From the Archives: Covent Garden

  • Posted on 27th January 2015 by Nick

  • In December 1975, Sheila Pickles opened Penhaligon's on Wellington Street, and revived classic fragrances to the original recipes in William and Walter's recipe books, which were inherited with the purchase of the company.

    All production was carried out on site: perfumes were blended and bottled at the rear of the store, behind a screen, so that customers could see the process first hand. Bath oils were created in the basement. Bottles were sealed with ribbon around a square stopper, until William's great grandaughter Renee brought an old bottle of Hammam Bouquet with her as proof that the bottles originally had the round stoppers we are familiar with today.

    In the following years, a selection of floral fragrances were created under the banner "Floral Toilet Waters", based on the Victorian tradition of Floriography, including Lily of the Valley (different from its original 1907 incarnation due to advances in perfumery), Violetta, Night Scented Stock, Orange Blossom, Gardenia and of course the iconic and unique Bluebell.

    The boutique on Wellington Street houses the original Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as a small museum of Penhaligon's archive perfumes and products at the rear of the store. The address still features prominently on many of the labels of our bottles, and Wellington Street remains "the most Penhaligon's" of all the Penhaligon's stores.