I first stumbled across Pell Wall Pretty in Pink on the pages of The Perfumed Dandy’s blog. His site has been quiet of late and I miss his flamboyant and unique reviews. However, if the Dandy likes it, it’s usually worth liking and Pell Wall Pretty in Pink was as delightful as I had hoped.
As mentioned in my previous post where I reviewed Pell Wall Deep Purple, Pell Wall Perfumes are the creation of Chris Bartlett, who fits that marvellous category of independent UK perfumer. He does everything himself and the buck stops with Chris. To me, our independent perfumers are national treasures and we need them.
Pell Wall Pretty In Pink lives up to its name and yet avoids modern cliché. It is indeed feminine and pretty , but what stands out for me is that Pretty In Pink smells like it was created in the 1950s to go with a tea dress, bone china and a powder puff. It’s not just the rose, you see, it’s the fact that the Lily of the Valley takes off from the starting blocks at the same time and instead of a rose soliflore, you have a jammy rose with my favourite ever flower alongside it, floating around in a wonderful time warp that makes me go misty eyed. (Its no coincidence that my two all time favourite perfumes are Gucci Envy and Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange. Lily of the Valley Fanatic? Moi?)
The top notes are lime, mint, and neroli, and the hint of sharp greenery in the opening adds a lovely botanical garden tang to this most English of rose perfumes.
So here I am wafting about in a cloud of rose and lily of the valley and feeling rather pleased with myself. The ingredients are high quality: hand selected and sniffed by Chris himself. I can smell actual petals. I can pick Lily of the Valley out anywhere and here it is pleasingly measured alongside the rose. There are other flowers too: jasmine and lily to name two, but once I’d latched onto the lily of the valley, I couldn’t let it go.
As the day wore on, I could still smell Pretty in Pink clearly and although some of the initial floral sweetness has gone, sandalwood and musk start emerging very agreeably. There is vanilla listed, but I didn’t get any. The roses and lily of the valley never completely go away, but they become muted versions that stay on skin with an almost patchouli like finish which reminded me of the base notes of both Narciso Rodriguez For Her and Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely.
Longevity was extraordinary. I sprayed my neck and crooks of elbows and the ends of my hair and the following morning, a full twenty one hours after first trying it, I could still smell it around the ends of my hair and on my pillow.
Not bad for £36 a bottle is it? Pretty in Pink would suit just about anyone but would go especially well with vintage Laura Ashley or Royal Doulton or in a wedding photo. It also goes very well down the park in January playing hide and seek with people shorter than me.
PS Is it just me or are The Psychedelic Furs singing Pretty in Pink in your head too?