This is only the second Penahaligon's scent I have given a thumbs down to- the first was their Extract of Limes, another Anthology return.
First of all, the scent is far removed from the gentle scent of orange blossoms in bloom (and why neroli, which is orange blossom, is listed in addition to orange blossom as an ingredient has me stumped - don't they know it's the same thing?). It is sticky sweet, over the top, yucky candy. Caswell-Massey had an identical scent, Helio, which they discontinued, thankfully, in the early 1980s.
This is what you would expect the lipstick, powder and scent of a nineteenth century woman of the streets to wear - it smells cheap and gaudy and nauseating. Why either Penhaligon's or Caswell created it in the first place is beyond me. Why Penhaligon's chose to revive it must remain one of the unsolved riddles of life.
This is just awful, putrid stuff. One of the worst scents I have ever experienced.
28th June, 2011 (last edited: 13th July, 2011)
Many scents are described as soft, but few actually convey the sensation of resting your head on a floating pillow of immaculately-shaped petals. Penhaligon's Orange Blossom - the latest release in their 'Anthology' line of reissues, put together by Bertrand Duchaufour - is just such a fragrance: a quiet, verdant little cushion. Eschewing the eponymous ingredient's animalic tones, the opening opts for a blanket of gentle white buds, not unlike last year's much-praised Amaranthine. Citrus notes peer through and more traditional florals - mainly rose and jasmine - are allowed a moment to shine as well, although they too are kept elegantly pearly. Finally, the smoky woodiness of petitgrain is just permitted to hover in the background, brushing the whole with a wisp of richness. On paper, the effect is much sharper and more citrusy, so a combination of fabric and skin application is probably the way to go with this one, but regardless of how you choose to wear it - and despite the fact, that strictly speaking, it should have a different mame - you'll most likely enjoy the tender halo it creates around you.
26th September, 2010 (last edited: 07th October, 2010)