I bought the Blond a bottle of Penhaligon's Sartorial a couple of years ago. I got it for him as a surprise little pick-me-up before an important business meeting, since he already tested it once and I remembered it smelled like a million dollars on him. There's something irresistible and charming in a very classic-seeming men's fougere on all its violet leaf and lavender galore. It's even more attractive once you begin to pay attention and realize that the fragrance has an incredible depth beyond the clean and green first impression. I figured it was just what the husband needed on that occasion.
Then I started borrowing the bottle here and there. Men's cologne? Whatever. What Bertrand Duchaufour created for Penhaligon's here is an elegant and layered modern floral animalic fragrance. Sartorial was inspired by the bespoke tailors of Savile Row, their backrooms where heavy old sewing machines work noisily, the old wooden floors are waxed to perfection only to be littered with shards of wool, pieces of chalk and thread, before a young intern sweeps it all away. The steam from the irons rises through the air, as is the neroli and lavender cologne worn by many of the employees and visitors. Late afternoon light drifts in and you can see the dust particles dancing in the air before they land on the well-worn leather chair in the corner. You can hear muffled laughter from the front of the store during the few seconds the machines are silent.
I love the darker and slightly heavier notes that emerge from behind the flowers, leaves, and herbs. My chemistry amplifies anything remotely honeyed, and beeswax/honey notes become one with my skin. There's a measured sweetness there behind ample wood, and it's both a little wild and highly cultured. Sartorial is such a pleasure to wear, not to mention that it lasts for about 10 hours, something that most fougeres can never achieve, and gives me the thrill of wearing something slightly subversively.
Notes: Aldehydes, ozonic effect, metallic effect, violet leaf, neroli, cardamom, black pepper, fresh ginger, beeswax, cyclamen, linden blossom, lavender, leather, gurjum wood, patchouli, myrrh, cedar wood, tonka bean, oakmoss, white musk, honey effect, old wood effect, vanilla, amber.
Penhaligon's- Sartorial ($125, 100ml EDT) is available from Luckyscent, Penhaligon's boutiques, and Parfum1.com.
Photo of Sean Connery getting fitted for a bespoke suit via blog.triotailoring.com/