My feeling is that Penhaligon's has made a concerted effort to modernise and bring themselves out of British Victoriana and into the 21st century over the last three years or so. Hiring Bertrand Duchafour was probably a good step, and some of the releases of recent years have been quite daring or quirky, including Amaranthine, Sartorial and to a lesser extent, Orange Blossom and Juniper Sling.
Endymion is one of the older fragrances, but to my nose does not really smelly fusty. I often read comments on blogs that refer to British Reserve, Britishness, fustiness and other terms, that while not quite derogatory, are a bit nose-sniff-in-the-air, as if British people are not daring, but perhaps rather staid and boring. Well, I don't agree with that. Perfume aside, Britain has produced some of the greatest innovators the world has known. Anyway, I digress.
Back to Endymion, the notes include bergamot, mandarin, lavender, sage, geranium, coffee absolute, vetiver, nutmeg, black pepper, cardamom, musk, leather, sandalwood, incense, frankincense and myrrh. What a list of notes, as long as my arm. In reality, Endymion is by no means a basic, simple perfume, but the notes as listed do not manifest themselves quite as complicatedly either. Endymion is quite sweet to start, and a bit spicy. I'd say that the opening is the most generic part of it, following which it becomes lightly herbal, with a hint of leather and just a whiff of incense to carry it through to the dry down. I think it is a very nice fragrance and not really that masculine. I think the notes blend together very well, so it is hard to say that I can detect that many specific notes. The coffee note is subtle, but if you look closely it is there, pairing well with the resinous incense notes.
Penhaligon's perfumes have a reputation for poor longevity, but Endymion lasts fairly well. It isn't a strong perfume by any means though.