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  • Writer's pictureStanley Dru

Penhaligon’s: My Perfume Obsession

If you have ever wandered through Victoria Quarter in Leeds, then you might have seen Penhaligon’s Perfumers, however, if somehow you missed this glorious perfumery whilst you were whizzing through the centre, then I can guarantee that you would have smelt them. Penhaligon’s cleverly pump out one of their best sellers ‘Halfeti’ into the centre which captivates the nostrils of many shoppers as they walk by, and it has been a scent that I recognise whenever I have mooched around Victoria Quarter shopping myself.

Having only recently ventured into the store, I cannot believe what I have been missing out on. If you are also not aware of Penhaligon’s, then do not be fooled into thinking that these are ‘new guys’ on the block, because they are older than your great-great granny! They go all of the back to the 1800’s, well, 1872 to be more precise, back when William Penhaligon concocted his first fragrance inspired by Turkish baths. His fragrance was so exotic and unusual that it caused quite the stir and if I am honest, not much has changed- the whole range is utterly stunning and that is no exaggeration.

During one of my visits, I met the wonderful Diane and Fiona who guided me through the full collection and amazed me with their vast knowledge and passion for the brand. They adore Penhaligon’s, which is obvious in the way they talk through every detail of the brand and its history with pure conviction and emotion. On another visit Diane was tasked to match a scent to my own personal taste. We discussed what type of scents I normally chose and with that I was given a collection of incredible scents to discover. During this fabulous afternoon it took Diane just a moment to match a scent which she was adamant I would fall in love with, this bottle was called “Cairo”, and from the first whiff I was transfixed:

“The sun rising over Cairo brings warm saffron spice. Soon, all is life. Damascena rose and labdanum bloom above sensual patchouli. This city’s eau de parfum is ancient, but born anew each day”

It was absoloutly spot on and I could not get over how easily Diane matched a Penhaligon’s fragrance to me, considering choosing a fragrance is such a personal experience. The whole process demonstrated her expertise and ability to understand the complexities of the Penhaligon’s range to match it so perfectly well to my own personal preferences, but she nailed it, Cairo is now one of the most stunning fragrances I have ever owned, and I am obsessed.

On another occasion both Diane and Fiona helped to me find a fragrance for my mother by matching her favourite high street perfume to a Penhaligon’s original. During my visit one bottle stood out amongst the others, it was called “Vaara” and just like my surprise with Cairo, my mother was blown away by the fragrance, instantly recognising a connection and she has been obsessed ever since. Honestly, these guys REALLY know their stuff.

You really need to visit and explore the range yourself and fully immerse yourself into the history of Penhaligon’s and go on a sensory journey, I challenge you not to fall in love with the full range, because I have. I genuinely could not love this brand anymore than I do, so to understand why I am now totally obsessed, visit them ASAP, they have stores nationwide.

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