Penhaligons fragrances any good?

kidmetal24

Basenotes Junkie
Sep 4, 2013
I’m turning 39 in a few weeks and was thinking about adding one from this house. The Portraits collection sounds good but I’ve also heard great things about Babylon. I’ve tried Halfeti and unfortunately it’s not my jam but am excited to try the flankers.

Some of my favorite fragrances are DHI (currently wearing), Aventus, BdC Parfum, Oud For Happiness/Greatness, and Widian 1 from the Black collection. Based on what I like would some of you kind folks be willing to guide me into the direction of what I should try?

Going to Bloomingdales in less than a month and was going to potentially purchase there.


Thanks all!!!
 

AntonPan

Basenotes Dependent
May 8, 2008
I’m turning 39 in a few weeks and was thinking about adding one from this house. The Portraits collection sounds good but I’ve also heard great things about Babylon. I’ve tried Halfeti and unfortunately it’s not my jam but am excited to try the flankers.

Some of my favorite fragrances are DHI (currently wearing), Aventus, BdC Parfum, Oud For Happiness/Greatness, and Widian 1 from the Black collection. Based on what I like would some of you kind folks be willing to guide me into the direction of what I should try?

Going to Bloomingdales in less than a month and was going to potentially purchase there.


Thanks all!!!
Based on what you like I do recommend Constantinople, Cairo, Babylon.
 

StylinLA

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 9, 2009
Sartorial is a great fougere.

I know mostly their older stuff. Haven't tried much of their newer "portrait" scents. Some seem to garner good feedback. Hope some others weigh in on them. The scents you list show a variety of tastes, so hard to really gauge what you'll like based on that.

The original Racquets is a big favorite of mine, but like many of their scents pretty old school (and discontinued).
 
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StylinLA

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 9, 2009
Opus 1870 is excellent.

I love Castile too, but it's VERY soapy, which doesn't sound like what you're looking for... but if you want something super clean and incredibly versatile, it's great.
Allright... Mr Infectious has gushed about Castile for years and I knew it was just a matter of time...

Castile decant is on the way.

Love soapy scents and you have raved about this for years....and now N. Cal is weighing in too.
 

Andyjreid

Basenotes Dependent
Oct 27, 2008
Not particularly in keeping with what you've mentioned but I'll give another shout for Sartorial

It's a modern take on a classic barbershop fougere that is supposed to smell like the back shop of a high end tailors. I swear there is a note in it that smells like a hot steam iron. I really like it and I like Halfeti too but there a so many fragrances to try
 

ImaFedec

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 12, 2019
Sartorial is nice, but you have to like metallic notes (I didn't).
I found Lothair quite enjoyable. Performance was so so.
There are also some very nice ones in the bit more expensive Portraits line (only tested in store, don't remember the names I have tried)
 

Andy the frenchy

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 16, 2018
A lot of great frags from a great house. To name a few:

Opus 1870
Sartorial
Hammam Bouquet
Cairo
Halfeti (original)
Oud de Nil
English Fern
Castile
Douro
Endymion
Elixir
Tragedy of Lord George

Keep in mind that most of the classic looking bottle are classically structured fragrances (and for some simply benchmarks of their categories), while the family collection (with the animal heads on the cap) are mostly contemporary smelling targeting younger crowds - several scent profiles will remind of some of other brands.
 

Renato

Basenotes Institution
Oct 21, 2002
I have Opus 1870 and Castile.

I don't think some of their longevities with strength are as good as those of regular average strength designer scents.

I recommend spraying a tester on one's wrist and timing it for three hours. If it's still there with strength I'd be happy with it. If it has become a skin scent by that time (i.e. you have to stick your nose against the skin to smell it well) then I wouldn't be so happy with it.
Regards,
Renato
 

Andy the frenchy

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 16, 2018
I have Opus 1870 and Castile.

I don't think some of their longevities with strength are as good as those of regular average strength designer scents.

I recommend spraying a tester on one's wrist and timing it for three hours. If it's still there with strength I'd be happy with it. If it has become a skin scent by that time (i.e. you have to stick your nose against the skin to smell it well) then I wouldn't be so happy with it.
Regards,
Renato
At a few exceptions (Halfeti, Cairo...), most of Penhaligon's have low to moderate performance. That's not the spirit of the house.
The Portraits collection (with animal heads) are probably going to show stronger performances, as those target mostly a younger wealthy audience.
 
