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Hammam Bouquet - A True Original

  • Posted on 3rd March 2016 by Nick

  • Our earliest fragrance, Hammam Bouquet was created in 1872 by our founder William Penhaligon, shortly after he founded his barber shop within the Hammam Baths of Jermyn Street, Picadilly. Founded by the London and Provincial Turkish Bath Co. in 1862, Jermyn Street's first Hammam's were considered the finest in Europe.

    Hammam Bouquet
    The Hammam itself was a sight to behold, the front holding three floors, the top of which William Penhaligon had taken over and entirely converted into a barber's shop with direct access to Jermyn Street by 1874. A large building, the great hall or mustaby which was open to the outer air, a middle chamber where the heat is moderate, and the inner hall, which contained the hot baths themselves.

    Hammam Bouquet

    The workers of the Hammam were imported from Constantinople, bringing with them the true Turkish traditions of the Hammam from the East to the West.
    Hammam Dry Room

    Famously, the Shah of Persia visited the Jermyn Street Hammam on his tour of London in 1889. William himself was said to have trimmed the Shah's hair and beard, as one of his assistants had been cleansing the Shah's beard with Hammam Bouquet "which lay like the morning dew on his royal bristles and his moustache".
    Hammam Interior Room

    Unsurprisingly, Hammam Bouquet developed a cult following. Many of the famous clients of the Hammam and the Penhaligon & Jeavons barbers relied upon Hammam Bouquet. Advertised within Harrod's catalogue in 1895, Hammam Bouquet was described simply as its name - having become so popular and well known that the Penhaligon name was immaterial to the consumer of the day.
    Hammam Harrods Advert

    In fact, in Webster's Red Book in 1905, Penhaligon's advertised itself as "The Sole Depot for The Hammam Bouquet" - showing again that the perfume had grown more famous than its creator, and that Penhaligon's needed to remind the buying public that Hammam Bouquet was their own creation.

    Websters Book

    Today, Hammam Bouquet is still in our line up. Smelling it is like opening a time capsule, stepping back 140 years and celebrating the Victorian obsession with the East. It captures the scent of the Hammam perfectly, the wooden ceilings, the stone floors, the dry heat, the rose and lavender oils that would have been used in treatments. Whilst it may not be to everyone's taste, those who appreciate Hammam Bouquet are loyal to our original classic, William Penhaligon's first perfume.
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