Blog post by Gwen

1805 Tonnerre – dark and romantic and original

You know those days. The ones that are defined by determination, strength and purpose. You kill it at the gym, easily burn through challenging tasks at work and crank out a great family dinner. Just when you wonder if such a day could get better, it does. When the doorbell rang after dinner, I went outside onto the veranda and found a box waiting for me. Of course, knew what it was, a bottle of 1805 Tonnerre. “Perfect,” I muttered softly as I smiled inside and out.

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. Though studied music and history, the call of the sea is in his DNA. “Tonnerre” means thunder in French, and the inspiration for the fragrance was the naval Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, when Admiral Lord Nelson defeated French and Spanish navies. During the battle, Nelson was fatally wounded and died at sea, and his body was 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 seawater. At the base, amber carries over the sweetness of the brandy, while balsam fir makes it fresh and piney. Cedarwood, 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.

The niche fragrances market has exploded in the last few years, and for me has become crowded with too many copy-cat scents that are poorly made and just trying to cash in on scent trends. 1805 Tonnerre is that rare thing: original, exciting and gorgeous. And don’t even get me started on Fathom V from the same line!

I want more, please, Mr. Crabtree.

Check out 1805 Tonnerre in our Shop.