Anyone who has thoroughly explored a liquor store has likely seen bottles with the word "solera" sprinkled on the label. Suppose the aging solera system is a foreign concept to you. In that case, it's easy enough to understand, primarily if you paint a picture of the process in your head. A solera system involves rows of barrels stacked on top of each other. The lower row of barrels, called the solera, contains the spirit that has aged the longest. When it comes time to bottle some of that spirit, it's taken from this lower row of barrels, say about a third of the content. Then, part of the liquid from the row above is transferred to the barrels of the rows below. And so on, up to the upper barrels, filled with brand new un-aged spirit. The complete system can develop, and the process repeats itself repeatedly.
But what does the solera method have to do with this perfume? Simple. There is a woody alcoholic mention of brandy among the ingredients, which releases intensely during the bouquet's opening. This aged brandy accord immediately made me think of the expensive bottles of liqueur produced with the solera method. Changing the subject, I started my Penhaligon journey with Trade Routes Collection - Agarbathi
a few months ago. I recently had a little bit of luck and bought Lord George decant blindly, only for the presence of distilled and soapy accords. Was it worth it? Absolutely yes. Would I do it again? Yup! And I'll explain why.
As soon as I spray it, I let the greenish juice melt with my skin, and a wave of cask liquor aroma slowly unfolds. It is the impression of a warm, mature, and luxury brandy aged in American oak barrels; I imagine a Cardenal Mendoza, Lepanto Oloroso Viejo, or a Carlos "I" Solera Gran Reserva. Other than the nuances above, what struck me the most is not listed on any of the websites or immediately on the Penhaligon website. And that thing is woody, and not just a hint, a good amount. A nice dry note, somehow fumy, maybe cedar? The underlying woody nuance is dry, smoky, woody, very close to the aroma of pencil shavings. When the initial booze bomb subsides - it's almost gone in the first few minutes - the scent takes a turn that I'm sure I've encountered before. I'm not surprised at how much I like this one. I think it might have something to do with the barber vibe, particularly early on. It has a kind of creamy sweetness, which could be tonka, and it certainly isn't cloying.
Lord George is a stunning modern twist on a classic fougére. While wearing it, something sharp about it reminds me of pelargonium. Still, overall, the scent is very woody and sweet. It's like a geranium leaf floating in an aged brandy glass. The fresh soapiness of neroli paired with sweet, sexy, and smoky undertones from tonka beans provides just the right amount of depth and intrigue. When that distinctive flavor lingers and mixes with the drink, then it's at your fingertips. Soap is like barber foam, the one my father made every morning by dipping the shaving brush first in hot water and then in the soap bowl. Just think of cutthroat razors and old-fashioned aftershave in the best possible sense of the word. It is chiefly delivered, and there is no question for me that anyone wearing it exudes class. The more the perfume enters the intermediate phase, the clearer the resemblance to Amber pour Homme Eau de Toilette
the original before reformulation. The two smells share the same soapiness and dustiness. It is precisely the cologne I had in mind when I first smelled the smell. From this moment on, however, it is as if we were at a crossroads: the two perfumes each continue on their path, moving further and further away from each other without ever finding each other again.
As it dries, it gets slightly less creamy and soapy and a little more amber and musky, and miserably that drydown happens sooner than I'd like. It is a sweet amber with salty and musky undertones. And this sweet, boozy amber lingers on my skin for hours and hours. The base of the booziness and soapiness is a soft tonka biscuit that hints at a dark caramel or molasses, with a hint of freshly baked bread.
My final word, success. An exquisitely blended cocktail of alcoholic, amber, and woody nuances. From the first note of perfume comes an overwhelming sensation of splendor and luxury. It is precise of the aristocracy, which takes you to the days of luxurious royal concerts, luxurious palaces, and classical music, as if you were among the guests at that elegant ceremony, at that moment. This perfume blends elegantly and profoundly on the skin; it is pretty linear, although it goes through three distinct phases: alcoholic, soapy, and mushy during its growth. While it may be a little overwhelming at first, it soon becomes something more pleasant, a scent closer to the skin, intimate. I don't get great longevity and not even a ton of projection. But I don't mind at all. Traditionally leaning towards the masculine flavor, I find myself attracted to the fresh, soapy, and sweet notes that develop over time on my skin. A perfect partner to wear from day tonight. However, if you want to layer it on any other oriental woody scent, it doesn't clash in the slightest. I should reserve this fragrance for the best, preferably in the evenings, although the longevity could be better. The fragrance is surprising, rich, dark, smoky. I would have no problem wearing it in the office, on a date, or just around town. Just don't go to the club with it.
I base the review on a decant I have owned since November 2021.