Pancaldi by Hanorah (1988)


First thing’s first, this is not worth the amount of money wanted for it, and with that out of the way, I can get down to business. Pancaldi by Hanorah (1988) was made by Hanorah via Diana di Silva for the Italian men’s sartorial brand Pancaldi Co., later to be known as Pancaldi and B after it was bought out. Originally this was launched in 1988 then received a concentration upgrade to Eau de Toilette Concentrée in 1989, which did a few things to tweak the smell just a tad. This review is concerned with that later, more concentrated version, but the fragrance pyramids published for both are the same. The rough gist of Pancaldi is to be a clean, aromatic fougère, a bridge of sorts between the earthy mossy green stuff of the 70’s, and the soapier more citrus-forward eventually psuedo-aquatic stuff of the 80’s into the 90’s. For this reason, if you’ve smelled stuff ranging from Azzaro pour Homme (1978), Dunhill Blend 30 (1978), Pascal Morabito Or Black (1982), and Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche (1982), to Houbigant Duc de Vervins (1985), Givenchy Xeryus (1986), Lomani pour Homme (1987) Alain Delon Plus (1987), and Gucci Nobile (1988), you’ve already smelled most of what’s in Pancaldi and you probably don’t need this. That said, it’s extremely well-done because duh, it was made in the 80’s and not cost-minimized and market-maximized for the biggest cynical corporate demographic-fueled bang-for-buck like you typical Paco Rabanne Invictus (2013) clone of a clone of a clone is today. Instead, you’re just getting a 4th generation cassette dub of Drakkar Noir remixed with a bit of 70’s brown-sound that has the loudness cranked to 11 if you get the Concentrée version.

The opening of Pancaldi Concentrée is a barrage of stiff juniper, wormwood, basil, bergamot, lemon and soapy lavender with touches of then-fashionable dimetol and dihydromyrcenol. The heart goes more for the lavender, clary sage, and geranium with bits of carnation, pimento berry, and smoke from vetiver and clove. Cinnamon and pine give the woodsy spicy 70’s walnut paneling treatment while the soapy clean 80’s fougère goodness that makes this fragrance one of the “Drakkar Noir Pod People” intermixes. The juniper shows back up later in the wear and gives us a bit of a link back to something like Creed Baie de Genièvre (1982), and in some ways I get hints of Puig Quorum (1982) in here too, especially once the base shows up. The pine and leather bits bring me to the Nobile comparison while the tonka and oakmoss mixed with castoreum and benzoin bring me the Quorumand Or Black bits, while the Drakkar, Lomani, Alain Delon, and everything else just ride on top like an orgy of 80’s fougère pastiche. If I make that sound exciting, trust me when I say it is not, as all this does to me is smell like how it would sound to play 12 different hits from the 80’s that I like all at the same time, making for a really big jumble of things that actually sort of gives me a headache. Once it all calms down, the dry-down most closely resembles a cross between the AD Plus and a later throwback fougère from Parfums de Coeur called King (2008), which tried to revive this style on the cheap doing a similar all-things-80’s mashup but forgot about ingredient quality. Best use is as a year-round signature I guess, and performance is decent for the normal, great for the concentrated one. The Mafioso-looking dude on the original boxes just about summarizes the attitude of this one too.

I like what’s in this goulash of 80’s casual scent craft, it just comes across as a jumble you need a bit of patience to sit through until the hook shows up in the finish, like listening to the mid-section of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida waiting for the chorus to return and nail the experience. The regular Pancaldi is stated to be a bit mintier and cleaner, with less of all this infused aromatic density, and I dare say that I might like that one more. Thankfully, it seems like Pancaldi under it’s new name of Pancaldi and B re-issued that one in new packaging along with a women’s version, although nobody seems to know or care about it since it’s under a private label now and only found through Pancaldi and B themselves outside eBay. Even if you do spring for that modern issue of the standard old 1988 Pancaldi, you’re still getting a very tried-and-probably-tired 80’s fougère experience, and this long-retired Concentrée seemingly is just a much rarer, stronger, and overpriced rendition of the experience. In as much as it matters to the collector of all things masculine from the 1980’s, there are better and more unique unicorns to hunt, even among other Diana di Silva products like Gianfranco Ferré for Man (1986). If you’re really into these 80’s kitchen sink fougères that were all trying to out-do each other and their source inspiration Drakkar Noir, you could at least hunt down a bottle of Alain Delon Plus or a vintage example of Givenchy Xeryus instead, as both of them are far more balanced and have a bit more to say about themselves than an overdose of juniper and a jumble of base notes. If this was a cheap thrill, I might have given it a thumbs up. Neutral

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