Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Penhaligon's perfume profiling

I am an utter perfume junkie, and when I was recently invited to sample the Fragrance Profiling service at Penhaligon's in Leeds I naturally jumped at the chance. The service offers clients the opportunity to spend time with one of Penhaligon's' fragrance experts to establish what your perfect scent from the collection would be, a wonderfully indulgent hour with surprising results.

If you're not familiar with Penhaligon's, they're a stunning boutique brand whose heritage stretches back to the 1800s. The scents themselves are equally intriguing - each as unusual and eccentric as the next, with many classic numbers among them.
I visited Leeds Victoria Arcade store one cold October evening, gaining comfort in the delightful apothecary-style shop with its dark wood features and strong scents. I was greeted by the stores fragrance expert, who settled me in to a plush velvet armchair with a prosecco and truffles before starting our session.

It began with a series of questions about which scents I wear, what kind of fragrances I like and whether I had or knew of any existing Penhaligon's perfumes that I definitely liked. They then moved on to passing me tester strips of various different scents, judging by my initial comments.
It was fascinating how strong my reaction to some of them was. While I couldn't get enough of some scents, others almost left me reeling. Juniper Sling, for example, had a particularly strong reaction. I am big fan of Bombay Sapphire gin, one of the main ingredients of which is Juniper. To me that particular fragrance just smelt like booze, and I could imagine wearing it and smelling like a drunk 24/7. Similarly the classic Bluebell, beloved by so many, had me turning up my nose at it's too clean scent, surprising seeing as I generally like floral fragrances.
As the hour progressed many scents were discarded as not being right for me and a few I kept close as my favourites. These were then whittled down further, often a scent will smell very different on a tester strip to how it will on the skin, which happened with a couple of those I tried. The last two I was left with were; Changing Constance, sister to Lady Blanche, Constance is what one would call a very modern woman, a blend of cool cardamom and hot pimento and salted caramel; and Elisabethan Rose, Fit for a Queen, a fragrance with a most commanding presence, with delicate rose.
I was lucky enough to leave with a beautiful bottle engraved with my name in gold writing. I really suggest you going along for a profiling session, perfect on the lead up to Christmas too!

For more information on Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling click here, or to book an appointment or find your nearest boutique, visit the website at

Love Ciandra x


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