Juniper Sling is an homage to London Dry Gin and the Jazz Age.
Really, you couldn’t get a better beverage to inspire a fragrance than gin. It can be infused with a wide range of natural botanicals including citrus peel, almond, angelica, saffron, orris root and even frankincense.
Perfumer Olivier Cresp was an interesting choice for Penhaligon’s who released this EDT in 2012. Cresp has largely worked on mainstream fragrances including Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue and the game-changer that is Thierry Mugler’s Angel. From the notes it looks like he infused some gourmand nuances into Juniper Sling:
Top notes: Cinnamon, orange brandy, angelica, juniper berry
Heart notes: Cardamom, leather, black pepper, orris wood
Base notes: Brown sugar, black cherry, vetiver, ambrox
The botanicals are released into the air straight out of the bottle. Chiefly the aniseed of angelica, the piquancy of black pepper and the gin of juniper. There’s also a very nice orange brandy accord. Fellow cinnamon-phobes need not fear, I can’t detect it except for a little sweet and spicy warmth. It’s a great opening.
Juniper Sling settles down to a powdery, sweet and softly musky skin scent. I wouldn’t actually describe it as boozy from this point. It’s uplifting and light-hearted but not alcoholic. On me, it’s mostly about the tame musky/labdanum-y scent of ambrox and the gentle aniseed of angelica.
Angelica can be herbal, green and spicy, the way it is in Angelique Sous le Pluie for example, or aniseed, peppery and musky, the way it is here.
Although there are contrasting sweet and savoury facets in Juniper Sling, the sweetness takes over.
I don’t find it fleeting the way some do, but it stays close to the body. Bear in mind that it is an eau de toilette so lasting power will be limited. It could easily be worn by either gender. It’s as androgynous as the boyish figure of a flapper.
The backdrop for Juniper Sling is 1920s London, when the bright young things were doing the Charleston and listening to Jazz which were new, exciting and a little daring. No doubt they’d be smoking and drinking a few gin cocktails too. The mood was carefree and hedonistic, without a thought for tomorrow.
I must admit I don’t find the fragrance as heady and boisterous as the Roaring Twenties. It’s rather too subdued for that, but this impression is probably down to the fact the deeper accords don’t show up on my skin (such as the leather, black cherry and vetiver).
In the end, the musky sweetness is just too persistent for my taste. All the same, Juniper Sling is a playful yet modest fragrance which I can imagine working well as a discreet work scent.
What are your favourite alcohol inspired fragrances?