Last 2012 Christmas, we took our family out of Manila and stayed in a private home in Batangas. There were no resorts in the area. It was very quiet. No Christmas decorations and commercial activities. The only Christmas music we heard was from residents who would drop by and sing carols for us. We celebrated Holy Mass with the seaside community. We got the pure non-commercial Christmas we’d planned for. We only brought one present each other. The rest of the gifts were left in our house.
The one gift I received was a bottle of Penhaligon’s perfume. My husband chose it for me. It is, to this day, my favourite scent. One word to describe it – powdery. In detail, the top notes are nectarine and green notes; middle notes are green apple, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, tea, violet and vanilla; base notes are oakmoss, sandalwood, musk and amber. It is so good I sometimes sleep with a spray of Artemisia.
Penhaligon’s holds two Royal Warrants, a mark of recognition to individuals or companies who have supplied goods or services for at least five years to HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales. Going back to the early years of the company towards the end of Queen Victoria’s reign, William Penhaligon had been appointed Barber and Perfumer to the Royal Court. In 1903 the business was granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Alexandra. Penhaligon’s has two long-standing Royal Warrants from HRH The Prince of Wales (granted in 1988) and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh (granted in 1956.)
My favourites. All in my wish list – 1. Tea on the Terrace scented candle 2. The miniature fragrance collection from last season contains five bottles of best-selling fragrances in 5ml. Set includes Gardenia, Ellenisia, Lily of the Valley, Artemisia, and Malabah 3. Tralala is Penhaligon’s newest fragrance inspired by the fantastical universe of designers Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff 4. Lily of the Valley 5. Artemisia 6. Malabah.
One of the newest scents, Tralala is a beautiful complicated fragrance. I sprayed it on my wrist and I couldn’t stop smelling my wrist all day. Head notes start with Aldehydes, Saffron, Whiskey, Ambrette Seed Butter, Galbanum, Violet Leaf Absolute. Heart notes include Carnation, Leather, Tuberose, Ylang Ylang, Orris, Incense. And base notes are Myrrh Resinoid, Opoponax Absolute, Patchouli, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Heliotrope, Musk Vanilla.
Juniper Sling, Quercus and Endymion are the popular scents for men. But they were created to be enjoyed by both men and women. Of the three I choose Quercus for my husband. And I’d wear Juniper Sling myself.
Some of the many products of Quercus. 1. Hand Wash and Hand and Nail Lotion 2. Deodorant 3. Cologne 4. Fine English Soap. As I mentioned earlier, Quercus is a popular scent for men, but it is also very much enjoyed by women. A very interesting scent, Quercus starts off with “a light burst of citrus and basil, supported by a heart accord of jasmine, cardamom and muguet that is sweet, spiced and supremely delicate. The greenness of basil persists into the surprisingly resilient musk and sandalwood base notes. These are warmed through with moss and patchouli to create elegant, strong and uplifting cologne.”
During my visit, Iris Prima was prominently displayed with a pair of pointe shoes. This new scent is inspired by the world of ballet. And you know me and ballet… love everything about it (shoes, skirts, hair).
Like Iris Prima, Vaara is also in the family of woody scents. This appeals to both men and women. Vaara starts with a “blend of coriander and carrot seeds, creamy saffron and juicy quince. The heart of Vaara is inspired by the gardens of Balsamand, the Maharaja’s summer palace, with two glorious roses blended with a white note of Indian magnolia, a touch of freesia and a whisper of iris. Vaara’s base notes are a combination of honey, white musks and resins dripping over an aromatic base of tonka, cedarwood and sandalwood.”
Blenheim Bouquet is one of Penhaligon’s original scents made by William Penhaligons himself. It is a wonderful mix of citrus oils, spices and woods. It’s hard to believe this was created over a hundred years ago. Blenheim Bouquet is listed under Gentlemen’s department. But as any of Penhaligon’s scents go, this appeals to both men and women.
It goes without saying that one day I’m going to have to buy this for Lily who patiently sat through my afternoon at Adora. It wasn’t a big chore for her though. She loves this kind of world where everything is pretty and floral. She got to sample Lily of the Valley and she was so careful when washing her hands because she wanted to prolong the scent on her wrist. She’s only eight. Oh Lily.
Penhaligon’s is exclusively available in the Philippines at Adora in Greenbelt 5, Makati. For more information www.penhaligons.com