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Launched in 2011, by Penhaligon’s, their web site describes Juniper Sling as “an intoxicating new fragrance inspired by the most iconic and atmospheric of spirits: London Dry Gin. Created for Penhaligon’s by Master Perfumer Olivier Cresp, Juniper Sling is a playful, chilled and mysterious homage to the Bright Young Things of London’s roaring twenties.

Inspired by London dry gin? Sounds like a little research is in order.

Gin is a spirit which gets its predominant flavor from juniper berries. And juniper berries come from juniper plants, which are coniferous. I have a juniper bush in my garden and when I take a few berries and crush them, they smell spicey, piney, green, fresh and citrusy.

And, London dry gin, which inspired Juniper Sling, contains very little sugar which is why it’s called ‘dry’. Finally, it’s the botanicals that are added at redistillation that give different brands of gin different characteristics – citrus aroma and flavour in the case of Beefeater and a more complex herbaceous quality in the case of Tanqueray.

Enough about the sauce, let’s get to the juice! Juniper Sling opens with a blast of freshness from juniper berry – talk about an intoxicating start! Cinnamon pumps up the spicy facet of the juniper, while the addition of orange brandy heightens its citrus aspect and adds a little boozy warmth. Angelica is here to, and it’s no surprise since angelica root and seeds are often used to flavour gin. It adds a peppery, herbal, earthy richness to the opening. Right off the top, Juniper Sling smells like good gin – a refined, fresh, complex concoction created by a deft hand, not some amateurish, homemade bathtub gin.

As it moves to the heart, the fresh spirit develops a warm mood with cardamom adding a spicy aromatic, resinous note, along with leather and black pepper. Orris root adds a floral quality and a dry woodiness. The base veers towards the gourmand with brown sugar giving it a complex sweetness, tempered with a slight bitter-almond note from black cherry. Vetiver adds a lovely whiff of anise while ambrox gives the fragrance a velvety smooth sensuality. The juniper is always present interacting and layering with the other notes while keeping its piney, resinous character. I’ll drink to that!

Juniper Sling captures the spirit of gin – the pleasure of it, the experience of it – in a sophisticated perfume that makes me feel carefree and happy, just the way a gin martini does but without the hangover, carbs or calories.

Notes: cinnamon, orange brandy, angelica, juniper berry, cardamom, leather, black pepper, orris wood, brown sugar, black cherry, vetiver, ambrox

Type: EdT

Parfumeur: Olivier Cresp

Price: $5.00