William Penhaligon was born in Philby, Cornwall in 1837. Having founded his Perfumers and Barbers in Penzance in 1861, William married his wife Elisabeth in 1862. William and Elisabeth had 4 children: Clara, Ida, William and Walter. William and his family moved to London, and William took up his position at the Hammam on Jermyn Street in 1869.
Wildly creative and ambitious, William was inspired by his new surroundings, creating his first fragrance, Hammam Bouquet, in 1872. Showing a flair for business, William took over the exclusive salon in the baths in 1874, soon expanding to include perfumery and other fragranced delights. With an elegant refurbishment of the premises, befitting the increasingly notable clientele, and a burgeoning reputation for the best quality ingredients and innovative preparations, William’s career was in the ascent. Mr Jeavons, the foreman of the hairdressers, became a partner in 1880 and Penhaligon's & Jeavons was born.
In 1903 Penhaligon’s were awarded their first Royal Warrant by Queen Alexandra as a ‘devotee of natural products only which was Penhaligon’s trademark.’
William was renowned for his wit and intellect, the Worcester Journal reported that “Mr Forster, anxious no doubt to wash off the dust of Ireland, went on Monday last to the Turkish bath... he remarked to Penhaligon, the hairdresser, “It is very hot here this morning.” “It is,” replied the ever ready Penhaligon; “but you will find it much hotter in the House of Commons this afternoon.”
William passed away in 1902. His obituary describes that he was 'actively involved with one of London’s most renowned and important hairdressing salon' and that his 'great forte lay in the manufacture of perfumes and hair washes which are now world wide renowned.' A family man, William’s 'spare moments were devoted to his home and surrounds which he loved so well.'
Happy Father's Day William! True to your founding principles we continue to seek new ways to interpret elegance and deliver with personality and sopistication.