Penhaligon’s new Juniper Sling was “inspired by London Dry Gin and the gin-drinking Bright Young Things of the 1920s.” Nancy Mitford, Cecil Beaton and Evelyn Waugh were B.Y.T. in England, and let’s throw in some Americans, too: Louise Brooks, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong will do. How far we’ve dimmed — “our” bright young things include the Kardashian sisters, Justin Bieber, Prince Harry and Pippa (not to mention hoards of reality TV cringe-inducers). Much less depressing to talk about perfume!
Juniper Sling* does smell, upon first sniff, like a fragrant bottle of gin — there’s “booze,” citrus, angelica and vibrant cardamom (the opening is the best part of the fragrance). Under those head notes floats transparent iris and light-smooth leather. (During its opening and early mid-phase of development, Juniper Sling reminds me of Crown Perfumery’s discontinued Eau de Russe.)
After its energetic opening, Juniper Sling conks out. Juniper Sling’s base promises a mix of brown sugar, black cherry and amber — what a wonderful finish that could have been — but I detect only a second or two of cherry liqueur and some thin, slightly mentholated vetiver (mixed with anise?) Juniper Sling seems a perfume made to fill a pretty, retro bottle and to flesh out a vague idea of an interesting time and place: the Roaring Twenties in London.
Unlike a “percolating,” tasty cocktail that leaves one “buzzing,” Juniper Sling goes down quick and produces no lingering high; it wears like a cologne (it has mediocre lasting power and sillage). Juniper Sling Eau de Toilette is a simple, “refresher” scent, and at $110 for 50 ml or $140 for 100 ml it’s way overpriced.
*Developed by perfumer Olivier Cresp; Juniper Sling lists fragrance notes of cinnamon, orange brandy, angelica, juniper berry, cardamom, leather, black pepper, orris, brown sugar, black cherry, vetiver and ambrox.
Watch the Juniper Sling video here.
Note: top image of Louise Brooks via Wikimedia Commons.