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A personal scent profiling at British fragrance house Penhaligon’s was an interesting experience to say the least. It almost felt like a journey into my personality to discover the perfect, most complimentary scent for me.
Penhaligon’s was founded by William Penhaligon all the way back in 1870 and has been practising the art of perfumery ever since. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh granted Penhaligon’s first of two Royal Warrants in 1956 and the second was granted by HRH The Price of Wales in 1988.
After the brief history lesson, Mike (my consultant / shrink) started off by asking me a series of questions. For example, what scents do I enjoy? What smells repulse me? Throughout the course of the conversation we discussed fruits I liked (mangosteen), didn’t like (durian or honeydew) or whether I was into oceanic flavours, citrus or floral. Immediately, Mike assessed that I seemed to be the type of person to “ride the wave but be the captain of my own ship” and also a very visual person – that my brain creates an image before it does anything else… True! He also said I had a strong nose, and that I was very decisive and was confident in my choices.
Strangely enough, the very first scent he singled out for me after this analysis was the one I ended up favouring and selecting after testing about 10 different varieties – Quercus.
The way Mike described Quercus was to imagine freshly washed white sheets or shirts hanging on the clothesline in the breeze. This process of describing a memory of the scent or creating a certain mood came with every sample. The storytelling or anecdotal element of the Penhaligon’s profiling was the part I loved the most – it was an intriguing way to explore the notes of the fragrances in relation to you.
Strangely, as predicted by Mike, the scent does again change once applied to your skin. Apparently, Quercus evoked smells of waterfalls and white orchids when mixing with the chemistry of my natural smell. I guess it could be worse – smelling like a trashcan on a hot day for example!
Finally, Mike left me with a little pearl of wisdom. For women, lightly spray a halo around the top of your head. The fragrance will dust the top of your noggin and settle in your hair. That way, when you are walking down the street, the wind will blow and you will get that head-turning effect. So cinematic!
Penhaligon’s Boutique | 2 Orchard Turn #03-16 Ion Orchard
photography & words by Yvette