Spanish designer brand Antonio Puig has been a powerhouse in the world of designer perfumery for decades. Fragrances like Agua Brava (1968), Quorum (1981), and Sybaris (1988) are now regarded as masculine classics in the fragrance community.
Although Puig doesn’t put many fragrances out these days under its own letterhead, they own a number of other brands whose perfumes they manufacture and distribute – among them such celebrated brands as Jean Paul Gaultier, Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne, Penhaligon’s, Comme des Garçons, and L’Artisan Parfumeur.
Quorum Silver, a 2005 flanker of the original Quorum from 1981, is considered to be one of the best “cheapies” (cheap fragrances) on the market. But how does it fare in terms of scent and performance?
Antonio Puig Quorum Silver is a woody, spicy fragrance featuring notes of cedar, nutmeg, cinnamon, lavender, and ginger. Well suited for almost any season or occasion, Quorum Silver also boasts great performance and quality presentation. However, the major selling point of Quorum Silver would be its excellent value for money.
Want to know more? Let’s take a closer look at Antonio Puig’s Quorum Silver.
Top Notes: ginger, lavender, artemisia, cardamom, bergamot, mandarin orange
Middle Notes: nutmeg, pink pepper, cinnamon
Base Notes: Virginia cedar, guaiac wood, amber, patchouli
First thing’s first, let’s discuss the elephant in the room: the original Quorum.
Quorum was one of the most iconic fragrances of the 1980s, a classic, pine-laden, oakmoss-heavy, tobacco-infused, leathery barbershop fougère, similar to stuff like Polo Green, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, and Jacques Bogart One Man Show. I.e., a rough ‘n’ tumble, stereotypically masculine sort of fragrance which is totally out of style nowadays (for better or for worse, who can say).
But does Quorum Silver have anything to do with Quorum?
Nope. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
The only thing in common between the two is the name and the shape of the bottle. And though I do appreciate the original Quorum, I think that Quorum Silver is a lot less “dated”, more timeless, and of course, better suited for wearing in this day and age.
But how does it smell? Essentially, Quorum Silver is a dry, woody, spicy fragrance with a touch of freshness.
The opening is very fresh – an explosion of citrus in the form of bergamot and fruity mandarin orange, a touch of bitter artemisia, zingy pink pepper, cool nutmeg and cardamom, and tangy ginger.
Soon, however, the brilliant brightness of the opening begins to subside, and the warmth of the mid and base begins to emerge. Dry cedarwood (not natural, but not overly synthetic or pencil-shavings-y either), supplemented by guaiacwood and patchouli, dusted with warm, cozy spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pink pepper, and ginger.
This warm aura of woody spiciness is what Quorum Silver is all about. As time goes on, the cedar comes out a little bit more, and with the spices almost takes on a little bit of a savory edge, but any kind of funkiness is smoothed out with a transparent brush stroke.
To me, Quorum Silver almost feels like “watercolor” woods.
This is not the rich, dark, damp forest of Lalique’s Encre Noire, but a grove of cedars which the morning sun is lavishing with golden light.
I envision a high, sunny forest in the Baleares, Sicily, or even in Lebanon, whose cedars are world-famous. The “silver” in the name feels very apropos; there is a bright, silvery sheen to the fragrance which keeps the whole thing feeling light, calm, uplifting, even “happy” or “optimistic”, despite the ostensibly heavy notes.
Finally, I should note that there is barely any sweetness at all to Quorum Silver. The mandarin orange in the opening provides a little bit of fruitiness, but it is fairly short lived. However, the warm spices, amber, and patchouli in the base keep the fragrance from ever becoming too sharp, cold, or unfriendly.
If I were to describe Quorum Silver in a few words, they would be: warm, woody, spicy, fresh, calm, uplifting, and relaxing.
The presentation of Quorum Silver is in the old style and might come off somewhat “tacky” or “kitschy” in the modern day. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing. Personally, I love it.
