Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Celebrating Spring with Penhaligon's Eau Sans Pareil

As usual, my fragrance review is a little late. After all we're already heading into summer. But I thought I should let you know what I've been wearing, enjoying, and loving the smell of lately: Penhaligon's Eau Sans Pareil.  My go-to fall fragrance (and winter comfort) was Artemisia. To my nose Eau Sans pareil seems like a nice... awakening after a frosty slumber.
Image from Penhaligon's Website.

What does Penhaligon's Website Say about Eau Sans Pareil?
"Head Notes
Aldehydes, Neroli, Mandarin, Bergamot, Kumquat, Raspberry, Pineapple, Cypress, Pink Pepper, Tagetes

Heart Notes
Jasmine, Damascus Rose, Muguet, Orris, Ylang, Orange Blossom, Liquorice, Clove

Base Notes
Patchouli, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Oakmoss, Musk, Vanilla, Cistus-Labdanum, Benzoin, Amber Crystals

Originally created in 1988, Eau Sans Pareil has been transformed into a shimmering chypre. Opening with a giddy rush of sparkling fruits and sensual white flowers, Eau Sans Pareil is softened with sweet woods, elegant oakmoss and musks. Powdery, wistful and romantic."

You can purchase 100 ml of Eau Sans Pareil for $140.  I use Penhaligon's Website since I don't have a store near me.

My Experience with Eau Sans Pareil
The immediate experience I have upon smelling it is an almost sugary fruity floral. Then the scent mellows out to a familiar powdery finish. It's as though someone opened the window on sunshine, just a bit. As I mentioned above, when I smelled this scent I was reminded of Artemisia. That is precisely because of the powdery finish. In truth, I think the only smells they ACTUALLY have in common are Musk, Vanilla and Amber in the base notes. Perhaps that's what I'm responding to. But this perfume feels like an "updated" Artemisia. Where I find Artemisia to be something suitable for slumber and cold nights wrapped in a blanket, Eau Sans Pareil has a freshness to it's scent that Artemisia is lacking. The end result is also not as powdery as Artemisia. And truthfully, reading what the notes actually are for this scent makes me want to go and really LEARN how to distinguish them. According to Wikipedia, this floral fruity powdery scent type is the characteristic definitive of a chypre.  (See, I'm getting my fragrance education where I can).
I wonder if Artemisia is a chypre too... Education continues with a new question.

However, in wear you'll find this is one that needs to be touched up quite frequently. You will not get through the day with this one. It is an Eau de Toilette so you should expect the scent to be a little less heavy handed.

Tip: take a piece of a cotton ball and dab some of the scent on it. Wear it on you (I use a little necklace I got from Jewelmint that has holes in it in order to let the scent seep through). Then it will last much longer around you. Or, consider spraying it on your scarf instead of your body.

Bottom Line
Similar to my review of Eau de Verveine, I can't consider this scent to be a "Good Buy" because it's so expensive for such little length of wear. But if you are able to treat yourself, I think this is a good scent for a woman who wants to smell fresh, beautiful, and a little bit sweet.

The product in this review was provided by Penhaligon's LTD for my consideration. I am not affiliated with Penhaligons LTD and I do not sell their products.