After you’ve been dabbling in fragrances for a while, you might notice that you start to drift back to specific houses, again and again. It’s a natural progression for many fragrance fanatics, finding a house that you can consistently trust to put out scents that you usually like. For me, one of those houses is Penhaligon’s.
Penhaligon’s is a storied perfume house with over a century of history behind it. Founded in the late 1860s by a Cornish barber, William Henry Penhaligon, he later moved to London to set up his own business on Jermyn Street, and eventually became the Court Barber and Perfumer to Queen Victoria.
Penhaligon’s first fragrance, Hamman Bouquet, was created in 1872 and can still be bought today. However, it’s Blenheim Bouquet, created in 1902 (when King Edward VII was officially crowned as monarch of the British Empire, and the year Manchester United FC was formed) for the 9th Duke of Marlborough, Charles Spencer-Churchill, and named after the Duke’s principal residence, Blenheim Palace. Blenheim Bouquet also happens to be Penhaligon’s longest surviving bespoke fragrance.
So now that we know a little bit about the history, let’s take a look at the notes.
Blenheim Bouquet Notes
Top: Lavender, lemon, lime
Base: Musk, pine, black pepper
Congratulations, you know have an idea of what a high-ranking man in the Edwardian British nobility smelled like! Well, we’ll get to that. But first my thoughts.
For citrus lovers, this classic fragrance is going to provide you that lemon and lime right out of the gate but nicely balanced with a shot of pine and lavender. The black pepper comes to the fore during the dry down. As one might expect of a citrus/fresh scent, Blenheim Bouquet is fantastic to reach for during spring and summer. And, considering this is an eau de toilette concentration, it’s shockingly long-lasting. I was still smelling little hints of it in the evening before I finally turned in for the night.
Personally, I absolutely love it when a scent is old enough to have a history behind it. For me, it adds to the experience and I get a little kick having knowledge of exactly what someone from 120 years ago was wearing and smelling like. Blenheim Bouquet isn’t going to set the world on fire, and it’s not overly complex, but it’s a living, wearable piece of history and it gets the job done as far as a citrus fragrance goes. It’s well-balanced, the longevity is good, and even if it’s not a “beast mode” fragrance with projection from today’s standards, you’ll still get a decent amount of projection from this, and it’s absolutely “work” safe.
Now, let’s talk about price and availability. Good news! Penhaligon’s scents are readily available! As far as pricing goes, Blenheim Bouquet isn’t on their higher end of fragrances like the Portraits collection, though it’s still not exactly cheap. You can grab a 100 mL bottle from their website for $160. However, if you’d rather sample I highly suggest you try their scent library which gives you 10 samples of some of their most popular fragrances, Blenheim Bouquet included. You can find it here for $29.
Remember how I mentioned this was one of my favorite houses? Blenheim Bouquet is the first of many Penhaligon’s fragrances I plan on reviewing on the Fandomentals. Do you have a favorite house? Or even a favorite Penhaligon’s scent? If so, let me know in the comments below! I might even wind up talking about it!
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.