I have a tester bottle of Quorum Silver, and so it did not come with any box other than a plain ol’ white cardboard one with the word “TESTER” on it.
The original box, however, does seem serviceable enough, a variation on the box for Quorum: a reflective silver color with the same striped pattern of Quorum, with the name of the fragrance and the brand printed in black.
Again, the bottle is retro by design – after all, it took its inspiration from a fragrance from 1981. You get a tall, faceted rectangle shaped bottle with a blocky, reflective silver cap (which I don’t have because, again, I have a tester bottle). The name of the fragrance and the concentration are printed on the front of the bottle in black lettering.
The sprayer is very, very good, shooting out a huge blast of fragrance with each atomization. And even if you don’t like the design of the bottle, you can’t fault its quality; it feels heavy and hefty and is clearly of decent make.
Your appreciation of the bottle is obviously going to come down to whether or not you like old-school fragrances, and really vintage stuff in general. The fragrance itself doesn’t smell old school, but the design of the bottle might put some people off.
Personally, I love retro fragrance bottles as well as vintage clothes and music. I basically live in the past out of nostalgia for an era I never lived in. So the bottle is certainly no problem for me; indeed, it’s almost a plus. But if you don’t like the bottle design, you can definitely appreciate Quorum Silver for the scent and the price instead.
The performance of Quorum Silver is excellent on my skin.
Longevity-wise, Quorum Silver is no slouch.
Three to four sprays on skin and fabric give me all day performance, eight to nine hours, if not more.
Quorum Silver has perfect longevity in my mind. It easily lasts all through a work day on my skin, which is exactly what I want and need out of a fragrance. It’s not a beast mode fragrance by any means, but it performs precisely how it should. Of course, you will get even more longevity if you spray on your clothes.
Projection & Sillage
Likewise, the projection and sillage of Quorum Silver are quite good, if not overly intense.
Three to four sprays on skin and fabric gives me about two to three hours of moderate projection and arm’s length sillage.
I can easily detect Quorum Silver all throughout the day. It creates a nice scent bubble around you, and anyone who comes into that bubble won’t fail to pick up on the scent. I can also readily smell the fragrance through my mask and when I’m driving my motorcycle, which is always a sign that a fragrance is performing quite well.
Again, it’s not a beast. It won’t fill a room, leave a mile-long trail behind you, or give anyone at the office a headache. However, people will definitely be able to smell you, and you will be able to smell yourself, so long as you don’t spray too much.
Overall, I’d rate the performance of Quorum Silver as very, very solid.
Value For Money
And now we come to the main selling point of the fragrance: the price!
A 3.4 oz (100ml) bottle of Quorum Silver retails for around $14.99. That’s ~$0.15/ml!
Well, I should rather say that it retailed for around $14.99…Officially, Quorum Silver is discontinued. However, it is still readily available online on retailers like Amazon and Walmart, as well as on fragrance discount websites like FragranceNet, FragranceX, and Notino.
I bought my bottle for $11.25 on FragranceX about a year ago. $11.25! That’s like, the cost of lunch at Panera Bread (to be honest, the lunch would probably be more expensive). The quality and performance that you’re getting makes it more than worth the price of admission.
Indeed, you could even call Quorum Silver a steal. I personally believe that, along with Lalique Encre Noire à L’Extrême, Bentley For Men Intense, Burberry London, Karl Lagerfeld’s Bois de Vetiver, and Ted Lapidus Black Soul Imperial, Quorum Silver is one of the best “cheapies” you can buy!
Overall, the value for money for Quorum Silver is fantastic.
Who Would Like It
Quorum Silver is a very likable fragrance. I would say that it is unlikely in the extreme that anyone would actively dislike it. There is nothing weird, challenging, or funky about it. However, it certainly doesn’t have the same kind of mass appeal as something like Bleu de Chanel or Sauvage.
