Penhaligon’s Love Potion number 9: Loves Me, Loves Me Not.


This is my first ever Penhaligon’s fragrance and I couldn’t wait to try it. The packaging is outstanding: a pink box on a little stand, a glass bottle inside with a bow around its neck. Ten out of ten for effort Penhaligon’s. They’ve been around since 1870 and both The Queen and The Prince of Wales are patrons, so I expected nothing less than class on that score.  Incidentally, it is said that both Margaret Thatcher and the late Princess Diana wore Penhaligon’s Bluebell. Funny to think two such polar opposites could have something in common.

What comes out of this beautiful bottle of Love Potion Number 9, has me in two minds. Initially it’s a rush of broken ferns: a memory from my childhood where I would pick ferns and break them to sniff the sharp green juice inside.  Maybe that’s why I love Green notes now? Who knows. Actually the top note is listed as Tarragon so maybe that’s what I can smell.  In any case, it’s very Green and very “stems and leaves”, with the Geranium coming through, as promised.

I think it’s the dry down that jars a little.  After a while this seems to “go off” on my skin. It becomes like a flower that’s past its best and turned to dust, with a hint of sweet and dry vanilla over the top.  It’s powdery sweet like Lemon Geranium talc and I don’t think we suit each other.

At least one reviewer on Fragrantica compares it to Dior Dune and I have to say that it certainly rings true.  There is that Grassy Patchouli note as it beds in.  On paper, I should love LP No 9. It has notes I adore: Bergamot, Lemon, and Lavender to name but three of my favourites. However, what I got was Green Ferns, Roses,  Lemon Geraniums and a faint Patchouli base.  Again, I should like that combination. However, I don’t think it’s that LP No 9 is bad, I just think it doesn’t like ME.  I wanted to join the Love Potion Party, but it turned me away at the door.

This is around £80 a bottle so try and get hold of a tester or decant and wear it for a whole day before deciding if you like it enough to invest. It may like you more than it liked me.


3 thoughts on “Penhaligon’s Love Potion number 9: Loves Me, Loves Me Not.”

  1. I’m totally in agreement about the resemblance to Dune – I think they’re very similar. I find LP No.9 just a bit overpowering. When I wear it it’s either just the tiniest dab on my wrist or a ‘spray the air and walk through it’ job to minimise actual perfume-on-body contact. I don’t know if it’s because it’s very concentrated or because some of the ingredients are very ‘radiant’. And when I start talking about ‘radiance intensifiers’ I know I have just fallen out of the paddling pool into the Olympic-sized pool and am utterly out of my depth. Quick! Back in the non-scientific section!

    Glad your migraine has gone though. I don’t get them, fortunately, but some perfumes don’t half make the back of my neck throb – as if warning that it would like to go migraine on me but sadly I don’t have the requisite equipment.

    However, I think a dozen red roses from a handsome man who loves you would be a jolly good cure! (I am honoured to have met the divine Mr Scents and can vouch that he’s every bit the darling that Mrs Scents makes him out to be.)

  2. Gave myself a “lie down” headache yesterday from sniffing 2 different perfumes on my wrist and trying to read franitica at the same time! What we do for scent!

Leave a Reply