A Morning with Penhaligon's

  • Posted on 21st April 2016 by Guest:Jess-on-Thames

  • Jess from Travel Blog Jess-on-Thames recently reviewed our Fragrance Profiling at the Burlington Arcade - here's the story of her morning with us...

    << This is a post about perfume that begins with a story about the ballet: I trained classically until I was in university and to this day, few things get my heart going as much as seeing the maestro’s wand go up, the curtain rise and the first point shoe peak out on stage. (We won’t delve into the details of that time I cried during a performance of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House because it was so perfect.)
    The above was but some brief context to say: I’ve loved a bottle of Penhaligon’s
    Iris Prima perfume I was given as a gift when I first arrived in London (made in partnership with the English National Ballet, the iris plays the role of “Prima Ballerina”). It still sits on my shelf, safe in its distinct little glass bottle and leather sole label.
    So I was curious when Penhaligon’s invited me to try a fragrance profiling session. Half of me stubbornly thought “I already have my favorite…” and the other half reluctantly admitted “I am never good at answering questions about what I like… this is how I have ended up with countless poor haircuts and drawers full of iffy makeup colors….” I can also be notoriously indecisive. And yet there was something about the ballet-inspired perfume I already owned and quintessentially British feel to the brand that I was really curious about.
    My session was held at their store in the Burlington Arcade and the historian in me loved the facts the team told me about the property. Our session was held in a tiny red velveted room on the second floor of the shop – just myself, the lovely store manager, an antique couch and display cases I may have tried to take with me had it not been for a particularly steep staircase and bottle-upon-bottle of perfume.

    Fragrance Profiling at Penhaligon's
    Penhaligon's Ellenisia

    I immediately fell in love with the delicate Ellenisia… closely followed by Juniper Sling (an eau de toilette dedicated to the 1920s which smells – if you can imagine it – like a gin & tonic bottled into a perfume) and Artemisia (evoking the goddess of hunting and soft cashmere).
    Bloggers are storytellers, so I love that it is Penhaligon’s creative department which tasks the perfumers with a story, a place or an item they then have to craft a scent from, using over 3000+ raw materials at their disposal. The perfumes are still made in England and still presented in the same bottles – just as they were back when William Penhaligon first created his original scent (it was in fact his son’s 1902 scent Blenheim Bouquet which made the brand famous… it was made for the Duke of Marlborough of Blenheim Palace fame.)
    Armed now with my new love for a perfume loaded with history, I also learned a few interesting perfume facts:
    The Perfume Pyramid
    I have to thank the Penhaligon’s team for a truly wonderful hour spent during the profiling session and gladly recommend it to anyone interested in a new perfume. I know I will be returning soon because I’ve just read they have a scent called “Bluebell” which sounds delightful. For more information on fragrance profiling and to book a complimentary session, contact a Penhaligon’s store. >>
    Read more from Jess on her blog: jessonthames.com.
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