If ever there were a more traditional gentlemen’s cologne than Penhaligons Blenheim Bouquet I have yet to come across it. It’s almost impossible to smell it without thinking of gentleman’s clubs, polished brogues and umbrellas.
Blenheim Bouquet opens in the classic style with citrus and lavender, replete with zingy limes and lemons. So fresh and crisp are these notes that I couldn’t help thinking of a pile of starched cotton handkerchiefs in a pure white pile with a hint of lavender about them. This zesty opening number stays fresh and sharp for around an hour on my skin before it beds down into a still-lavender fug with a hint of vetiver and suede. This last bit could be my interpretation, since there is neither vetiver nor suede listed. It was originally for men, but is equally good as a unisex scent.
Many purists are alarmed and disappointed at the reformulation of Blenheim Bouquet, to the point that several loyal fans have been lost, but I cannot comment as I haven’t smelled it pre-now. I do however, sympathise with those disappointed- it is so irritating when your favourite scent loses its heart.
Blenheim Bouquet was created in 1902 by Walter Penhaligon himself and the packaging is so classy that it makes you want to refurbish your bathroom in great splendour to match.
It has not escaped my notice that Penhaligons is by Royal Appointment to both HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH Prince Charles. My Mum met Prince Charles just the other week. It was a huge thrill-( he was “charming and lovely”)- and although I asked her, she wasn’t close enough to find out what he smells like. But I bet it was this.