mind to wear it - perhaps when I want to sit down with myself and think deeply and with brutal honesty. I find it hard to be social wearing Sartorial because it will probably wipe the smile off my face.

So because of how powerful this fragrance is, I'm giving it a thumbs up. That doesn't mean that it's right for me, because I can't think of many occasions when I can wear it comfortably. Definitely try it before buying.


A lush, lavender forest that is both slightly harsh and fresh out of the shower clean. Sartorial has strongly vintage vibe, and authentic barbershop smells you can find, and it's aromatic qualities, sweet and wet talcum powder vibe, subtle herbals and smooth over all effect declares it one of the best of it's genre.

Sartorial opens up sharp lavender with a hint of metallic and sweet notes, and goes ahead taking along it's sweetness of the opening, but never forgets to get rid of that sticky syrupiness, and dries down to a simple yet comforting and alluring aroma with oakmoss and leather. I also find ylang ylang and some sweet vanilla like fresh note ( which i think is coumarin) the dominant notes. A well done modern take on a classic formula.


I disagree that At the Barber and Sartorial are so similar that you don't need both. You probably DON'T need both, but I felt At the Barber was an oily barbershop tonic which, while pleasant, is 100% being at an old style barbershop, while Sartorial is the amazing and wonderful smell of steam-pressed high end linen shirts; metallic, starchy, slightly chemical, clean. Then the dry down brings the smooth barbershop scent, with green wood, soap, and that faint metallic note still. Sartorial is somehow outdoorsy and soapy at the same time. While it is arguably very very masculine, in the starched white dress shirt and barbershop way, I adore it and wear it myself. Not unisex, but easily enjoyed by anyone. And to some degree, soap is unisex so the clean starchy soap metals of this melange are sure, unisex. Why not?


After a brief aldedydic-metallic blast, a violet leaf, a neroli note (soft and smooth), some cardamom and a pepper note combine to a rather unique impression that is full of discreet fresh and slightly herbal spices. at times touches of ginger give it a slightly crisper touch. An intriguing start.

The drydown brings out floral elements, mainly a pleasant lavender, with linden blossom and tins of beeswax, which all contribute a discreet background sweetness.

The base adds a smooth leathery undertone together with wood notes, mainly cedar and a touch of gurgum presumably (it is rather weak), with the herbal-spice note being enhanced by a myrrh impression that combines with a darker patchouli. This patchouli is rather soft without any harshness or edges. The sweet side is further affirmed by a discreetly honeyed tonka together with a set of white musks, but these find a counterbalance in the emergence of a restrained ambery oakmoss with an underlying carpet of white musks underneath. Towards the end I get a bright and somewhat soapy background impression.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection, and eight hours of longevity on my skin.

The first half of this spring scent presents an interesting and quite various array of a combination of elements, with the softly spicy character the main constant that holds it together. It is only in the base that the name appears more relevant, with the leather and woods alluding to the tailoring profession's premises.

The first part is the more original part with its interesting twists, whilst the second part, which displays the sartorial theme, is the more predictable, traditional, and also the more generic one, with many of the vast array of ingredients unable to develop fully - "the more the merrier" appears to be the motto here. Some of the base ingredients are of good quality though. Overall though an nice creation. 3.5/5



If you like classical fragrances you might like this. It smells similar to how some classical smelling white soaps are scented. That's in the opening. More or less an everything but the kitchen sink thing.

In the drydown the beeswax becomes more and more prominent. The honey is background only. It does steer things away from the kitchen sink combo.

A muskiness as can be found in Grey Flannel also joins in.

That does make for a nice enough scent all in all but it's definitely not for me.

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