Launched in 2015 to commemorate the 145th anniversary of the founding of English niche fragrance house Penhaligon’s, No.33 is named for the Penhaligon’s shop at 33 St. James Street in London.
It opens fresh and citrusy with orange, grapefruit and bergamot. The bitterness of the bergamot is echoed by bitter, herbal artemisia. Coriander and clary sage heightened the herbal aspect of the opening. I am a sucker for herbal openings, so I am happy to drift here for a while until a note of aromatic lavender appears, its floral aspect enriched by violet, jasmine, rose, geranium and lily of the valley. Black pepper, ginger, saffron and cardamom gently warm it up. The lavender gently dominates a smooth, seamless heart and smells gorgeous – just gorgeous. The base is dry and woody from vetiver and cedar, tempered with a light sweetness from Tonka bean, amber and vanilla, with a rich note of tobacco threading through it. Moss gives it a whiff of the forest, while musk keeps it warm and sensuous.
On me, this aromatic fougère is a skin scent with a drydown that is smooth, clean and refined as a gentleman’s scent should be.
Notes: bergamot, orange, grapefruit, artemisia, coriander, clary sage, cypress, lavender, violet, black pepper, ginger, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, geranium, saffron, cardamom, amber, vetiver, musk, moss, tobacco, Tonka bean, vanilla, cedarwood.