Malabah by Penhaligon’s



Dear old, trusty Penhaligon’s-you can always rely on them for good quality and the kind of  whimsical heritage packaging that would make a dressing table weep.  However, despite Penhaligon’s image of grand tradition, many of the newer fragrances ( this one is 2003) are audacious and by no means old fashioned.

Take Malabah for instance: This is an oriental with a twist.  When I hear oriental, I expect heavy, rich fragrance ideal for winter, but Malabah busts that idea out of the water.  If anything, this is a summer oriental and despite ticking the spices box  (amber, coriander, sandalwood )  the inclusion of green tea, lemon and ginger gives Malabah its edge.

This could open into creamy lemon pie, like Boucheron Trouble, or even Marks and Spencer’s Gabriella    (which I find similar),  but instead of going down the lemon syllabub route, it goes down the more astringent, lighter route.  Think of this as a scent made from fresh lemon slices in lightly spiced ginger tea- there is a kind of transparency about it rather than a thickness, if that makes sense.

Malabah makes a perfect unisex scent which means you can innocently buy it for your partner and then just nick it all the time, whilst looking  like a generous benefactor.  Result.


Penhaligon’s Malabah is available from Penhaligon’s instore or online, and also from Perfume Click or Prices start at just over £50 for 50ml.  Adorable box and delightful bottle included, of course.


3 thoughts on “Malabah by Penhaligon’s”

  1. What a co-incidence, I’ve been wearing this today! Thanks for reviewing it – it doesn’t seem to get much love in the fragrance community as far as I can tell, but I love it. In fact, it’s the only Penhaligon’s scent that hits the spot for me. I don’t think Penhaligon’s have done themselves any favours in marketing it as a Spice Road-inspired oriental; I think if they’d presented it as a summer tea fragrance it would be a lot more popular. It’s one of the few fragrances I loved when I first fell down the rabbit hole that I still love today.

    1. Hello yellow celloe, it’s lovely to hear from you again. I’m so glad you like Malabah and I agree with you that it should be marketed for what it is. Anyone looking for a heady rich oriental might be disappointed but someone looking for a lighter spiced tea scent might pass it by. Malabah is fabulous and you and I both have great taste!

      best wishes

  2. I agree with Lemon Celloe, it’s the only Penhaligon’s scent I like.I hoped to love Violette but it doesn’t seem violetty. Malabah I always regard as my secret because it doesn’t seem very well known.

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