Jul 7, 2012
I must be lucky. I get great performance from Castile and especially from Opus 1870. 3 sprays last all day. Opus 1870 can be a bit deceiving because the woody opening is so different from the heart and base, so it's easy to be fooled into thinking the scent is gone when the almost-powdery aspect of the wood is gone... but for me, that's when the scent is just starting to get to the good part.
 

Renato

Basenotes Institution
Oct 21, 2002
I must be lucky. I get great performance from Castile and especially from Opus 1870. 3 sprays last all day. Opus 1870 can be a bit deceiving because the woody opening is so different from the heart and base, so it's easy to be fooled into thinking the scent is gone when the almost-powdery aspect of the wood is gone... but for me, that's when the scent is just starting to get to the good part.
Yes - perceptions vary.
That's why wrist testing for three hours is a must for people who are more into long lasting scents with strength.
Regards,
Renato
 
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Jun 7, 2019
Sartorial is my kind of scent. A traditional barbershop fragrance without being too old man-ish. Based on the scents you mention you like I couldn't gauge whether you'd like it, but if you get the opportunity to smell a few sprays, give it a shot.

I hear great things about The Tragedy of Lord George, but I've yet to smell it myself. It's on my short list and is supposed to smell somewhat like a high class shaving cream.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
Sartorial is my kind of scent. A traditional barbershop fragrance without being too old man-ish. Based on the scents you mention you like I couldn't gauge whether you'd like it, but if you get the opportunity to smell a few sprays, give it a shot.

I hear great things about The Tragedy of Lord George, but I've yet to smell it myself. It's on my short list and is supposed to smell somewhat like a high class shaving cream.
Sartorial is something I would expect to like looking at the notes but I’ve tried it a number of times and can never get over the dry cleaner’s / tailor’s steam press smell.

Lord George though has a sweet shaving cream scent mixed with cigar tobacco and is worth sampling. I would try and find this at discounters as it’s quite overpriced IMO.
 

Brian5701

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
May 28, 2009
Opus and Endymion are OK, but not that special for the price. I have never quite liked any of their scents enough to pull the trigger. They don't have anything unique that's FBW for me. My friend that sells the brand says Halfeti is a huge seller at the moment.
 

Andy the frenchy

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 16, 2018
I’m turning 39 in a few weeks and was thinking about adding one from this house. The Portraits collection sounds good but I’ve also heard great things about Babylon. I’ve tried Halfeti and unfortunately it’s not my jam but am excited to try the flankers.

Some of my favorite fragrances are DHI (currently wearing), Aventus, BdC Parfum, Oud For Happiness/Greatness, and Widian 1 from the Black collection. Based on what I like would some of you kind folks be willing to guide me into the direction of what I should try?

Going to Bloomingdales in less than a month and was going to potentially purchase there.


Thanks all!!!
Penhaligon's has two lines:

- a classic line, on which they built their notoriety, that they deserve, imo. It has a very 'classic English' feel. Some see them as dated, some others see them as 'art that doesn't exist anymore', or 'vintage is the new trendy', a bit like for Guerlain. This line has stayed unchanged (or possibly somewhat reformulated for some of them) and usually target mature lovers of this brand, as well as real perfume aficionados of all ages, or simply who has an artistic mindset and want to smell different than the trend that get imposed to us nowadays by marketing teams (TF, PdM...)

- a higher-tier priced line (Portraits), that doesn't carry a 'house DNA', and could have been blended by any other house that come the closet to the high performing/nice packaging but low refinement/seen many times before selling standard. It's a soulless line released to respond to current market needs, mostly new wealthy/younger crowds, the same kind of crowds that, Tom Ford, Parfum de Marly and Mancera targets.

Given your tastes (that you disclosed in the OP), I think that the Portraits line might better fit your expectations.
 

Nihilist

Basenotes Junkie
Dec 29, 2008
I’m turning 39 in a few weeks and was thinking about adding one from this house. The Portraits collection sounds good but I’ve also heard great things about Babylon. I’ve tried Halfeti and unfortunately it’s not my jam but am excited to try the flankers.

Some of my favorite fragrances are DHI (currently wearing), Aventus, BdC Parfum, Oud For Happiness/Greatness, and Widian 1 from the Black collection. Based on what I like would some of you kind folks be willing to guide me into the direction of what I should try?

