Penhaligon's Malabah EDP

Lemon, Earl Grey Tea, Cilantro.
Ginger, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Rose, Iris.
Amber, Sandalwood, Musk.

Reviews for Penhaligon's Malabah are literally all over the map. One common opinion seems to be a lack of satisfactory presence. I concur that Malabah is a bit demure, but that's part of its charm. There's definitely a place for fragrances such as this and close quarter interaction seems to fit the bill just fine.

Malabah definitely leans feminine by design and after wearing it, I would prefer smelling it on the opposite sex. Still, I believe it could be pulled off by men if they saw fit to don it. The 2 dominant notes in Malabah ( on me ) are Iris and Sandalwood.

I especially like the creamy sandalwood note that's apparent from the onset. The feel of Malabah is English and possesses an elegance to it. I find it rich in spite of it wearing rather close to the skin. To me, this is an asset whereas others disagree.

The top is a mild citrus with hints of spice, tea and wood. After a few minutes, the sandalwood becomes more apparent and displays a creamy texture I have come to like. The iris note is right behind it and exhibits powder, but not overtly so. This spicy, powdery wood is at the core of Malabah and lasts the entire ride.

A soft, dusty rose note integrates itself by the time the base arrives. It's barely loud enough to peek over the spices, but it compliments the iris and wood rather nicely. A resin quality also morphs as the base accord wears on, but everything about Malabah is subtle and polite.

I have to say that I find Malabah very likeable with enough presence to justify owning it. It is versatile enough to wear in numerous venues and there's nothing about any part of it that's off putting. Sillage is moderate and longevity is better than most reviews I have read give it credit for. I get 5 hours no problem. I give Malabah a thumbs up with the recommendation to sample first. This is simply a very pleasant fragrance.


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