Geo. F. Trumper – Blast from the Past

Greg JACOMET

Geo. F. Trumper – Blast from the Past

Far too many brands in the luxury industry rave on and on about their glorious past – a past often “cooked-up” as a skillet of ancestral know-how and trade secrets, overdosed with fabrications and marketing ploys. But such fabricators in no way negate the brands with a genuine heritage and a legitimate history.

Geo. F. Trumper could take advantage of an undisputedly rich and intimate history, if they chose to do so. Yet, the London institution remains a fairly confidential affair on the international fragrance scene, which is a shame.

The brand was founded in the late 19th century by George Trumper as a traditional barber shop and remains such up to this very day. The few physical stores the brand owns in London offer a wide range of services, from shaving and grooming and haircuts to manicures / pedicure sessions with optional massages offered in privatised booths for added comfort.

Geo. F. Trumper also sells a small range of accessories for gentlemen, including safety razors, leather holdall bags, and among other things, an intriguing range of traditional scents. I’ve found two such fragrances to be of great interest to me :

Wellington Cologne

wellington-cologne_large

Wellington Cologne is without a doubt one of the most impressive traditional British colognes out there – a simple mix of musky / citrus notes (orange, lemon and neroli), spiced with a touch of rosemary and a dash of pine needle.

As a summer cologne, Wellington does a superb job. Though solemn and absolutely passé, the fragrance leaves an impression because of how fresh and clean it feels throughout the day, with impressive lasting power. If you are one of the many miffed by Hermès’ Eau d’Orange Verte’s famously poor longevity, do give Wellington Cologne a try.

One spray below the neckline, one on each wrist, and chances are, unless your skin suffers from excessive sweating, you’ll hold an impeccable scent for the next six hours. The citrus feels good and clean with its herbal undertones and its light medicinal vibe : a pure (stiff-upper-lip) blast from the past, captured and bottled with care.

Faithful readers of our website and fragrance lovers will no doubt draw more than a few parallels between Wellington Cologne and Penhaligon’s legendary Blenheim Bouquet (which we wrote about here) – two very similar colognes for sure, though Wellington, launched in 1876 (!), predates Blenheim by a good 25 years.

For those looking for a quality, traditional, deeply old-school cologne that is rough around the edges but undeniably fresh, delightfully out-of-fashion, discreet, and long-lasting with a low-key but persistent trail, Wellington Cologne is a wise choice.

Also noteworthy is the excellent quality-to-price ratio, with a 100ml bottle of Wellington costing around £46.

Eucris

eucris

Eucris is a strong, classic, masculine potpourri of dried spices, leather and tobacco – a spicy-woody fragrance, herbal and drenched in incense smoke and patchouli. Despite a list of notes that might scare the most careful among you, Eucris is surprisingly restrained when worn on the skin. The strongly aromatic peppery coriandre opener fades quickly when the blackcurrant and the oakmoss come into play.

The floral core is pleasant – with a touch of jasmine, lily of the valley and geranium, underlined nicely by a strong base of musky sandalwood.

Eucris may not be low key, but it doesn’t lack finesse in the impressive balance it maintains between two ambiguous bouquets, always hesitating between the fougère and the chypre. And surprisingly enough, this precarious balancing act works beautifully.

Everything about Eucris is reminiscent of classic British perfumery. A perfume you wear like an old family heirloom, an old hunting jacket, or even a moth-nipped dressing-gown. It drapes you in heavy shapes and crude design, that may seem to fall short on elegance but even so, the nostalgia and wear-and-tear and the frayed edges yield an undeniable charm that can be considered an acquired taste.

Eucris is a rare piece of perfumery. It feels antiquated at times, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you are able to own it. Its leathery-herbal tones channel the year 1912 – which is when the potion was created.

As a demanding fragrance to wear, Eucris might not be up to everyone’s tastes, but is certainly not without merit and should be of great interest to those who swear by a certain old-school ambience which only a few perfumes can resuscitate so vividly.

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Geo. F. Trumper’s perfumes can be found on the brand’s official website. Should you happen to be in Paris, know that our good friend and sock-peddlers extraordinaire at Mes Chaussettes Rouges also have more than a few bottles in stock.