Tag Archives: Penhaligon’s

Monday Quick Sniffs, part 35

After a long hiatus Monday Quick Sniffs are back in full power! Hope you enjoy reading them just as much as I enjoyed writing about these three below.

Petit Matin is ½ of the latest pair of fragrances by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian and his own Maison Francis Kurkdjian. This composition opens with a brisk & juicy lemon note that at first is more sweet (and a bit chilly) but within few minutes it warms up and turns a bit more acidic. Then the scent becomes more floral but still in a citrusy manner thanks to verbena and orange blossom. It’s a nice smell but there is something in the background that disturbs me. It could be a musk that combined with lemon gives me this weird, talcum-like feeling. This part is definitely less pleasant to me. Later Petit Matin releases a gentle dose of lavender from Provence. It introduces an aromatic quality to the composition as soon as it starts to effuse its aroma. This lavender note turns more herbal, it even has some green elements if you ask me. However it also has a small part that is floral. Breakdown of the notes in this new MFK also mentions hawthorn note but I have no clue how it could smell. On the other hand drydown is warm and light. It has a hint of rather transparent amber and musk that smells like a cotton sheet to me. It’s an OK perfume. It just didn’t win my heart.

Some time ago Penhaligon’s has launched Portraits Collection consisting of 4 fragrances, each of them focuses on one persona from the British aristocracy. One of them is dedicated to Lord George – described as wealthy and respected man, the archetypal patriarch. He seems to embody the noblest values of the aristocracy: virtue, respect, loyalty and faithfulness. The Tragedy of Lord George right from the start opens with a rich and alcoholic smell of brandy. It smells slightly sweet and resinous, with elements of smoke. Then tonka bean joins the composition. Instead of being creamy it smells more like a roasted nuts, with a slightly burning aroma to them. Then there is a hefty dose of woody notes. Their raw and rough character instantly brings to my mind the idea of big wooden barrels with various alcohols that are stored in some dark cellar to mature. There is also plenty of amber in this perfume. It’s more balmy but also has some rum-like sweetness to it. Looking at the perfume presentation definitely will make you notice a cap in a shape of deer head. The scent itself isn’t bad, it just lacks a little bit or originality as there are other perfumes of smoke and alcoholic beverages that smell better than this one. Yet I encourage you to try it, it’s good for current season.

L’Artisan Parfumeur and I have a very bumpy relationship. As much as I tried to love fragrances from this brand, I never succeeded to fall for it beyond Safran Troublant and Iris Pallida. My hope returned with the announcement of Bucoliques de Provence release. On my skin this perfume opens with an incredibly floral lavender. It rarely happens with lavender to smell this much floral but there you have it. Thousands of tiny purple flowers. One moment it event started veering towards violet accord. Then leather joins the composition and unfortunately at this point the perfume was lost to me. My skin muted the note to turn it very plasticky, artificial, smelling almost like a varnish. Even though it softened after some time I still couldn’t get rid of that impression. After some time iris comes to the rescue. It adds a sheer velvety touch at first but then it evolves into powdery glamour that lasts for a while. Finale is even a bit buttery. If it wasn’t for my weird reaction to leather in Bucoliques de Provence, I would probably consider buying this perfume. Not to mention that I really like the bottle design and a label of this scent.

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Montale White Aoud & Penhaligon’s Levantium

PerfumeLand is the vast ocean of fragrances. Different smells, differently colored and shaped bottles, different sizes etc. In this sea of scent it is not easy to stumble upon a situation when you find two perfumes made by different companies, that would smell so similar. Last time when it happened to me was in December 2013 when I tested Hermes Ambre Narguile and Nu_Be Helium. Recently I found another pair of similar fragrances that I would like to tell you about.

White Aoud by Montale is a perfume which starts with a very beautiful, oriental rose accord that is accompanied by a reasonably small dose of oud. The oud accord adds depth to this composition, adding a darker and more mysterious feeling to the rose. As soon as 5 minutes later this blend becomes very, very warm and rich due to the use of saffron accord. The warm spiciness emanates from White Aoud, spreading the cosy and comforting aura around the wearer. The note of saffron also has a huge impact on rose note, making it more jammy and kind of gourmand. A generous dose of vanilla emphasizes the delicious smell of red rose petals. After some time rose and saffron become weaker but they don’t disappear completely. They just sit on a solid base created with sandalwood. Sandalwood accord in Montale White Aoud is very smooth and creamy, it’s like one big fluffy cloud, like a white plush bear you want to hug. The density of the perfume and its Middle-Eastern character are highlighted with the use of luminous amber and resinous labdanum which together form a very pleasant concoction balancing between light and darkness. In the drydown, a little bit of cardamom and jasmine mingle, surrounded by the woody smell of vetiver with earthy side note of patchouli. As much as I don’t like Montale as a brand, because I don’t like their aluminium bottles and their ADHD when it comes to launching new things, White Aoud is heck of a great perfume which performs great in the cold weather. And as characteristic for montale, the sillage is quite enormous and the lasting power is very good, providing 12 hours of scent.

On the other hand we have Levantium, a recent launch from Penhaligon’s. This perfume is one of the 3 compositions in Trade Routes Collection. This perfume starts with a significant rose accord blended with sandalwood. The feeling of these two is a little bit more woody and dry at the beginning but after a while it also becomes more creamy. Then, after 15 minutes we have a small dose of saffron (much smaller than in Montale) and a bit of rose. The rose note is also weaker than in White Aoud but it’s still kept in a similar, oriental manner with the depth and dark side created with oud note. Myrrh and cardamom introduce balsamic and gently spicy facets that settle in the background of this new Penhaligon’s composition. There’s also a nice and warm cloves note, it adds a little bit of a gingerbread feeling to Penhaligon’s Levantium. Ylang-ylang and jasmine bring more intensity to flowery notes, allowing them to stand over the oud accord. There’s also a bit of amber for more light and elegance. A little bit of vanilla, bergamot and peach mark the finale in the drydown, after a few hours, giving a powdery sensation as an effect. Additional notes are angelica, wormwood, cedar and guaiac wood. Levantium is a great perfume as well, this one puts more emphasis on woods and resins rather than on rose and spices, especially the saffron. This fragrance has a moderate projection and lasts for around 8 hours, later it tends to stick close to the skin.

Two perfumes with very similar compositions, yet the final effect doesn’t make White Aoud and Levantium copies of each other. One perfume is more intensive and rich, the other one is drier and more woody. Both are worth checking out and it’s up to you which interpretation suits you in a better way. To me it was the Montale that smelled better to me, mostly because of the intensity of rose and saffron, and I just love a combination of these two notes. Which one sounds more tempting to you?

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