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  1. #1

    Default Ladies' Penhaligons

    Spurred on by my attraction for Blenheim Bouquet and Quercus, I ordered some samples from Penhaligon's website (nice Jan sale now going on)

    So far, after cursory sniffing, my favorite of the ladies' fragrances I have sampled is
    Malabah Spicy and intriguing. Mood elevating, too.
    Notes as follows:

    Head Notes
    Lemon, Earl Grey Tea and Cilantro

    Heart Notes
    Ginger, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Rose and Orris

    Base Notes
    Sweet amber, Sandalwood and Musk

    So far, the other ladies selections feel a bit "tight" to me. Will give them some time.
    I seem to much prefer the depth of the male fragrances of this line. I like Blenheim Bouquet, Quercus, and English Fern in particular, not to wear, but to sniff!
    Though Quercus is soft enough for Womanly Wear, IMO.
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  2. #2

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    Thank you so much for passing on the information about the Penhaligon sample sale. Of course, I had to buy both the women's and the men's. Just last night I was going to purchase two of their samples from somewhere else for more money. Now I can have a regular English Scent-Fest when they arrive without feeling too much guilt. The presentation box is lovely too.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    malabah!

    that is my fav of the ladys scents from penhaligons. bluebells is pretty nice also.

    have you sampled castile yet? i think it would be very lovely on a woman. that is one that wasnt in my scent library that i purchased a while back and i perhaps my fav from them. a great sharp neroli opening that settles down to a softer woodsy neroli and rose scent that is gorgeous. it seems to work with my body chemistry very well.

    another thing i love about castile is a warm steamy breathe brings back the sharp neroli opening briefly.

    cheers!
    ryan

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    I've loved Victorian Posy since I first smelled it some 20 odd years ago.
    Elisabethan Rose is also a lovely fragrance, albeit not as much of a favorite as VP.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    oo- how did i forget elisabethan rose? i really like that one too. very clean smelling like a rose garden in the early morning when everything is covered in dew.

    cheers!
    ryan

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    I am giving Malabah a full wearing tonight and so far so good. It's rather "embracing" or "wide" not sure how to describe it but it has an open happy feeling to it.

    I do have Castile in my sample box, as well as Elizabethan Rose, will give them a good chance.

    btw, I also picked up the Quercus 15 ml with atomizer...it's a gorgeous thing. And cannot beat the price.
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    Malabah is a fantastic scent. I agree with you. Bluebell is much sweeter but a surprisingly complex fragrance too. I was a little let down by Lily & Spice though. I prefer the Lily of the Valley boosted with a touch of Lavandula. As a man, I don't wear 'em, I whiff 'em but I have walked out of the house with Lavandula mixed with Malabah before. That's not an easy mix, but if you hit it right- The Malabah makes the Lavadula exotic and the Lavandula butches up the Malabah.

    I also agree that Castile is Neroli done right but it isn't as unique a fragrance to me as Penhaligon's Bluebell.

    With your nose for spices, shame you missed their Cornubia and Ormolu before they were put back in the vault. Cornubia was pretty popular but Ormolu was feisty and powerful. Very intoxicating.
    Last edited by argogos; 11th January 2008 at 11:27 PM.
    Support your local Leonberger rescue.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    Thoroughly enjoying Malabah, here, but have tested several other Penhaligon's today.
    Here are my impressions:

    Elizabethan Rose: this gives me the impression of a dewy rose or a rose garden after a light rain. It is subtle, soft and misty. The dry down is very soothing and relaxing.

    Elenisia: This is very ladylike in a proper and restrained sort of way. Not really my taste. It makes me feel like I need more air. Lily of the Valley. (I think)

    Hammam Bouquet: I know this is for men, on Penhaligon's website I think this is the one paired as the masculine counterpart to Malabah. YES! This is rose and wood, dark, dirty, sexy. There must be something animalic in here like castoreum or civet, because it has a quality or vibration that is similar to Jicky. It makes me want to lick my arm...(um, where I applied it, that is) Since I now have mini bottles of Malabah, Blenheim Bouquet and Quercus, this will likely be my first full bottle purchase from Penhaligons. Fine with me. It is also their first fragrance, historically, so that seems fitting.

    English Fern:also for men, but this reminds me of the Yardley English Lavender soap I used to use, a good vibrant lavender but my nose smells mint and a hint of incense.
    Too manly to wear out, but I would wear it at home and would love to smell it on my man.

    Opus 1870: oregano and water.
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    Oregano and water- ha. You're right. I remember being let down by it at first. Then I found myself coming back for the black pepper dry down. It's warming and very calming for me. I get the same sensation from Endymion which has more complexity.

