If you have ever admired the beautifully wrapped Christmas packages and parcels at a Penhaligon’s store or have been fortunate to have received an exquisite Penhaligon’s gift, you may like to learn a few of our gift-wrapping tips. In this piece, Dominic Collingridge, Penhaligon’s regional trainer and the man responsible for teaching gift-wrapping techniques, will divulge his secret tricks of the trade.
How to wrap the Penhaligon's way
At Penhaligon's we take pride in every aspect of the customer’s experience from the moment they walk through the door to enjoying the products at home. Here at Penhaligon’s, we opt for wrapping products in a clean and timeless manner, using simply paper and ribbon, and importantly, no sellotape! Here is how we do it!
1. To wrap the box: take a sheet of paper larger than the size of the box, if it is attached to a roll, leave it attached until you have figured out the right dimensions.
2. Place the box on the paper and using the box as a template, allow the paper to loosely follow the edges of the box until the body of the box is completely covered. The paper covering the top and bottom of the box can be ignored for the moment.
3. Pull the paper back a little and re-align, so that the paper meets itself around the box with no excess, literally just touching.
4. Measure between 1-2cm from the side of the box where the paper meets and make a mark. Cut a clean line where you have made the mark. You now have a free piece of paper the right width to work with.
5. Place the product back onto the paper with the front of the box facing away from you, readjust the paper so the edges of the paper meet directly down the middle of the back of the box.
6. Pull the paper tightly around the edges of the box to make crease marks to ensure everything returns to the right place.
7. Fold the paper at the top and bottom of the box into points, at the front and back of the box. Fold your points towards each other so they meet in the middle. (Cut away any excess paper covering the top and bottom of the box. The trick here is to not have too much paper, the more paper you have, the clumsier it will look.)
8. Now the paper will all come together. Stand the box upright so it is sitting on its bottom points.
9. Now onto the ribbon! From a reel of ribbon, pull enough out so that the middle of the ribbon meets the folds at the top of the box and spills over the sides of the box on to the table. Pull the two ends of the ribbon underneath the box, crossing each other. Bring the two sides of ribbon back up so the follow the centre of the final two sides. Pull together to tighten. Cut the ribbon so there is excess on both ends. Tie a knot where the two pieces of ribbon meet, at the top of the box.
10. The entire box should be together now, the paper should be smooth and tight and the ribbon should be clean and tight around it on all sides.
11. The excess ribbon will now form the coachman's knot. A coachman's knot is a knot at the end of a length of ribbon which can be used as a handle. This is the way all packages would have been put together in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They would have then been carried by the coachman of well heeled clients.
12. Cut the ribbon at an angle, and hey presto the gift is wrapped.
13. Next, find a bag which is appropriately sized for the gift. Place the product inside, take some tissue paper, and matching the scent of the gift inside the bag spray the paper, stuff in the top of the bag, and there we are a gift fit for a Penhaligon's customer.