Quintessentially British and exquisitely surprising, we sample the fine fragrances of Penhaligons
Penhaligons’ refreshingly complex Lily of the Valley perfume was the official scent of this month’s blockbuster Autumn / Winter London Fashion Week. Sweet, warm and gracefully floral in aroma, its deceptive strength and persistence is also something of a metaphor for the perfumery’s long-lasting appeal.
We find the establishment, today, offering up to 34 unusual and distinctive fragrances across its boutiques in the UK (London, York, Cambridge, Bicester, Edinburgh and Chester) as well as abroad, in Singapore and the US, few of which will be matched elsewhere.
Look first of all at the aforementioned Lily of the Valley. Created in 1976, it has grown to become a modern day classic of distinct contrasts. Warm touches of citrus are blended curiously with the beguiling scents of rose and jasmine, while the creativity behind such a product ensures its longevity in the air as well as its links with the past. This creativity was first seen in the company’s debut fragrance, made by the Penhaligon’s founder, William Henry. Back then, in 1872, he blended his first aroma inspired by the scents of the Turkish baths, its excess of steam and sulphur guiding his own creative hand. So popular was his brand and so exciting his perfume, that soon he made the bold step from Cornish barber to perfumer to her majesty, Queen Victoria.
Today, we find Penhaligon’s flagship store located in London’s exclusive Regent Street. Opened in 2006, it has recently benefitted from a lustrous and bold makeover thanks to renowned designer Christopher Jenner.
Edwardian styling has been effortlessly blended with modern twists – as befitting the creative history behind the brand – to create an iconic look to the boutique. To shop and browse among the musings of Jenner’s own creativity is a delight and after looking carefully at the fragrances on offer one can immediately see a blend of inspiration that runs through all that Penhaligon’s.
For the ladies, look towards the Amaranthine, Eau de Parfum. Created as recently as 2009, it is described as “a corrupted floral oriental for those private moments when everything is anticipation”. Opening with a dramatic flourish of spices, its drama is beautifully ambushed by an unctuous accord of jasmine and ylang-ylang. Elsewhere, we have Cornubia. Created in 1991 by renowned perfumer Nathalie Lawson, it is a glamorous oriental, rich with swathes of cherry-sweet vanilla and hypnotic heliotrope. It is an ideal way with which to seductively wrap yourself in a vibrant, thickly dark and luxurious fragrance.
Moving on to the men’s collection and we have Quercus cologne. Created in 1996, its light touches of citrus and basil are underpinned by floral jasmine and the sweeter, spicier cardamom and mugeut. Skirting the border between feminine and masculine, it is a scent that is distinct but not overpowering, light and floral yet backed by the warm, sharp smell of spice that roots it firmly as a gent’s fragrance. Moving on to the Eau de Verveine, and we have the scent of an Indian Summer, shimmering heat haze, soft metallics, crumbled herbs, spices, musk and vanilla. It evokes that atmosphere of a hot spice market, the warmth in the air suffused with myriad powders and poultices pleasantly assaulting the senses.
Stepping momentarily away from the fragrances and Penhaligon’s can also treat the love of your life to a gift to truly remember. Choose from an exclusive range of bath and body gifts for her and show your love for the man in your life with a shaving gift for him. Either way, Penhaligon’s help provide an elegant and creative way of saying “I love you”.
So there we have the range of Penhaligon’s. From Cornish barber to Queen’s perfumer and from humble City beginnings to an international array of boutiques, delight in perfumery with an inspirational back story to match many today’s most exclusive offerings.
Available Exclusively at The Perfume Lounge – Kingdom of Bahrain