Elixir was created as a response to Hammam Bouquet, a link back through time.
An incense fragrance, the scent of morning after mass. Olivia created other incense fragrances: Passage D’Enfer (LAP) and Hotel Costes.
(History of incense… per fumum… through smoke..up to the gods) images of incense burners….kodos.
Very ecclesiastical scent – Church Trail (London’s most famous churches)
Book – ‘Brideshead Revisited’ by Evelyn Waugh.
In 2008, when Penhaligon’s wanted to create a perfumed response and homage to the vintage classic Hammam Bouquet, the brand chose renowned French perfumer Olivia Giacobetti taking the original mysteries of the Hammam Turkish baths and transposing them into a modern olfactory idiom.
The original Hammam Bouquet was first made in 1872, inspired by the sulphurous atmospherics of the Turkish baths where William Penhaligon had his first barber shop. With its powerful notes of rose otto, jasmine, iris and sandalwood, Hammam Bouquet rests on a memory of strong animalic facets, and lavender.
Elixir is an expansive and dramatic take on incense, the scented equivalent of a modern Hammam spa experience. It is invigorating, luxurious and deeply personal. It opens with eucalyptus steam and the harmonising hot spices of cardamom, cinnamon and mace. The senses are flooded with rose and jasmine, sharpened with a twist of orange. Heat and smoke rise: incense and woods mingle with the earthy rub of resins and spices. A clean white towel note of the eucalyptus, the spiced air, the luxurious soak in roses and jasmine. All around you is the reassuring warmth of woods and golden balms. Incense drifts through the air.
The rose and jasmine heart is smoked with a complex incense note, not the cheap acridness of joss sticks but the gorgeous curling depth of religious incense. There is something very churchy in this scent, an embedded impression of stone, leather, smoke and history. The initial mingle of aromas settles into something very spiced and green with touches of vanilla, ambient woods and balms. An adventurous and deeply uplifting scent (it demands to inhaled and savoured….), Elixir is quite magical and perfect to mark a moment in time that needs that something a little bit special.
Head Notes: Eucalyptus, Cardamom, Orange Blossom Absolute and White Cedar
Heart Notes: Red Turkish Rose Absolute, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute, Cinnamon Leaves, Mace and Rosewood
Base Notes: Benzoin, Tonka beans, Vanilla, Incense, Red Sandalwood and Guaicum Wood