Savoy Steam by Juliette Karagueuzoglou for Penhaligon`s 2017


Ainslie Walker of Scentsmith 


Hello Australian Perfume Junkies!

It has been a while since I have written a piece for you and I hope you’re all fragrant and well.

Last week I attended the Australian launch of Savoy Steam by Penhaligon’s at Sydney’s Langham Hotel. Hosted by Penhaligon’s Australian distributers, Agence de Parfums, it was a beautiful breakfast event with a fitting quaint English feel. There were plenty of familiar faces and I was lucky to be sitting on Michael Edwards of Fragrances of the World’s table. (NB Hot gossip from his world is that at the end of this year he will be moving back to Sydney permanently, yippee!!)

We shared homemade pastries and teacakes over tea and coffees in a ‘high tea’ style. Tables were set gorgeously with personalised calligraphy placards. The venue was in keeping with the colours of the fragrances packaging, in particular the bow on the bottles – beige and blue. The packaging is a nod to the early Turkish bathhouses popular in London from the early 20th century. Blue and beige like the traditional cloths and towels used even now. The box is simplistic yet head turning, wrapped in textured linen, it’s lovely and textured in the hand.

Michael Edwards introduced the brand and it’s long history before Michael, trainer from Agence de Parfums introduced the fragrance – drumroll: Savoy Steam!

Savoy Steam by Penhaligon`s 2017

Savoy Steam by Juliette Karagueuzoglou

Savoy Steam Penhaligon`s fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, eucalyptus, mint, pink pepper, rosemary
Heart: Rose, geranium, cardamom, hedione, tea
Base: Benzoin, incense, vanilla, white musk

The fragrance celebrates the very first fragrance in Penhaligon’s portfolio, Hammam Bouquet from 1872. Also, as evident by the name, the scent honours the Savoy Hotel an iconic London Establishment.

If I’m honest, on arrival I expected an old fashioned barbershop scent and nothing more. I worked for years in the men’s grooming industry in London, so believe me I have smelt a few of these!! However in more ways than one, I ate my hat!! Dubbed “gender neutral” in the press release I also found the scent very much ‘on the fence.’ On paper I initially smelt rosemary – aromatic. However on skin, quite, quite different. I quickly understood a focus on the sweeter aspect of rosemary as being in the spotlight. Spiciness, described in the notes as pink pepper also to me has a cardamom like freshness. Geranium in combination makes for a rosy heart.

On my skin the fragrance remains quite sweet but spiciness lingers somewhere…incense like a faint Come des garcons Avignon – tart, bright frankincense and still huffs of sweetness. There is a juicy, wet feel to the beginning of Savoy Steam. I can imagine steam on cement. Nothing though is barbershop or old fashioned. A very nice and modern easy wear. Gentle and slightly feminine in its sweetness. If either of my grandfathers were still alive I would gift them my bottle. Not at all because it’s old fashioned, just because its gentle and sweet like they were – I think this fragrance would be absolutely lovely on a more mature gents skin, a silver fox of sorts…someone like softly spoken but majestic David Attenborough. He could wear it out to dinner.

Further reading: Scented Salamander
Libertine Parfumerie has $279/100ml

It makes me wonder what else I feel works for this age group…Do you have any favourite fragrances for folk over 60? What works, what doesn’t and why? Are fragrances ageist?

Until next time,
Ainslie XX

(Ed: All photos by Ainslie Walker unless specified. Beautiful Ainslie XXXX)

11 thoughts on “Savoy Steam by Juliette Karagueuzoglou for Penhaligon`s 2017

  1. Thanks for the great review, Ainslie!
    I will try to get my hands on a sample soon, I love the House of Penhaligon.

    As for perfumes for the age group you mention, I think anything goes if they love to wear it and feel comfortable with it!


    • Great yes I agree. However some of my friends in this age group feel fragrances disappear quickly on their skin. Also I’ve some of my friends who complain heir mother/grandmother smells too strong/young and could do with a change. Of course They still need to love the new one!!



      • Dry skin can be a problem, I know. I’ve had a dry skin since I can remember. 😦
        And there is the fact that senses may lose their function when one gets older… If you do not smell the perfume, you may overspray…


  2. Very rarely a perfume will conjure up an ingenue in my mind or a grand dame, but for the most part I don’t see perfumes as appropriate for one age or another. Often, young people follow trends, and, they follow the mall, so there’s that. But I was filching my mom’s Dana Tabu, Maja, Estee Lauder Youth Dew (she was on that side of the spectrum) and rocking those when I was 12. At least I think I was. My tastes still skew toward over-the-top orientals, woods, incense decades later.
    If a person likes it, wears it happily, I think it’s great. I just usually don’t see a perfume as “old lady” (the most pejorative term), and by old they mean 35 and up…


  3. Ainslie I’m so jealous!!!! Not just because you were sitting with Mr. Edwards, but you got the inside scoop.
    I’m a sucker for packaging and few do it better than Penhaligon’s. That bow is exquisite. My immediate thought with regard to the ‘older’ gent was same as Fazal…..Eau Sauvage in warmer climes and Aramis in cooler climes.


  4. Hiya Ainslie,
    Sorry I’m late to the party.
    Older gent? That’s me pretty soon. I will be wearing the same mad collection as now hopefully.
    For other older gents? Serge Lutens Arabie, Jacomo Silences, Maurer & Wurtz Tabac Original or Penhaligon’s Sartorial.
    Portia xxx


  5. You would have your favourites as you get older for sure, you could wear anything you wanted as long as it was interesting to you I suppose. My dad wore Old Spice to the end, that reminds me of him.


  6. Hello Ainslie,

    I am so happy to hear that Michael is returning to Australia, it would be lovely to train with him again.

    I absolutely love that Penhaligon’s have used a quaint and unique bow on this bottle, it was a pleasant surprise. The Savoy Steam is elegant and mature. Pink pepper and geranium are so fresh.

    Some other fragrances I recommend for the over 60 age group (males) are No 89 by Floris, Lalique Pour Homme and Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon’s. For women, something floral or oriental but not too much rose, musk or powder. These can be overbearing but in smaller quantities quite flattering. Fracas by Piguet or Black Jade by Lubin are some classics.


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