Blog post by Gwen

Juniper Sling – fresh and intoxicating and sophisticated

Photo: perfumeniche©

When I read that Penhaligon’s was coming out with a fragrance inspired by London dry gin called Juniper Sling, I celebrated with a gin martini.

Gin is a spirit that gets its characteristic flavour from juniper berries. And juniper berries come from juniper plants, which are coniferous. I have a juniper bush in my garden, and when I crush a few berries, they smell spicey, piney, green, fresh and citrusy.

London dry gin, which inspired Juniper Sling, is a variety of gin that contains very little sugar, which is why it’s called ‘dry’ and is higher in alcohol, about 90 proof, than regular gin. The botanicals added at redistillation give the variety of brands of London dry gin different characteristics – citrus aroma and flavour in the case of Beefeater and a more complex herbaceous quality in the case of Tanqueray. Still, the predominant flavour in London dry gin has to be juniper.

Juniper Sling opens with a blast of freshness from juniper berry – what an intoxicating start! Cinnamon enhances the spicy facet of the juniper, while the addition of orange brandy heightens its citrus aspect and adds a little boozy warmth. Angelica is here, too, and it’s no surprise since angelica root and seeds are often used to flavour gin. It adds a peppery, herbal, earthy richness to the opening. Right off the top, Juniper Sling smells like good London dry gin – a refined, fresh, complex concoction created by a deft hand, not some amateurish, homemade bathtub gin.

As it moves to the heart, the fresh spirit develops a warm mood from cardamom, adding a spicy, aromatic, resinous note, joined by leather and black pepper notes. Orris root adds a floral quality, as well as a dry woodiness. The base veers towards the gourmand with a touch of brown sugar, giving it a complex sweetness, tempered with a slight bitter-almond note from black cherry. Vetiver adds a lovely whiff of anise, while Ambrox gives the fragrance a velvety, smooth sensuality. The juniper is always present, interacting and layering with the other notes while keeping its piney, resinous character. I’ll drink to that!

Juniper Sling captures the spirit of gin, the pleasure of it, the experience of it, the cool sophistication of it, in a fragrance that makes me feel carefree and happy, just the way a gin martini does but without the hangover, carbs or calories.

It’s another stunning fragrance signed by Olivier Cresp.

Check out Juniper Sling in our Shop.