Going to Bloomingdales in less than a month and was going to potentially purchase there.


Thanks all!!!

Sartorial is a winner here in my opinion.
 

RedRaider430

You smell good! 😄
Basenotes Plus
Dec 18, 2011
Lord George though has a sweet shaving cream scent mixed with cigar tobacco and is worth sampling. I would try and find this at discounters as it’s quite overpriced IMO.
I'm sampling Tragedy of Lord George right now and it's exactly as you describe, but I get a very light leather note in the opening as well, which is odd because it's not in the listed notes. This IS overly expensive, as you said, but very nice. It's a nice, classy gentleman's fragrance that dries down beautifully. It reminds me of some older Creed I've smelled, but can't think of which one.

The only Penhaligon's I have in my wardrobe is Juniper Sling. I love the smell, and fortunately, performance has never been an issue on me as it seems to be for most people. In fact, I have to watch my number of sprays.
 
Dec 28, 2018
I've not tried Castile but have been ready to blind-buy for a while; I'm sure the Spanish-soap-based vibe will do for me.

I like fougeres and had Sartorial then sold it; it disappeared off my skin too quickly (like the steam it purports to represent).

Whereas Babylon hangs around for a looong time. It's a spicy vanilla on me, quite spicy in the beginning, really impressive in this phase. There is a little of the 24 Gold vanilla/light oud thing going on here. Then, for me, it gets just a little too much for a while, almost cloying (again, for my taste) before settling down into a really nice, mellow, warm, nutmeggy Autumnal vanilla custard. I've had it on for hours now after a day of trialling a couple of vintage 70s Chypres, and it's still going strong.
If I roll my sleeve up I get a little civet from what's left of the Givenchy III EDT on my forearm, and it compliments the vanilla custard cream quite well!
 

Scentologist

Basenotes Institution
Apr 17, 2007
Agree with Hednic that Sartorial is tops for me from this house. There was one other I thought was pleasant. The fragrances come across to me as very synthetic but good performers and smell decent overall.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
I've not tried Castile but have been ready to blind-buy for a while; I'm sure the Spanish-soap-based vibe will do for me.
Imagine Acqua di Parma's Colonia (Assoluta or Essenza as well), but without any herbal midnotes or balsamic base notes. Add in more creamy white musk and something that, to me, smells like calone, and you get the idea. It's soapy in a solid bar of soap kind of way - not necessarily the sudsy, powdery type that some soapy scents can be. It's good stuff, very safe, very clean, very 'crisp white shirt in the summer'.

I'm looking forward to trying more from the house. I'm only impressed with what I've tried so far. Good stuff.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
I'm sampling Tragedy of Lord George right now and it's exactly as you describe, but I get a very light leather note in the opening as well, which is odd because it's not in the listed notes. This IS overly expensive, as you said, but very nice. It's a nice, classy gentleman's fragrance that dries down beautifully. It reminds me of some older Creed I've smelled, but can't think of which one.

The only Penhaligon's I have in my wardrobe is Juniper Sling. I love the smell, and fortunately, performance has never been an issue on me as it seems to be for most people. In fact, I have to watch my number of sprays.

I’ve found that their Portraits line (the mens side) has a lot of similarities across its entirety with slight changes and adjustments. Usually some dense resinous molecule, a traditionally masculine note like wood, spice, leather, tobacco and something to sweeten the thing up like coumarin, rose or vanilla. In essence, modern cheeky gentlemen scents that happen to be crowdpleasers and are usually well received, at least by the women I encounter and/or know.

Unfortunately Juniper Sling is one that only gets a look in hot sunny weather. I have to apply heavily and get onto clothing to try and stretch longevity and get some any kind of scent bubble from.
 
Dec 28, 2018
Imagine Acqua di Parma's Colonia (Assoluta or Essenza as well), but without any herbal midnotes or balsamic base notes. Add in more creamy white musk and something that, to me, smells like calone, and you get the idea. It's soapy in a solid bar of soap kind of way - not necessarily the sudsy, powdery type that some soapy scents can be. It's good stuff, very safe, very clean, very 'crisp white shirt in the summer'.

I'm looking forward to trying more from the house. I'm only impressed with what I've tried so far. Good stuff.
Thanks. Yes, it's only a matter of time I think! Sounds right up my street.
 

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