Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour
When I first dabbed my wrist with Sartorial, the perfume seemed vaguely familiar; a semblance hard to match – perhaps to one of Channel’s… Oddly, and not really, Egoïste came to my mind, but in a colder palette of coloured scents. Having it applied the other day for the second time, nothing of this kind came to my mind. Hmmm, strange how our associations work. The perfume is pleasant in its outset, but not rocking. After 15-20 mins something entrancing begins to happen, enough to captivate my attention. The marketing narration behind this fragrance is a story of a London’s Seville Row street of tailor shops, ringing the bells of ‘traditional English gentleman’ couture, and evoking all those well rehearsed (and to me rather tired) imaginary connotations. Is that profiling actually suitable and enriching the experience of sniffing Penhaligon’s Sartorial? Well, strange to say, it does fit the bill, and although it is a card that plays to the perfume benefit, it is also one that does not engage me a great deal.
So now something of that sartorial scentography begins to unfold. The fragrance oscillates in the realm of fresh linen (very gentle and more a hint than a fully developed facet), ironed freshly-dried cotton shirts, plus some hints of ‘ozonic and citrusy freshness’… It would have been acceptably gratifying formation for me, if not after a longer while a harsher and just not very exciting white musks of ‘freshness’ of the contemporary utility products, combined with that traditionalist sensation of the ‘gentlemen’ of the British Victorian era, took over the Sartorial’s profile… It just does not appeal to me. This phase really spoils the whole composition, and especially its upcoming developments in the base.
Towards the end of the day, the ‘old wood effect’ molecules liberate themselves, and Sartorial’s gentle and rather compelling rendering of the ‘wood’ theme unfolds. It really is a shame that this unpleasant, earlier stage occurred, as it completely prejudged me, and I cannot shake it off my memory, even when the something much more compelling has finally arrived. The ‘wood’ in this Penhaligon’s fragrance is of the old cupboard facet: dusted, dry, neglected, and like if it was left on its own for many, many months…
Notes: Aldehydes, Ozonic Effect, Metallic Effect, Violet Leaf, Neroli, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Fresh Ginger // Beeswax, Cyclamen, Linden Blossom, Lavender, Leather // Gurgum Wood, Patchouli, Myrrh, Cedarwood, Tonka Bean, Oakmoss, White Musk, Honey Effect, Old Wood Effect, Vanilla, Amber
Nose: Christian Provenzano
In a nutshell (and not a riveting one): Quercus smells to me as a ‘manly’ cologne from the barber’s shop in the 1970s Britain… I reckon it may be positive and welcoming description to many, but it is not, regrettably, to me. Nothing in this eau de cologne inspires and makes me smile a moment… Just too much of that ‘Englishman of the past’ sort of feel: too traditionalist, yet again as Sartorial, and too classic in a not spellbinding at all, sort of way…
As it develops, Quercus has that soapy, clean, ozonic musks flowing way too generously, and it all just comes across to my nose as flat and unattractive. The composition reminds me too much of a cheap men deodorant’s ‘sport freshness’, and there is nothing that I can do to like it or even to remain neutral. Sadly, that facet is it just as disappointing as Amazingreen by Comme des Garçons (to which all the above written applies).
Notes: Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Bergamot // Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Cardamom // Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Galbanum, Musk, Amber
Other perfume reviews of Penhaligon’s Quercus and Sartorial:
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