    I like you're take on Hammam. It's still a little "sharp" for me- maybe the rose? But I do crave a whiff every couple of weeks. Would you, as a female, wear it out? What do you think of softening it with Elizabethan Rose; might that feminize it a bit without covering what you like about it?
    Support your local Leonberger rescue.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    Ellenisia is quite nice, I like the fruity rose in it.
    Artemisia is another nice and wearable scent, soft and powdery, IMHO more ladylike than Ellenisia which is fresher and "younger".

    If one likes floral perfumes with a little vintage touch Penhaligon's is definitely a good idea. Personally I always found their fragrances somehow too "nice" and floral for me. Their bottles and boxes are wonderful, though!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    argogos, I think perhaps I'll try the Hammam Bouquet and see.
    Given it's association now in my mind with Jicky, I bet I could be comfortable weaing this one out.

    Fraganza, I think I am going to agree with you about your comparison of Artemisia and Ellenisia...you are right, the E is younger, the A more "ladylike" as you say.

    Malabah is still my unambiguous favorite of the Ladies' fragrances from Penhaligon's that I have found. Wore it two days in a row, received several kind compliments and it was a great companion all day.
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    Interesting note on the Artemisia/Ellensia comment.

    Both were created as scents to attract new Penhaligon's customers. On the men's side, Quercus and Endymion were created.

    While they maintain a certain traditional cache, Penhaligon's certainly wanted to stay contemporarily competitive. The bottle designs for the new fragrances reflected this more forward thinking strategy. Ellenisia had a gorgeous, silhouetted, close up,die-cut type designs with complementary colors used on the packaging. Endymion and Quercus used crisp, and minimalist designs.

    In a relatively short time after their launches, the packaging was redesigned. Ellenisia went from cutting edge to clunky spinster. A small crest with a floral wreath on a background of pink, tea party wallpaper. Endymion's modern masculinity was traded in for a crest of heavy velvet curtains and dowdy polka dots.

    I wondered if this was a rethinking that the company should maintain an aura of priggish traditionalism.
    Further, does the packaging effect what we smell? Does Ellenisia, at first, smell like a grandmother because of the frumpy box? Will Endymion become more of a thespian's scent than the college guys'
    girl magnet as a result of the image change?

    How much does packaging effect your choices?

    Wish I could post pics of the old and new designs-but I "may not post attachments."
    Support your local Leonberger rescue.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    I wear Hammam Bouquet. I have Malabah, but it doesn't have quite enough oomph for me. I love the rosy mossiness of HB.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    Last year I found a "library of scents" at a Penhaligon's shop (which was basically a box with 10 5ml. bottles). I bought it and tried them all. I also thought that Malabah was the best and got a bottle. It's a nice perfume, but I know for sure that I'm not going to get another one when it finishes. It just isn't that special, even if I love the ginger note. About the rest of them... cornubia was ok, and artemisia. But I felt they were somehow "not me": too floral, too ladylike, too...dull?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    Violetta for me, but I'm a violet freak!!!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Ladies' Penhaligons

    I've had my way with my Penhaligon's samples and here's my take. I'm no expert, so these may strike many of you like incoherant ramblings. I apologize in advance.

    I found Malabah quite disappointing. I kept looking for some of the sharper elements like lemon, cilantro, ginger, and the sandalwood at various stages but, on my skin, all I got was rosy warm spice, spice and more spice.

    Blenheim Bouquet was a delight from the first application. My first impression was peeling some lovely citrus fruit in an evergreen forest. It is crisp without a hint of florals. Lovely.

    Quercus is delightful in its simplicity (or it's the simple-mindedness of the person writing this!) I got a nice hit of lemon basil (the plant, not lemon and basil) followed by only what I can call green cardamom. There's some nice wood after the drydown but I'm not sure what kind.

    Opus 1870 is cedar-oregano blast. However, it had little staying power.

    I enjoy the black pepper, sage and what my ignorant nose detects as myrh after the citrus dies down.

    Castile was a pleasant surprise. I had read reviews that made me a little aprehensive, but it worked beautifully with my chemistry. The neroli softens to a woodsy and almost scrubbed-clean scent. Is it my imagination or does this hint at 4711?

    Artemisia has no relationship to the plant by the same name. I've grown artemisia and I was looking for that bitter, yet rich scent somewhere in the fragrance. I smell a wierd combination of violet and vanilla. This never unfurled for me.

    Lily and Spice struck me as a very unnatural concoction. In the vial it was intriguiging but, once it hit my skin, I knew I was in trouble. I think they may have been going for some kind of Indian saffron/patchouli pairing with lily but missed the mark. Too bad.

    Lily of the Valley to me was one of the most artificial renditions of this scent that I've ever experienced. I miss the fresh green coupled with real lily of the valley's incredible richness. Maybe it's my imagination but I detect a heavy dose of geraniums, a flower whose scent I particularly dislike.

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