I think that it’s best suited to men on the upper end of the age spectrum, say twenty-five and up (thirty is probably safer). I don’t think that this would appeal to younger guys, mostly because it isn’t particularly youthful (though neither is it particularly mature) and it doesn’t really have much “sex” appeal. This isn’t a fragrance to impress the ladies or go clubbing, but rather something to wear to work or to Sunday brunch.
Though I think it could be unisex (everything, in my mind, is unisex), I would say that it leans more towards the masculine side of the spectrum.
When To Wear It
Quorum Silver, like Hermès’ Rocabar, strikes me as particularly well-suited for autumn. It has everything I like in an autumn fragrance: dryness, woodiness, spiciness, and warmth. However, I would say that Quorum Silver is a good deal more versatile than Rocabar.
You could easily use Quorum Silver for all four seasons. It is obviously perfect for the transitional seasons, spring and autumn. However, less obvious is its applications for summer wear; this could easily be a great choice for a non-citrus based fresh spicy summer fragrance due to the ginger keeping things light throughout the life of the fragrance.
It wouldn’t be my first choice for winter wear, but if you have a relatively mild winter (and let’s be honest, that’s going to be all of us pretty soon), you could easily pull Quorum Silver off.
As for occasions, I think this would work best as an office fragrance, or for more casual kind of situations. Daytime dates (not the first, though), lunch with friends, a walk in the park, that kind of thing.
It simply doesn’t have that allure that immediately strikes me as a great first date or night out fragrance, and I would opt for something else if I were going to a formal or semi-formal event. However, for most occasions in the daytime, Quorum Silver will do you just fine.
There are quite a few similar fragrances to Quorum Silver out there.
Firstly, I’ve already mentioned Rocabar by Hermès. To be honest, they are not all that similar, but they are both dry, woody, spicy kinds of affairs and share a similar vibe if not exactly a similar scent profile. However, Rocabar is a lot more expensive and a lot quieter.
Azzaro Visit, another dry, spicy, cedar-based fragrance composed by the incredible Annick Menardo, is very close to Quorum Silver. However, Visit contains incense, and is darker and a bit more “urbane” than the easy-breezy Quorum Silver.
Lalique Pour Homme Equus is another similar scent in that dry, spicy, woody, slightly fresh category. It is definitely a little bit more refined than Quorum Silver, with a different bouquet of spices, violet leaves, leather, vetiver, juniper, and resins added. However, it is sweeter and more herbal than Quorum Silver.
Finally, Loewe Solo Cedro is also along that same dry, spicy, cedar tack. It contains almost the same notes, with lavender, pink pepper, mandarin orange, cedar, and nutmeg, and is also produced by a Spanish house. However, it is significantly fruitier and sweeter than Quorum Silver, basing itself on the orangey DNA of the Solo line.
Pros & Cons
- Great woody, spicy scent.
- Great performance.
- Excellent value for money.
- Discontinued – might become more and more difficult to find as time goes on.
- A “tacky” bottle which might turn some off.
- Somewhat synthetic, though the fragrance doesn’t smell cheap.
The Final Word
Overall, I really like Quorum Silver. I guess I’m the kind of person who always roots for the underdog – I would gladly display it on my fragrance shelf alongside my expensive niche fragrances, despite the fact that it cost me a measly $11.25. I also have a weakness for fragrances made in or inspired by Spain, so I have quite the affection for this little-fragrance-that-could.
But it’s not mere bias on my part that inclines me to enjoy Quorum Silver. It’s a well made, well blended, and decent quality fragrance with a loveable (in my opinion) retro bottle, great performance, and excellent value for money.
If you want a solid dry, spicy, woody, masculine, warm, but fresh fragrance on the cheap, I would honestly advise you to look no further than Quorum Silver.
Is it my favorite fragrance in the world? No. But am I glad to have it in my collection? You betcha.
Overall, I rate Antonio Puig’s Quorum Silver:
★★★★☆ 4 stars out of 5.