Gin, Gin, Where do I Begin? – Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling Perfume Review

Juniper SlingI’m not a gin drinker, actually scrap that. I wasn’t a gin drinker, but on Tuesday I was coerced (there really wasn’t much coercing going on) into drinking a number of gin cocktails at the bloggers launch for Penhaligon’s new fragrance Juniper Sling. This experience has taught me three things; firstly, Penhaligon’s know how to throw a party, secondly, their gin cocktails are unrivalled and thirdly, gin and fragrance go very well together.

Juniper Sling was created by master perfumer Olivier Cresp (the man that brought Angel into the world) and it is described by Penhaligon’s as “a playful, chilled and mysterious homage to the Bright Young Things of London’s roaring twenties.” Now this may give you the impression that Juniper Sling may be slightly old-fashioned, but this is absolutely not the case, Penhaligon’s have created a modern twist on a classic theme, just look at the bottle with it’s metal bow, a purely modern take on their usual flacon.

The Notes

Top: Cinnamon, Orange Brandy, Angelica and Juniper Berry
Heart: Cardamon, Leather, Black Pepper and Orris Wood
Base: Brown Sugar, Black Cherry, Vetiver and Ambrox

How Does it Smell?

As I was saying, I’m not really a gin drinker so when it came to sniffing the similarities between Juniper Sling and actual gin I was a little stumped. So, being the thrifty perfumista I am, I ensured that I sniffed some gin to see if Juniper Sling does, in fact smell like gin. Well, I am pleased to inform you that Juniper Sling is just as fresh, spicy and bracing as the real thing. Well done Penhaligon’s!

Juniper Sling opens with a whoosh of peppery notes thanks to a large dose of angelica, the initial blast is ever so slightly reminiscent of Voyage d’Hermes but the similarity ends with the top notes. The pepper dies down very quickly and the juniper berries and woods start come through, this is where the fragrance is most ‘ginny’.

The orris wood adds a touch of powder to the composition, but it’s just a touch, Juniper Sling starts of refreshing and bracing but become drier as it develops on the skin, and the spices, especially the cardamom are quite noticeable at the start but they also soften with time.

As the base develops the woods become more sugared and candied thanks to brown sugar and black cherry, it’s worth mentioning that these notes are used with a really subtle hand and the overall affect is of lovely, warm and sweet woods.

I enjoy Juniper Sling (as I smell it I’m reminded of those glorious pink gin and black pepper cocktails at the Penhaligon’s event) but it’s not a fragrance that I would personally wear, it’s is just that little bit too light for my tastes (I do like my ‘fumes strong after all) but that it is the intention, Penhaligon’s invite you to “apply liberally and drink in”. I imagine that it would work excellently in high temperatures, because let’s face it, is there anything more refreshing than an ice cold G&T?


Juniper Sling is due to launch on Monday 05 September 2011 and will be available in 50ml and 100ml Eau de Toilette with prices ranging from £78 to £100. Juniper Sling will be available in Penhaligon’s boutiques, concessions and via their website.


This review is based on a sample of Juniper Sling provided by Penhaligon’s

Quotes via Penhaligon’s.