30 June 2011

Geo. F. Trumper: The Sandalwood Affair

This summer I shall be wearing Sandalwood Cologne from Geo. F. Trumper in London.

I first encountered this scent as a young man in South Kensington SW7 circa 1986. It was an unexpected, unlooked-for present from my mother two or three years after she had abandoned us for a drug-soaked hippy commune in California. It is the only such gift from her I can recall today.

What lay behind the gesture? Maybe, I thought at the time, she reasoned it would help me attract a girlfriend, a sort of compensation for her absence, I suppose, as mother-poor chaps are not exactly prime romantic material where women are concerned. Not, of course, that I needed any help in pulling totty.

Anyway, for a year or two I kept the cologne on the bathroom ledge in front of me while I shaved. The description on the back of the box, which I well remember, reads thus:

Sandalwood is a very rare and precious perfume and its popularity has caused many substitutes and inferior preparations to be produced.

To uphold our tradition of excellence, the Sandalwood oil used by Trumpers in the manufacture of our products is only of the very highest quality and originates from the mountainous Mysore area of India, the centre of world Sandalwood production.

"Santalum album", the Sandalwood tree is a marvel in itself, related to the English Mistletoe, it is a parasitic tree growing to a height of 40 feet and thriving best in the mountainous region of Mysore.

The history of Sandalwood is as old as civilisation itself. In Egypt it was known as long ago as 1700 BC and has been held in high esteem ever since. It has been used ads a burning material during religious rites of some of the world's greatest religions. The wood has also proved of excellent quality for carving but by far the greatest use has been for the extraction of Sandalwood oil from the heartwood of the tree.

Ever since the days of the Empire and the long association with India, Trumpers have been producing fine Sandalwood prefumes and preparations for gentleman.

Our Sandalwood Cologne continues that Trumper tradition.

Mysore. India. Egypt. Empire. Just the name itself--Trumper--encourages thoughts of all these things.

Sandalwood, however, provokes reflections of a different kind.


Osbert II said...

Empire! When men could be men!

I will have to add Sandalwood to my arsenal

La Sombra Sofisticada said...

I have yet to try Trumper's sandalwood. How does it compare to Taylor of Old Bond Street's sandalwood? I found that way too sweet for me.

Anonymous said...

Didn't realise this one had been around for so long. Has it changed at all since the 80s? It's one of my favourites.

Anonymous said...

I like the majority of Geo. Trumper fragrances. To my knowledge, all are formulated without synthetic scents. (You know...Those ghastly chemical stink bombs that emanate from the pages of magazines, or assault the nasal passages in department stores.)

By contrast Trumper's Eau de Colognes are quiet, nuanced, and refined. Personal favorite in summer is "Skye", light and fresh in an old Edwardian way. Never vulgar. Always well-behaved.

A more robust scent is Trumper's "Marborough Cologne"...a complex smokey bouquet suggesting aging leather club chains and cigar smoke.


v. Braun. said...

I have always only bought their Extracts of West Indian Lime but will maybe give this a try, too...

Anonymous said...

V. Braun is so right about Trumper's West Indian Lime. Superb.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

LSS ~ This one is also rather sweet, but certainly not excessive. I would happily wear it to a croquet match.

Anon @ 6:22 ~ "Never vulgar. Always well-behaved". That's definitely NOT me, as you well know. If being naughty were a crime, I would be serving several consecutive life sentences in prison by now.

V.B. and Anon @ 17:02 ~ Many thanks for the recommendations. I've been looking for an alternative to Royall Lyme. I recently ordered a bulk shipment of said fragrance and shall let you know my views on it once it arrives.

Anonymous said...

My mother would always threaten to leave us, women are a funny lot, aren't they?

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

B&P ~ Yes, hilarious.