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Joe Brummell #6: Vile Bodies, Beautiful Scents

Remember The Roaring Twenties? You know, The Jazz Age! Remember the thrill of seeing the first ‘talkie’ at the cinema? When George Gershwin wrote Rhapsody in Blue? Magritte, Picasso and Duchamp were at the top of their game…Surrealism and Art Deco were changing the landscape of art and design…remember? What about when James Joyce published Ulysses and Virginia Woolf wrote Orlando? Kafka’s The Trial? No? You must remember when D.H Laurence published Lady Chatterley’s Lover? Really? What about when the Bauhaus was erected in Dessau, or when Le Corbusier published his architecture manifesto? No? Well, don’t worry I don’t remember either – but it’s ok, the clever people at Penhaligon’s have created a new fragrance that distils all the glamour of the 1920’s into one incredible fragrance – Juniper Sling.

Penhaligon’s is a quintessentially British institution, founded in the late 1860s by William Henry Penhaligon who was Court Barber and Perfumer to Queen Victoria. It is now a leading perfumer, creating complex and exclusive scents that trade on the company’s own rich history. Juniper Sling captures the heady scent of London Dry Gin, evoking both the sexy danger of the clip joint and the unparalleled style of the Bright Young Things.  Juniper Sling treads the line between vulgar decadence and refined elegance, which, is no easy task. In the U.S. the speakeasies and “bathtub gin” of the prohibition era gave rise to gin based cocktails, many of which were devised to mask the taste of bootleg liquor, but gin has remained a spirit like no other. A very dry martini is my drink of choice and its practically nothing more than a glass full of gin, and there’s a good reason for that – gin is iconic. It’s a delicate, rich and fragile combination of ingredients – one that Penhaligon’s has turned into what’s sure to become an equally iconic scent.

Master Perfumer Olivier Cresp has gone to great lengths to capture the aroma of London Dry Gin. With head notes of cinnamon, orange brandy, angelica and of course juniper berries, the fragrance mellows with heart notes of cardamom, leather, black pepper and orris wood. The base notes of Juniper Sling combine brown sugar, black cherry, vetiver and ambrox. These citrus botanicals and spices are all essential ingredients of classic London Dry Gin, but Cresp hasn’t stopped there, he’s even managed to replicate the scent of tonic water’s sparkling carbonated bubbles. Juniper Sling is a highly complex fragrance and one that’s sublimely rewarding to wear. Over the course of the day and into evening the scent matures and mellows, giving way to the subtleties of gins complexity. Like all good fragrances Juniper Sling is unisex, so you can wear it regardless of whether you’re a Clara Bow or a Douglas Fairbanks. Smelling of alcohol has never been so appealing.

Juniper Sling is launched on 5th September and is available from Penhaligon’s boutiques, concessions and online at www.penhaligons.com

-Warren Beckett



One Comment on “Joe Brummell #6: Vile Bodies, Beautiful Scents”

  • Martin Metcalf August 24th, 2011 1:43 pm

    Wonderfully descriptive piece! Can’t wait to smell it.


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