Portraits - The Inimitable William Penhaligon 2020

Portraits - The Inimitable William Penhaligon by Penhaligon's
Bottle Design Marc Ange, Illustration: Kristjana S Williams
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Portraits - The Inimitable William Penhaligon is a new perfume by Penhaligon's for men and was released in 2020. The scent is sweet-gourmand. The longevity is above-average. It is being marketed by Puig. Pronunciation
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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Jasmine
Heart Notes Heart NotesVetiver, Frankincense, Cedarwood
Base Notes Base NotesSandalwood, Ambrox



9.0 (4 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 28.11.2020.
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Very helpful Review    6  
Astro TV for your nose, or: William is up for it!
William Penhaligon was under the sign of Aries. According to the astuteness that is said to be the essence of this sign of the zodiac, the former master barber from picturesque Cornwall had the rare gift of being able to smell even the finest stubble from the beards of his blondest, most aristocratic customers before they entered his bathhouse. This made him truly unique in his guild and soon he was allowed by royal decree to take care of the scent and beard of Queen Victoria himself.

I just made that up (almost) everything.

Which aspects of it now correspond to the truth and which ones arise from my imagination ... doesn't really matter. I myself am under the zodiac sign of cancer - imaginative beings, just like the animal models in the wild! Running sideways, being the favourite food of all seabirds, having tasty leg meat ... great!

Oh, let's not do this. I know absolutely nothing about astrology
In any case, this entry fits in perfectly with the marketing of the portrait series of the British fragrance house Penhaligon's, which has been practised since 2016. A deeply entangled story about an English noble family, in which each offshoot of the series tells its part and contributes to the series.
Let's call it kitsch. Let's call it pastiche. Let's call it British humor. Let's call it incredibly well-functioning marketing - and for my sake, let's call it a lot of fuss over nothing. I admit it openly: I am a sucker for it - as the Frenchman says - although so far, with Lord George, only one of the portrait fragrances has managed to knock my socks off for good. But all the more violent, this is definitely one of the most beautiful and stylish men's fragrances on the market, in my opinion.

So now - because at least as much of the initial paragraph is true - the founder of this fragrance house, William Penhaligon, gets his own fragrance dedicated in this series. Now that's a statement. A fragrance with flagship qualities must be - anything else would certainly be a bitter disappointment. That would be like a traditional German car brand not naming its luxury model, but a small city runabout after its founder - unthinkable!

Oh, whoops - already happened. So I guess it does In this sense but good for a healthy expectation on my part to this fragrance.

By a wonderful coincidence, I was able to test this new release even before my official sharing mail arrived, so I could spend the last two days fragrantly wrapped in Penhaligon's founder's scent.

The nasal elixir is dark green, filled in a heavy bottle which, typical of portraits, is simply beautiful ... for my taste. But we already had the topic above - new pronunciation: I love it In the official announcement of the fragrance by the brand itself, attention was clearly focused on the expected vetiver. Green liquid, vetiver - all right, I know what's coming. So I thought at first inevitably.
And in the initial minutes the scent at least partially fulfils this pre-defined image. A soft, minimally herbaceous, very smooth vetiver, which, astonishingly enough, does not seem to correspond to my synaptic definition of a "green" scent - which I could never effectively put in writing - and thus, in terms of expectation, confronts me with a first paradox. Rather, it is a vanilla, almost gourmand impression that determines the first minutes. To make a comparison: despite the fundamental difference between the two fragrances, I can't help but think of the later course of Hermès Vetiver Tonka at this stage. Accompanied by a somewhat subtle dripping ... Rosemary?!
Soon the nominal leading actor withdraws almost completely and makes room for the impressive performance of what I consider to be the real star of this composition - the sandalwood. If a fixed, content-centered classification of the fragrance were required, my nose would undoubtedly place it in the sandalwood corner. To venture a cautious comparison: Creamy sandalwood à la Jacques Fath's Pour l'Homme, or the red aftershave from Proraso - both of which are all-time favourites in the house of Nordique.
At this stage, the fragrance will eventually linger for a few hours, but will always remain restrained - perhaps even a little too much. A stylish fragrance, a slightly sweetish, sandalwood, modern barbershop scent, absent of any fresh elements. Classifications that in spirit bring him quite close to his consecrated companion from the same court, Lord George, without showing too many similarities in the course of the fragrance though.
Cedar? Unfortunately, no. Incense? Yep, with a good dose of imagination... ...not so much. Ambroxan, often discredited in olfactory circles? God forbid, devil stuff - in this case, the latter has probably been taken back to purgatory.

For my part, I am quite taken with this new offshoot of the exclusive Penhaligon's series. Nevertheless, the wonderful ram head bottle does not contain a brew that attempts to reinvent the olfactory wheel in any way. So be it. I have enjoyed wearing it for the last two days - and I'm already looking forward to the next time.

In the meantime, I simply enjoy the pure sight of the latest offshoot of the Portraits series - and wait for Penhaligon's to perhaps soon add my zodiac sign in the form of a crab lid to the series. Maybe as Crappy Cedric... or The Cringy Cupbearer Colin. That would be something!

Thank you for your time!

PS: I simply HAD to be the very first to bring the joke from the title! I'm sorry.
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