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1805 Tonnerre


1805 Tonnerre is part of the ‘Come Hell or High Water’ series from indie niche line BeauFort London, which was started in 2015 by writer/performer and The Prodigy drummer Leo Crabtree.
Crabtree was born in London. He studied music and history but it’s the call of the sea that’s in his DNA. In an interview he explains:   
“Tonnerre” means thunder in English and this EdP imagines the Battle of Trafalgar, in 1805, when Admiral Lord Nelson, with twenty-seven British ships defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships in a battle in the Atlantic Ocean just off the southwest coast of Spain. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships and the British lost none. But Nelson was wounded in battle and died and his body preserved in a barrel of brandy for the trip back to England and a hero's funeral.

I find all of this background and history exciting and I understand Leo Crabtree’s desire to create this scent, but it’s the smell of it that just grabs me.

1805 Tonnerre opens with a bright, citrusy note of lime – a nod to ‘limey’, the slang term for sailors in the British Navy – with curls of smoke winding through it creating a stunning smoky/fresh accord. There’s a sharp tartness here too, which must be the gunpowder listed in the notes. It gives depth to the lime and smoke combo, so that the opening is bold, yet refined. As it blooms, I smell the metallic tang of blood winding through the rich, boozy, sweet smell of brandy. It’s another striking combination that works. This pairing is smoothed with a note of salty sea water. At the base, amber carries over the sweetness of the brandy, while balsam fir makes it fresh and piney. Cedar wood, used in shipbuilding, adds its distinctive woody scent.

For all of the talk of thunder, battle, guns and blood, 1805 Tonnerre dries down to a darkly romantic scent that is more ethereal and ghostly than it is heavy and forceful. It’s like getting a whiff of the smell of the Battle of Trafalgar two hundred and thirteen years after it happened.

1805 Tonnerre is that rare thing: original, exciting and gorgeous and while it's listed as unisex, it can fall into the 'masculine' category, but I have no trouble wearing it. To paraphrase Emily Dickinson: the nose wants what it wants.

Notes: lime, smoke, gunpowder, blood, brandy, sea water, amber, balsam fir, and cedar.

Type: EdP


Price: $6.00