PG loves Penhaligon’s.
Such a statement should not exactly come as a surprise if you’ve been following us for the past few years, since Penhaligon’s is quite the frequent visitor in these columns : Hugo kicked off the trend by reviewing Sartorial when it first came out, and Sonya became smitten over Endymion a few years ago. I myself fell for Penhaligon’s charms last week when I placed Eau du Roi on my list of quality perfumes to wear at the office.
Penhaligon’s is a house shrouded in that playful air of British arrogance, cliché’d beyond reason, but entirely self-conscious and deeply endearing – a wonderful brand that to this day keeps doing what it does best since its inception : going about its business with one foot firmly set in the past, gazing towards the future while gleefully ignoring the present and all its transitory trends.
Is there a better perfume to illustrate such a philosophy than the legendary Blenheim Bouquet ?
Of course, everything has already been said about Blenheim Bouquet, created in 1902 and known for being one of Churchill’s favorite fragrances.
Many of you are probably already familiar with such a high standard of British perfumery, but there are some things in this world that are worth repeating :
Blenheim Bouquet is a perfume of clean and elegant simplicity, made of lemon, lime and lavender, spiced up by a touch of basil and a drop of bergamot. It closes on spicy-woody notes – take some pine, rince in musk, add a slice of cedar, a hint of coriander, fold your razor, knot your tie, put on your coat, and off you go, ready for the day.
The Blenheim Palace in Woodstock Oxfordshire, Winston Churchill’s place of birth. The many gardens of the property are said to have inspired the creation of Blenheim Bouquet.
A true Penhaligon’s classic and historically their second original perfume. The very kind of cologne that the Englishman of yore would splash below his neckline at the top of his morning routine.
Indeed, Blenheim Bouquet smells like morning cleanliness, a bit soapy even – but reminiscent of those good soaps, made from good fat and good ingredients.
Of course, as is the case with many such classics, Blenheim Bouquet somewhat sets the stage for current perfumery trends, with some key elements heralding, namely in modern “sport colognes”—those batches of generic soapy, fresh liquid that flood the market each month, screaming for attention from the very first drop in an attempt to mask the abyssal void where the personality of the fragrance should reside.
But I digress.
Blenheim Bouquet is, on the contrary, a discreet product, puffed up with sheer charm. Depending on your type of skin, Blenheim could prove lacking in sillage (the “fragrance trail” that stays momentarily, after you are gone). This can be a good thing, as it makes the fragrance all the more versatile and easy to wear in a variety of circumstances.
Be warned though ; as Blenheim Bouquet evolves and dries down, it goes from fresh and citrusy to woody and spicy, in a way that might surprise some, in comparison to its straightforward beginning . As with all perfumes, we strongly advise you take the time to let this particular one rest on your skin and then decide for yourself.
Nevertheless, Blenhein Bouquet is, without a doubt, one of British Perfumery’s watershed creations – a splendid composition indeed, even if a bit stern.
A classic among classics, ideal for the coming spring.
— — — —
++ : A classic formula, simple, fresh, sophisticated.
— : Lifespan can teeter on the short end of the spectrum depending on your skin type.
Wear it with : Pride and composure.