Decorate: Yourself, or someone else

By Jo Phillips

Fragrance is a shield; a way to present yourself in the world as the perfect version you want other to ‘feel’ of you. Ever wondered why you choose the fragrances you do? or whether a certain time of day or even mood effects exactly how you may well feel you want to ‘smell?

Basically, the power of smell, even in this day and age is totally under-appreciated. Yes it is one of our most powerful senses. Hence the proliferation of niche perfume houses, bespoke services and one to ones with perfumers to answer the age of question of what do I really want to smell like? It may seem like a simple question yet deep down if far more complex.  Smell is such a base human quality which drives so much of our behaviour and how we sense the world around us.

Personally, I love the ability to distinguish different smells whether it be food, plant life, paper and flowers, all the nice things of course. I was totally inspired by my parents, who loved the garden and both of whom were prolific perfume wearers. My father a classic mens fragrance strong, bold and very much a message of I’m a powerful man wearing scent. My mother, no shy and retiring lady either, whose scents of choice were 1950’s classic french floral powdery scents, not sickly but strong independent and very very chic. To even my five year old nose both of them smelt amazing…always. Fragrance was not saved for the odd special occasion but for every day use.

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If you really like the idea under of getting under the skin of why we like and what we like, why not go and experience a Fragrance personality profile with Penhaligons.   It’s all free but you need to make an  appointment, which lasts somewhere between 45-75 minutes ands is held in one of the shops private rooms.  The rooms of course are lush and inviting and hold a real sense of the history of this most British of brands.  Spend time with a team member who will ask a few pressing but by no means exposing questions.

It really works this simply:

The fragrance experts explore the customer’s fragrance tastes, memories and associations, building a personality profile along the way.

The client is introduced to each of the fragrance families (citrus, floral and oriental and so on) and carefully watched for reactions as they sniff each scented strip. The most important part of this process is that the customer is never told the name of the fragrance and the bottle is held so the label is not revealed. In this way we can ensure the client is reacting purely to the smell and is not being influenced by visual clues.

Once a fragrance family is settled upon, further scented strips are presented to the client; narrowing down the choices, exploring notes and delving a little deeper until only two are left. The client is then encouraged to try these two scents on their skin to see how they react to their skin chemistry.

The final fragrance can then be revealed.

The client is then encouraged to try these two scents on their skin to see how they react to their skin chemistry.

The final fragrance can then be revealed.

It’s a truly intimate delightful way to spend part of an afternoon with a cup of tea or even a glass of champagne!

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 William Penhaligon, created his first fragrance  Hammam Boutquet in 1872 and its still available today, which say so much about how great the brand is and how it is so much has been invested in its original london history.  A heady, musky aroma inspired by what was emanating from the Turkish baths on Jermyn Street. Penhaligon set up a barber shop, and traded there until it was bombed in the Second World War. Initially a barber with he gave this up to focus on fragrances, now all the stores have  old cabinets of soaps, lotions, talcs and candles alongside  32 signature scents,  packaged in clear, ribbon-wrapped vials modelled after William Penhaligon’s original bottle design.

So whether you’re seeking a glamorous disguise, or searching for the scent which reflects the real you, we hope you enjoy learning more about your Fragrance Personality.

If you just love the brand anyway you may like to here about the new launches which celebrates a Mythical Love Story Introducing Endymion Concentré and Luna EDT.

In ancient Greek mythology, Endymion, the most handsome son of Zeus, was placed into a perpetual slumber by the Goddess of the Moon so that she could gaze upon him forever, his stunning face unmarked by the passage of time. The wishes of the Goddess were granted, and Endymion slept on for all eternity, his smile everlasting. And no wonder, for he spent his life forever dreaming that he held the moon, Luna, gently in his arms.

Penhaligon’s offers a duo of fragrances inspired by this most romantic of love stories, Endymion Concentré and Luna EDT.


Endymion Concentré is a new and intense iteration of the original Endymion, which debuted in 2003. A semi-oriental fragrance, like its namesake, this new concentré is timeless in its beauty and intense in its appeal. A fusion of spices, leather and florals, Endymion Concentré opens with notes of sage and lavender to reveal the sensuality of suede layered with geranium. As it warms to the skin, leather notes intensify and hints of creamy nutmeg mix with incense for a base that is both sweet and seductive.

Head notes: Bergamot, lavender, sage Heart notes: Geranium, suede accord Base notes: Leather, incense, nutmeg

Luna EDT, a new fresh floral from Penhaligon’s, offers a feminine counterpart to the woody leather notes of Endymion Concentré. Inspired by the light of a magnificent crescent moon that brightens one’s dreams, this luxurious new fragrance captures the intoxicating spirit of the mythical Goddess of the Moon. Hypnotic and sensual, Luna shines up from the dark water, illuminating the ink-coloured night sky. Opening with the bitter freshness of orange bigarade, the heart unfolds with the crisp lightness of juniper berry, rounded off with the sensuality of a dark woody base.

Head notes: Bergamot oil, lemon primofiore oil, orange bigarade oil

Heart notes: Rose accord, jasmine petal accord, juniper berry oil

Base notes: Fir balsam, amber gris, musks

Both Fragrances are available from June at  Penhaligon’s

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