penhaligon’s: 7 posts

Penhaligon’s Ostara : Fragrance Review

55555

My tastes for white florals are indiscriminate, encompassing everything from vulgar things like Guerlain Mayotte to prim school governess types like Jessica McClintock. But even I can get tired of the genre and retreat to other pastures for a change–dry woods and damp mosses, perhaps. This is what happened for most of last year, when I was so satiated with white florals that I declared a moratorium on new acquisitions. But it’s a testament to Pehnaligon’s Ostara’s loveliness that despite my best intentions, I ended up breaking my resolve.

ostara

Ostara shines brightly to me for its surprising combination of the lush, decadent heft that makes lovers of white florals swoon and the exhilarating springtime freshness. Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour built the composition around the theme of narcissus, a flower that on a stem smells honeyed and indolic, but when turned into essence becomes leathery, musky and somber. Ostara melds both facets, but it stays on the sunny side.

Continue reading →

The Essence of London : In Perfume Bottle

I have a new article in the Financial Times Magazine’s fragrance column. Titled The Essence of London, it describes my quest for a fragrance that captures the scent of London, a city I once called home. Once I left London, I missed it so much that I longed even to get a whiff of The Thames at low tidy (yes, that’s how much I longed for London!)

bottles-ft

When I mention to people that I love the smell of London, they usually make a quip about smog and exhaust fumes. Like most big cities, London has its fair share of unsavoury odours. The musty smell of the Thames at low tide is the least irksome of them, but I would paint an olfactory portrait of London with the freshness of daffodils in Kew Gardens, the antique-wood sweetness of the National Portrait Gallery and the pungency of the spices at Portobello Road Market. I would add the heady, creamy accent of Neal’s Yard Dairy for the rich base notes. Please read the rest by clicking here.

What environmental scents do you experience on a daily basis? Please don’t hesitate to tell us about the unpleasant ones! Brussels often smells like vanilla thanks to the ever-present waffle stands, but you only need to enter the subway to experience that ineffable musty rag odor hovering in the underground passages.

Photo via FT

Penhaligon’s Iris Prima : Perfume Review

33333

In the video for Penhaligon’s fragrance Iris Prima, artists from the English National Ballet recount the scents of ballet: sweat, tears, dusty curtains, tiger balm, more sweat. “All of the things you don’t see from the front and that we have to endure, but it’s well-worth it,” remarks one dancer.  Ballet is about an illusion, lightness, magic. When a ballerina glides across the stage on the tips of her pointe shoes, we don’t feel her pain or her strain. We aren’t meant to. For Penhaligon’s to promise us a scent of ballet is daring. Will we really get the whiff of bodies covered in makeup and sweat, rosin covering the floor, musty shoes?

iris-prima2

Not at all, as it turns out. Iris Prima is as prim and graceful as Princess Aurora of Sleeping Beauty. Sweat, blood, tears? There is hardly a trace. Iris Prima captures the same romantic ballet vision that makes many girls dream of white tutus and satin shoes.

Continue reading →

Penhaligon’s Vaara : Perfume Review

33333

A perfume fit for a Maharaja, says Penhaligon’s about Vaara, a fragrance inspired by the Royal House of Marwar-Jodphur in Rajasthan. This state in the northwest of India means “the land of kings,” and it’s renowned for its colorful textiles, filigreed palaces and majestic forts. It’s also the place where you can buy opium scented incense (whether or not it includes the actual drug is another matter) and try the decadently rich milk shakes perfumed with pistachios, almonds and saffron. Like most of India, it’s a sensory roller coaster.

penhaligons-vaara-perfume

So, why is Vaara such a wallflower? Etro has already tried to take us to Rajasthan with its recent fragrance, but the violet and rose combination never got past the South of France. Despite its promises, Vaara doesn’t even cross the Channel. It’s soft spoken and mild, a perfume for someone who really doesn’t like orientals or anything richer than frozen yogurt.

Continue reading →

Penhaligon’s Sartorial : Fragrance Review

44444

Sarto2

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

As I wrote in Running with the Boys, some fragrance types seem so quintessentially masculine that I find it hard to wear them. The fougère style fragrances combine herbal notes with the rich sweetness of amber, tonka bean and musk and are among the most classical of masculine perfumes (think Calvin Klein Eternity for Men!) I have used words like virile, burly and hair-chested to describe this genre, but it is a gross generalization. Manly though this style is, it can also be elegant and polished. I only need to reach for Tom Ford Lavender Palm and Penhaligon’s Sartorial to find two recent examples.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • ETHEL PARKER in Perfume Decants and Samples Giveaway: I recommend Rose Nacree du Desert(discontinued) ! It was the first time I was able to fully enjoy a fragrance with Oud! The blending of saffron and rose is exquisite,… May 29, 2017 at 3:56pm

  • Hera in Perfume Decants and Samples Giveaway: Thank you for the giveaway. I would like to receive samples and decants for sure. My favorite roses are FM Une Rose and Guerlain Nahema. May 29, 2017 at 12:28pm

  • Aurora in Perfume Decants and Samples Giveaway: Don’t enter me into the draw, I can get hold of samples if I am tempted to discover the Malle perfumes. May 29, 2017 at 10:18am

  • Maria in Perfume Decants and Samples Giveaway: Thank you for sharing with us, Monica! Have you tried Montale Red Flowers, it’s a beautiful spicy rose. Even if I am not in roses I wear it sometimes and… May 29, 2017 at 4:38am

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2017 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.