Tuesday, January 15

Penhaligon's


My post on the House of Creed got me to thinking about another iconic fragrance with aristocratic British ties. Since its launch in 1870, Penhaligon’s has established a reputation for luxury fragrances of the highest caliber. Synonymous with style and quality, the company was founded by the witty, eccentric and wildly creative William Penhaligon.

Born in Penzance, he moved to London in the late 1860s and set up a barbershop next door to the decadent Hammam Turkish baths in Piccadilly. In 1872 he fused his first fragrance, a crazy conception inspired, rather strangely, by the steam and sulphur of the Hammam and thus Hammam Bouquet was created.

He further secured his reputation by creating scents for the nobility of his day. Blenheim Bouquet, created for the Duke of Marlborough in 1902, was to become a particular favorite of another distinguished icon of that family, Winston Churchill. Gentlemen's scents up to this time were usually rich and floral; Blenheim Bouquet was one of the first citrus scents created. With a bright and zesty lemon scent, it remains to date one of the company’s best selling men’s fragrances.

By the end of Queen Victoria's reign, William Penhaligon had been appointed Barber and Perfumer to the Royal Court. Since that time, Penhaligon's has been awarded Royal Warrants by Her Majesty Queen Alexandra in 1903, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in 1956 and, most recently, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in 1988.

By the early 1970's, Penhaligon's catered largely to the great and good whose families had used the Company's products for generations. A new era began with the opening of the flagship store in Covent Garden in 1975 and other shops have since been established in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Windsor, Chester, Madison Avenue in New York and Rue St Honore in Paris.

12 comments:

Tom said...

Great background information!

Cleopatra said...

this is a wonderful and joyful website thank you! I am reading it all the way out in cairo and may just consider a style inspired blog out of here!

ALL THE BEST said...

Thank you Tom and Cleopatra!

pve design said...

Happened upon these lovely heady scents while staying at the Ritz! The soaps are so hard milled that they last forever. Fascinating history!

Mara said...

See? I always learn something new here every day. : )

Easy and Elegant Life said...

I know of a few gentlemen on-line who swear by Blenheim Bouquet as the ultimate man's scent. I'd like to try it out, but for Mrs. E.'s insistence on my smelling "like me." And that the Penhaligon boutique in Sak's here closed after a year.

ALL THE BEST said...

That's too bad, it's such a lovely product. Now you have me curious, what is your signature scent easy and elegant life?

ALL THE BEST said...

Cleopatra, I meant to say that a style blog from Cairo would be wonderful. Do let me know if you start one!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

ATB -- Mrs. E. prefers that I continue to wear "Safari" by Ralph Lauren. I suppose that it goes well with jack russell, dusty flannel and gin (well, tweed during our winters.) And since it is she who must suffer my musky presence, it's the least I can do.

Pigtown-Design said...

I love Penhaligon's! I have a little sampler of their fragrances and Quercus is my fave!

Suzy said...

How fascinating! You do learn something new everyday visiting this blog!

Cleopatra said...

I am certainly tempted because there are unbelievable treasures, art, design, cooking and jewellery going on here that it would make you all happy to see it. I'll let you know, a job in finance, two small kids and a beautiful but high maintenance property we live in out in the desert (and right in front of the step pyramids by the way!) make it tricky! I'll spend the next few months looking into it though! continue your wonderful contribution, you make the first minutes of the morning at work just great!