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