Just utter Juniper Sling and find yourself playfully laughing at its jovial, throwback style recalling 1920s London's Bright Young Things consuming gin and recklessly dancing the night away. Indeed "the fragrance that put the ROAR in the 20s" is the new Penhaligon's tag line in their ingenious "mock-umentary" which succeeds their Monty Python-esque previous cartoon film for Sartorial (At this pace, I think we also have an advertising phenomenon on our hands!). Sucker for spicy woodies that I am, I find myself enjoying the trail left by it.
There is also another Ellena segment fused in the new fragrance, that peppery-woody facet of Poivre Samarkande, exploiting the properties of Iso E Super so pointedly. Juniper Sling unites the two elements (herbal clarity and low-hum woodiness) into a coherent structure and adds a third pillar; a slight vetiver sweetness plus synth woods. Sweet accents in such a composition might throw the whole off (after all, Ellena's compositions withstand so well and possess such clarity exactly because they're unsweet), but the accomplished Cresp holds his own and balances the act in a likeable, not-too-daring style.
Juniper Sling is characteristically laced with angelica and juniper, the herbal qualities allying with spicy notes of a somewhat warmer character (a pepper & pomander accord). The effect is crisp, groomed-clean. Lots of terpenic linalool in the scent exhibits a light floralcy that is spiced up.
This is contrasted with sensuality coming from the skin-like effect of a suede accord and from the cardamom; indeed cardamom has amongst spices a most sensuous, skin-like, warm aroma. Essentially traversing a low, soft develpment arc, Juniper Sling retains a low-hum vibrancy on skin, very woody and quite musky (clean musk), that verges on sweeter, more gourmand nuances as time passes; there is a pleasant licorice note surfacing, coming from vetiver. This is not the cold stones & musty roots note in hardcore niche vetivers (see Turtle Vetiver or Vetiver Extraordinaire), but rather the warmish, intimate drydown of Guerlain's Vetiver.
My fragrance testing came from a splash on vial, so the hum was low indeed, therefore I would suggest that in order to capture its full effect and much of the spicy top notes as well, you should opt to test with a spray.
Although technically perfectly unisex, the fragrance might appear more spicy-woody masculine than usual for women who embrace warmer notes (or ultra femme fragrances like Penhaligon's Amaranthine). I for one find it a quietly enjoyable tipple that won't get me drunk, but I would have liked it to be more daring and polished.
Two deluxe samples for our readers, answering these questions: 1) What is it that makes you cross/not cross the sex divide in fragrances? 2)Do you have a favourite opposite sex marketed fragrance to wear for yourself? Draw remains open till Tuesday 4th midnight.
Notes for Penhaligon's Juniper Sling:
Top: angelica, cinnamon, orange and juniper berries;
Heart: cardamom, orris root, leather and pepper;
Base: vetiver, cherry and sugar.
Juniper Sling is an Eau de Toilette and is now available to buy online and in all Penhaligon's stores.
photo of Bill Murray and Theresa Russell in the 1984 remake of The Razor's Edge film via photobucket
In the interests of disclosure, I sampled the new scent via a promo