Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling review

I first heard whispers about Juniper Sling a year ago. Penhaligon’s doing a gin scent? Brilliant! Both Penhaligon’s and gin have a rich British heritage, and it almost seemed strange they didn’t already have one.

When I heard the perfumer was Olivier Cresp (of Angel fame), it was time to get a little overexcited. I just knew that I would love Juniper Sling, months before I’d even sniffed the stuff.

So when Penhaligon’s invited bloggers to the launch party at the Covent Garden boutique, with the promise of gin cocktails, I jumped at the chance. You don’t need to ask me twice if there will be gin involved!

The scent itself is bright, crisp, refreshing, spicy, smooth, and warm all at once. Opening on a tingly pepper-angelica-cardamom combination, the gin vibe is immediately apparent but it doesn’t feel alcoholic or as though you have dabbed some Gordon’s on (maybe instead some Tanqueray Ten, which is much smoother). The crispness from the juniper also quite cool and refreshing.

A blend of amber and powdery orris bring a warm, sexier side to the scent, which was truly unexpected. It isn’t overly powdery, but you can feel that powderiness softening the scent. A slightly gourmand side from the brown sugar and cherry also bring a sweetness, but it’s tempered with a suede-like leather note and vetiver.

In my opinion Penhaligon’s deserve to have a huge success with this fragrance, it is a brilliant scented image of my favourite tipple which is easily wearable by anyone. Juniper Sling is very much a unisexy fragrance.

Head Notes: Cinnamon, Orange Brandy, Angelica, Juniper Berry
Heart Notes: Cardamom, Leather, Black Pepper, Orris Wood
Base Notes: Brown Sugar, Black Cherry, Vetiver, Ambrox

[based on a sample provided by Penhaligon’s, have I mentioned I like gin yet?]

Gin-soaked Fumes

I adore gin. There really is nothing better than a good gin & tonic (ice and a slice, thanks).

I also adore perfume. So what if the perfect storm happened and a gin fragrance was launched?! Well lucky for all of us gin-soaked fragonerds, Penhaligon’s are launching just that. A full review of their latest launch, Juniper Sling, will follow in the week.

Today I want to talk about the why and how the two subjects are so wonderfully interlinked. (Also, you should read the blogpost from Louise on Get Lippie about her tour of the Sipsmith distillery. I want to go to there, too.)

Gin, to be called Gin, must be made with Juniper berries (genievre in Frenchish). Juniper has a wonderful, bright, green and tart scent. Un-shockingly they use Juniper in fragrance too. Hurrah! Aside from juniper, gin can contain various botanicals that are also famously perfume raw materials, mostly barks, roots, spices and citrus fruits, including: orris root, saffron, angelica, lime/lemon/orange/other citrus peels, anise, licorice root, cinnamon, almond, saffron, baobab, frankincense, and coriander.

As you might guess from my review of Aftelier Perfumes Frankincense Oolong, I’m on the lookout for a frankincense heavy gin.

Here are a few suggestions of Gin like ‘fumes:

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie – rain soaked crisp coriander, angelica and juniper with a hint of tonic watery fizz.

Frapin et Cie L’Humaniste – if gin were a shower gel, that somehow became a perfume, this is it. Fresh, uplifting, and so so good!

Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Men – mostly a sweet amber in the general direction of Paco Rabanne’s 1Million, however, it’s also got a fantastic smooth, soft gin note that lingers for age

Bombay Sapphire Infusion – the famous blue bottled gin also comes in fragrance form and I’m over the moon that it does. Based on their secret formula of botanicals (see the ‘fume link here?) it smells almost exactly like a gin and tonic, but not sure it’s 100% appropriate for wearing to work.

How do you feel about ‘alcoholic’ fragrances? Please let me know too if you’ve ever tried  Demeter’s Gin & Tonic fragrance!

[picture credit: thenibble.com]

Packing & Perfume

So, having uprooted myself to London (I’ve already been here a month, which has absolutely flown by) – I’m trying to get myself prepared for a trip back home to Bristol this weekend. Clothes are sorted so easily that in fact, they are practically inconsequential: a t-shirt and jeans is my “life uniform”.

You'd think I'd have taken moving as a chance to sort out my perfume drawer. But I didn't. (If you think this is bad, wait till you see the samples drawer)

Every time I am going away, even for a short period of time, I struggle to decide what fragrances to take with me. I find it excruciating, unless I have a ‘new love’ that I want to take everywhere with me. I expect I’m not the only one with this problem, especially when I have such a ridiculous amount of fragrance at my ‘disposal’ here. And then I remember those cruel games that people on Basenotes seem to enjoy playing so much come in useful. You know the ones I mean: “If your house was burning down and you could only save a one bottle of perfume or the family pet / baby, which bottle would it be?

5ml atomisers are life savers

I have so far decided on one: Guerlain Vetiver. I pretty much always have a decant of this one on me, because it’s so versatile and always hits the spot (Vetiver is another feature on the list of my top 5 perfume notes of all time ever). I expect the decision will be to take a mixture of samples to see how they play, anyway. I always use coach or train journeys for testing and writing! (Currently I’m working my way through the Huitieme Arts line, because, well, I need to get my head around them for work!)

Do you have any favourites to take with you on trips? Or do you take a different one every time?