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Hammam Bouquet , Penhaligon's first scent, was dreamt up by William Penghaligon in 1872 after inhaling the steam and sulphurous aromas of the neighbouring Turkish baths on Jermyn Street, Piccadilly in London. These were wild ideas for wild times, and it is still the way Penhaligon's work today. Inspiration comes at the strangest moments and places: a magical moment, a stolen view, an idea crystallised.
Animalic and golden, it is warm and mature, redolent of old books, powdered resins and ancient rooms. At its heart is dusky Turkish rose, with jasmine, woods, musk and powdery orris. Heady and glamorous, Hammam Bouquet is evocative of the Edwardian era of decadence and excess.
Top Notes: Lavender and Bergamot
Heart Notes: Rose Otto, Cedarwood, Orris and Jasmine
Base Notes: Amber, Musk and Sandalwood
Penhaligon's fine fragrances are made in England using the finest rare ingredients; from hand-squeezed bergamot, to jasmine at twice the price of gold. The signature Penhaligon’s fragrance bottle is to William Penhaligon's original design: clear glass with a distinctive ribbon-wrapped top.
Hamman Bouquet is not your average men's' scent. One should be surprised when a perfume that debuted in 1872 smells very different to most , if not all of the current offerings in the way of men's scents. Hammam Bouquet is an unabashedly old-fashioned Victorian rose scent which reeks of sheer perfumed dandy-ness. This is a throwback scent to the era of the Victorians, conjuring up the eastern portions of the British Empire. Penhaligions set out to capture the scents of the Turkish "hamman" baths that were becoming popular in London, and with this scent they succeeded.
The opening notes of lavender are tempered nicely by the bergamot, and give a nice floral start, with, to my nose, a hint of citrus. Ah, but wait, then the rose kicks in. Anyone who has ever grown old variety roses will recognize the rose notes, not your thin sweet roses of today, but the heady notes of the old "cabbage roses" of a bygone era. The rose notes linger, even into the drydown which has a lovely spicy woody tone, thanks to sandalwood, amber and cedar, made darker by a touch of musk. These pull the florals back down into the masculine realm
Hammam Bouquet can easily be described as "British Orientalism in a bottle." There is a powdery essence in the late drydown, but the rose and woods linger enough to offset that to a degree. The overall effect is one of pure Victorian gentleman, albeit, a bit on the rakish side. Despite its use of iris, rose, and jasmine, the effect is masculine and warm.
This is not a scent that can be worn if one isn't willing to stand out, a dash of confidence is required. It will get comments though.. Longevity is good, 8 hours from 4 sprays, with good sillage. Hints of it will last through the night, as well. Not one to be worn every day, but bring it out on special occasions and on those days when a bit of panache is needed. Good evening wear, and wonderful in cooler weather.
In my collection - a staple!
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