1805 Tonnerre by Beaufort

Twisted firestarter…

Notes: Lime, smoke, gunpowder, blood, brandy, sea water, amber, balsam fir and cedar.


These days when I hear about a new perfume house it tends to wash over me. That is unless it’s mentioned by a friend.

Tina G of Australian Perfume Junkies told me about Beaufort and specifically the scent 1805 Tonnerre. What especially got my attention was when she said the man behind the line, Leo Crabtree, had played drums with The Prodigy. Apparently he has had a life-long love of fragrance and his inspiration for Beaufort is the dark side of English history, particularly in relation to the sea.

The brand name comes from the Beaufort wind force scale of measuring the intensity of the wind: a system still in use today. The website states that it represents “a kind of framework within which we can understand ourselves: The wind is constant, enduring, but ultimately changeable and potentially destructive”.

So when I met up with fellow blogger Esperanza at Bloom perfumery during her recent trip to London, I suggested we try the line. We both enjoyed testing the three fragrances released last year in the inaugural Hell and High Water Collection because they were so distinctive. Whether they’re to your taste or not, it’s interesting to try something that isn’t bland or you’ve experienced a million times before.


1805 was the year of the Battle of Trafalgar, which Admiral Nelson won but during which he lost his life. The fragrance, 1805 Tonnerre attempts to re-create the scent of the battle and is an arresting clash of lime and gunpowder. The lime is bright, fresh and tart while the gunpowder is smoky, leathery and almost meaty. The two are surprisingly well matched, with the lime slicing through the powdery smoke in the opening stage.

The citrus fades over about an hour leaving a woody/ashy drydown with a little salt spray and a pleasing handful of pine needles thrown in.

Of course there should be no gender restrictions in perfume but 1805 Tonnerre feels assuredly masculine to me and I can envisage it being attractive on a guy with a bit of an edge. I can also see women who like bold, smoky perfumes going for this one too.

Tina told me that as well as the Eau de Parfum, the scent is available as a candle and that medium appeals to me most.

Projection is explosive to begin with but mellows out.  I found it to be fiercely tenacious – as if it had seeped into the skin – even surviving a bath.


It’s one of those fragrances that is best appreciated at a bit of distance. If you press your nose in close – as is our wont – it’s too intense and jarring, but that’s not how we experience fragrance in day to day life anyway.

Give it room to breathe and 1805 Tonnerre can become an uncommon pleasure.


Filed under Perfume Reviews

32 responses to “1805 Tonnerre by Beaufort

  1. Woo hoo! 🙂 Fab review Tara. xxx

    I have to confess if it wasn’t for my friend Kerri C, I could have missed out on this line. She’s the one I’m going candle-hunting for.

    Can’t wait to hit up Bloom with you. Sniffs-ahoy! (Haha)

    See you soon.

    Tina G xx


  2. Sometimes interesting is better than pretty…
    I have tried the line at Bloom a few months ago and found the scents confused and confusing, but I was looking for something quite specific at that time and probably not in the right mood. I think RW do carry the line now as well, and I’m overdue a visit. 🙂


    • Exactly, Sabine. Vi et Armis was particularly challenging for me but it was so good to try a collection with such a strong identity. I can well imagine you’d need to be in the right mindset for testing though.


  3. Great review, Tara 🙂 I enjoyed testing this line together with you. Beaufort was surprising for being so different. Was really impressed by this line. A candle sounds be amazing! Xxx Esperanza


  4. Well, what an interesting house and perfume – and nose! I love the musical connection as you would expect. And the whole Beaufort scale idea – even the sound of the name – appeals, being a bit of a closet fan of the shipping forecast.

    Regarding Nelson and Trafalgar, that seems to have been a bit of a ‘win-lose’ situation.

    Am intrigued by the inclusion of a pronounced lime note, because didn’t sailors famously get scurvy due to their lack of Vitamin C? All in all, Tonnerre (also love that name!) sounds a bit too much of a heavy hitter to be my thing, but was quite fascinated by your description. How nice that you got to meet Esperanza too.


    • Three ‘a bits’ in one comment??!! – that is a bit too much. Serious proofing fail!


    • This isn’t one for you, V but I think you’d like trying it for the fun of it. .
      It’s always fun to meet another blogger and it was lovely to meet Esperanza.
      I rarely hear it, but I think the shipping forecast is very soothing.
      Leo Crabtree isn’t actually the perfumer but I always love a music connection too.
      LOL at the presence of lime!


  5. Sandra

    Hi Tara. This line is completely new to me. Thanks for the heads up – I will look out for them. Sandra xo


    • Hi Sandra,
      Can’t say these are likely to be your thing but why not give them a sniff if you see them in Vienna? Like Sabine said, sometimes interesting is better than pretty (boring!).


  6. cookie queen

    Hey Tara!
    I tried these in Bloom. Quite unique I must say. I even put them on my skin. Enough of that. Know what? I listen to at least one Shipping Forecast a day, usually two. Hugs. ❤️


  7. While I wouldn’t mind trying this perfume (on paper) during a friendly sniffing session, on its own I don’t find those notes appealing at all. And, when it comes to perfumes, I’ll take “pretty” over “interesting” any day of the week… 😉


  8. We have become so picky haven’t we? Lately I wonder how new perfumes might find their way to our collections after all( which I my case, they do) The meh! effect is obviously the death, and the ‘interesting’ is fun but not something to be worn, which leaves only a narrow gap for WOW must have. 😀
    Although the line sounds fun, I’m more of a land lubber myself. As always what a splendid review, and noting better than sniffing with fellow bloggers.


    • I know, it’s true. But most of us were so profligate in the early days we have to get picky at some point, haha. I want to move more towards the indie perfumers as niche is getting on my wick.
      I love that you use the phrase “land lubber”! You can tell you lived in the UK 🙂


      • Indie seems to be a very US thing, and where I must say I do love most of the things I tried from indie perfumers so far, I also am very impressed with the EU counterparts, who seem to be more in the direction of what niche used to be and who have the added difficulty of having to navigate the EU legislations.
        So or so, I’m with you, enjoying those more individual brands, especially as even vintage seem to have become ‘mainstream’.


  9. Very interesting this post Tara, the musician and the history, why not!


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