Perfume Directory

Malabah (2003)
by Penhaligon's


Malabah information

Year of Launch2003
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 86 votes)

People and companies

Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group
Parent Company at launchFox Paine & Company > Cradle Holdings

About Malabah

Malabah is a feminine perfume by Penhaligon's. The scent was launched in 2003

Malabah fragrance notes

Reviews of Malabah

This is a beautiful light tea fragrance.

Lemon and ginger form the tart pungent top notes, quickly paving the way for the astringent notes of steeped tea leaves - Earl Grey Tea to be exact. Hints of cardamom and nutmeg tantalize from a distance, adding a bit more spiciness to the ginger. A light, sweet rose adds a bit of floral beauty to this, and is accented by powdery orris. Warm amber and musk, commitments by bits of sandalwood round this down to a beautiful base.
07th May, 2020
Several have called this a "light oriental" and I agree. This is a mild-mannered, shy sort of scent. Pretty, but not too sweet and not heavy at all. Could be unisex.
A hint of bergamot at the beginning, and a light tea note. Dusky ginger and mild spices pair with a soapy rose. Sweetens a bit in the dry-down with the amber. Grainy sandalwood and occasionally a celery leaf note -- don't know what causes that.
A pleasant, somewhat innocuous scent.
13th March, 2016
A light, lovely Oriental

I've sampled Penhaligon's fragrances a handful of times. At first sampling, their compositions seem deceptively simple and less than stellar in sillage. But I'm drawn back again and again, and the more I wear them, the more I enjoy the careful artistry at work here.

Malabah is no exception to this rule. A subtle, evocative fragrance that gently announces its presence, it's certainly no statement frag. It is extraordinarily harmonious and lovely, though, and this makes it a stand-out to me.

The opening notes, zingy and refreshing, smell of Earl Grey tea and lemon slices. The warm, spicy heart notes begin to play out early on me, particularly the ginger, nutmeg and the slightly powdery iris. I can't tease out the rose or the jasmine, but they must be there, for sweetness is part of Malabah's charm. Not over-the-top sugary sweetness, but a moderate sweetness that's very appealing. A soft sandalwood note begins to unfold within less than an hour, which adds a wonderfully earthy note to the florals and spices. The woodiness continues to develop throughout the wearing.

Due to the sweetness, this leans feminine rather than unisex. Sillage is fair (again, a subtle fragrance here) and longevity good, 5-6 hours on me. A good choice for any time of the year, especially those dog days of summer when you crave something lighter than the average Oriental. Two thumbs up for this beauty.

Pros: Sheer and fresh but complex, long lasting
Cons: none"

19th September, 2013
Malabah is such a beautiful name for a fragrance. Here I was captivated by its name and imagining a rich, spicy tea scent with an element of exotic sensuality.

This fragrance, to put it nicely, is too polite and refined in my opinion. It's simplistic, inoffensive and rather plain.

Malabah opened with some interesting accords which had me hoping this fragrance would develop into something magical. The lemony tea opening was about as interesting as it gets.

The heart is a combination of sweet and spicy, with such weak sillage that one may wonder if they're wearing a perfume at all. I've had my fair share of spicy rose scents, and Malabah has left me underwhelmed in that department.

For my spiced tea fix I usually turn to the beautiful L'Artisan's Tea for Two, not Malabah. I like strong, in-your-face kind of fragrances, and this Penhaligon's offering is far too lady-like and quiet for my personal tastes. I find it very British.

The lasting strength is pretty poor, struggling to last half the day on my skin. It was far too discreet and lacked serious warmth and distinction. It's pleasant, I'll say that much, but exotic is not a word that comes to mind when describing Malabah unfortunately.
14th April, 2012
I have loved this fragrance fiercely ever since I found it years ago after accidentally wandering in Penhaligon's shop in London on my holiday. It opens with fresh ginger and lemon, spicy cardamon and earl grey tea mix wonderfully with them when the frangrance matures on skin and at last rose and woody notes warm this to a unique scent that lingers close to skin for ages.

Defintely worth trying if you're looking for a crisper, lighter oriental perfume.
08th February, 2012
All penhaligon's scents have the same traits that distinguish them: a hint of alchool and a sort of "Enghlish" allure. Malabah is an oriental version of these traits, too weak to be appreciable. A nuissance, as the opening notes are really pretty good.
25th January, 2012

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