Every fragrance should tell a story. With a constantly expanding selection of scents in my perfume arsenal, it becomes more and more difficult for certain bottles, and brands, to stand out. Too much choice can definitely be a bad thing, and if a perfume house can make my job easier, I am all for sampling their fragrances. Penhaligon’s, one of the oldest perfumers in the British capital, certainly have a story to tell and their new fragrance profiling experience is a personal and enjoyable way to really get to know the history of the brand and all of the fragrances they have on offer. With more than forty unique smells to get your nose around, it is certainly worth using the guidance of their experts to find that fragrance that fits you.
A foray into Burlington Arcade is always magical, especially this time of year, and the small dedicated fragrance room on the upper floor of Penhaligon’s channels even more of the Harry Potter style quaintness to make you really feel at home. The original shop was founded on Jermyn Street by barber William Penhaligon. Originally situated next to an 1800s hammam, the first fragrance launched by the Cornishman was the Hammam Bouquet; a fragrance redesigned and still on offer to this very day. A little dated for my taste, it still offered a fascinating insight into 1800s perfumery.
The fragrance profiling itself took into account my own personal tastes in both food and lifestyle. A preference for something a little woodier and whisky-ier definitely came through in the chat and I sampled a few standout pieces. The new Portraits collection certainly draws you in through the design of the bottle but, ultimately, I opted for something a little more complex; Lothair. Inspired by the famous tea clipper ship of the same name, the heart of black tea is sweetened by the essence of fig and fig milk. You can almost picture that ship sailing along the trade routes more than one hundred years ago; the fragrance smelling as if it had been drawn from the varnished decks itself.
I highly recommend a trip to Penhaligon’s for their fragrance profiling, even if it is just to discover some new fragrances and scents that you may never have known existed. Each bottle is full of rich history and there are certainly some unique stories to be told. The profiling itself is free to arrange, with no obligation to purchase any fragrances at the end of it. No excuse not to give it a try!