Sunday, May 27, 2012

Molton Brown- Londinium (Navigations Through Scents)

Molton Brown is not the first perfume house to try and capture the essence of a city, London in this case, through fragrance. The limited edition Londinium- Navigations Through Scent is decribed on Molton Brown website as:
May Contain Eccentricity.
Take in a city full of contradictions.
Street style and Royal Parks. Malt whisky on ice.
The flash of coloured lining in a Savile Row suit.
Playful. Charismatic. A capital blend.

Is that how you smell London? I'm not sure if Londinium is my London,  a city I love beyond reason (forgive me, Paris, but I left my heart in Piccadilly Square). But this doesn't change the fact that Molton Brown is giving us a really nice fragrance.

The opening is all bergamot and juicy tart fruit. It's not sweet at all, and actually has a bracing green streak running through it. The greenness is a main theme in Londinium, even as it dries down and some resins emerge. There's something almost smoky underneath, and also a sticky chewy element, but Londonium never loses a green freshness that reminds me a little of the dry-down in Polo (the way it smelled twenty years ago, that is).

The first couple of times I tried this Molton Brown scent the weather was on the cool side and the fragrance never fully developed. However, there's a little more to it in the heat, and when I spray enough, the longevity is pretty decent. While Molton Brown labeled Londonium as a unisex scent, I actually find it more masculine. I enjoy it fine enough, but I have a feeling that my skin is not doing it proper justice because it sweetens the perfume considerably. The husband found it bland and unmemorable. I understand why, but still think that Londinium is nice for what its is.  I wouldn't object to smell it around me,  and one doesn't need to be British to pull it off.

Notes: bergamot, berries, myrrh, oakmoss, incense, aged malt whiskey.

Londinium-Navigations Through Scents by Molton Brown ($140, 1.7 oz) is a limited edition fragrance. Available from Molton Brown boutiques and

Fashion photo by Georges Dambier, London, 1959
London by Drakosha-too on Livejournal

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