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Juniper Sling – The gin game (April 23, 2012 New Fragrance Listing)

Photo - - Juniper Berries,  2012


When I read that Penhaligon’s was coming out with a fragrance that was inspired by London dry gin, well, I celebrated with a gin martini - gin being one of my all time favourite spirits.

Then, I went to the Penhaligon’s web site and saw this:
Introducing Juniper Sling, 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.

I had another gin martini and then set out to sniff some Juniper Sling. Soon after, bought a bottle and had a self congratulatory gin martini.

A few days later….

Thorough research is key to understanding and writing about perfumes, so I bought few bottles of different kinds of gin, just to study the different nuances of each.

An hour later: I love this gin gig!

The day after….

Here’s what I learned from drinking gin: you can’t drink it all day if you don’t start early in the morning, especially if you’re left handed and have a lazy eye.

Here’s what I learned from reading about gin: reading about gin is easier on your liver than drinking it, but don’t worry cause you have two livers. No, wait – that’s not right. You have two…um…I know the answer, I just can’t…. kidneys! That’s it, one liver, two kidneys. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s it. No, wait…only one kidney? Oh, s**t!

The next day…

Here’s what else I learned from reading about gin: according to Wikipedia gin is a spirit which derives 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 I learned that London dry gin, which inspired Juniper Sling, contains very little sugar which is why it’s called ‘dry’. It’s also higher in alcohol, about 90 proof, than regular gin, which makes it a real time saver cause you get pixilated faster. I learned that from experience. And, 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.

Later that same day….

Here’s what I learned from smelling Juniper Sling: I need to buy more, it’s just that good.

It opens with a blast of freshness from juniper berry – what 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 from cardamom, which adds a spicy aromatic, resinous note, along with notes of leather and black pepper. Orris root adds a floral quality, as well as 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.

Juniper Sling is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.