What a crying shame it would be to omit the telling of a tale such as this. A tale of the Prince of Perfumery. Call him William Penhaligon. He embarked on a plethora of peregrinations. Some involved the movement of his feet, others the rolling on of his mind. All his adventures were fragrant. And all were led by his nose. Allow Penhaligon’s to regale, if you please…
Our story starts with our founder. A humble Cornish barber who rose to the Royal Court and trimmed the Shah of Persia’s beard.
William H. Penhaligon enters the world on the 27th January, spending the formative years of his life in the quaint Penzance parish of Madron. It is here that the dreamer concocted his grand plan to pursue success as an olfactory entertainer and dab-handed barber.
William Penhaligon and his family make the move to London – we can only speculate what flavour sandwiches they chose to pack for the journey – settling in with a Penhaligon’s relative, Henry, on Rochester Row, Westminster.
William opens up his barber shop on Jermyn Street, adjacent to the Hammam, and proceeds to trim the tresses of Mayfair’s bright young things. Penhaligon & Jeavons is born.
William creates his first fragrance, Hammam Bouquet, inspired by the Turkish Baths where he was resident barber. It’s exotic. It’s exciting. It causes quite a stir. His customers clamour for more. William, of course, obliged.
Walter Penhaligon inherits the business from his father, William Henry, and proceeds to dazzle the darlings of society with his delightful concoctions.
Walter Penhaligon proves the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, being commissioned to create the iconic Blenheim Bouquet for the 9th Duke of Marlborough.
Upon hearing the news of William Penhaligon’s passing, Queen Alexandra awards Penhaligon’s with its first Royal Warrant.