Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Soap Opera


Don't misread the title of this posting: the last thing one would expect of a Penhaligon's scent is drama. But let's face it, for all their aristocratic pedigree, soapy notes do dominate in that green and pleasant land. English Fern (1911), Hammam Bouquet (1870) and, today's subject, Douro, all draw some charm from a soapy, muguet middle note (hydroxycitronellal) which reminds one of immaculately tiled bathrooms, warm towel racks and freshly bleached towels. The problem is that, most of the time, such "fresh" notes are better suited to spring than to nascent autumn. Douro is the exception: a preeminently woodsy citrus eau de cologne which incorporates the soapy note to fine effect. Previously named Lords, it was created in 1985, and thanks to its zesty citrus opening could be dubbed one of that decade's masculine, "power" scents. But, in my humble opinion, the soap keeps its wearer firmly grounded in reality until the fairly sumptuous sandalwood and musk notes come to the fore. In Douro-land, there's little in the way of profundity, but nonetheless it provides a magnificent form of entertainment for the nose on those morning's when a quartet (in this case, the barbershop version) is preferred over a symphony. Longevity is not fabulous, sillage is restrained; but use the soap bath gel beforehand and I'd wager it lasts longer than most colognes. Now, I wouldn't mind smelling this on the handsome guy at the next locker.

4 Comments:

Blogger Divina said...

The bottle looks adorable! Too bad I have not encountered this 'in the flesh'.

October 4, 2007 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

Oh, the flesh is weak...

October 4, 2007 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Marie Fatime of Damascus said...

The other scent you mention, Hammam Bouquet, may be of interest to some readers, as "hammam" is the term for "Turkish bath."

October 10, 2007 at 5:29 AM  
Blogger Marie Fatime of Damascus said...

The other scent you mention, Hammam Bouquet, may be of interest to some readers, as "hammam" is the term for "Turkish bath."

October 10, 2007 at 5:29 AM  

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