Monday, 14 June 2010

Review - Penhaligon's Amaranthine EDP

Disclosure - PR sample

Writing about perfumes is notoriously difficult for the uninitiated. Perfumery has its own lexicon of specialist terms that describe types and families of fragrances, as well as the individual notes that make them up.

This is partially because smells are extremely difficult to describe (I'm in awe of the blogs and websites that dedicate themselves to the task.) It's also because perfumery is a highly skilled craft with a long heritage.

Penhaligon's is one of the UK's most prominent contributors to that heritage - the company has been producing fragrances with a quintessentially English flavour for well over a century. The signature glass bottle with the rounded stopper has become an iconic fixture on the dressing tables of generationsof women.

Amaranthine is a fragrance from 2009, and we were sent the Eau De Parfum to try out. I've worn it several times and have loved it - although it's a little bit dramatic for day to day wear, I often spray it on when I'm around the house just to enjoy the scent.

The top notes hit me as (and this might sound odd) banana and liquorice, with an undertone of warm wood. As it develops, a heady evening blossom smell appears, bringing to mind a night garden. Finally after a few hours it settles into a warm, spicy comforting note that is definitely my favourite aspect of the scent.

So that's my untutored layman's impression. For those who know what they're on about, here's the gen from Penhaligon's website:

Head Notes: Green Tea, White Freesia, Banana Tree Leaf, Coriander Seed Oil, Cardamom Absolute
Heart Notes: Rose, Carnation, Clove Oil, Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang Oil, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute
Base Notes: Musk, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Condensed Milk, Tonka Bean Absolute
"Created in 2009, Amaranthine is a corrupted floral oriental for those private moments when everything is anticipation. It opens with a dramatic flourish of spices and tropical green. This unsettling lick of drama is beautifully ambushed by an unctuous accord of jasmine and ylang-ylang, a heady bloom renowned for its aphrodisiac properties, and clove swathed in spices, tea, musk and the rounded beauty of tonka bean absolute. Perfumer: Bertrand Duchaufour."

Bloody lovely. Amaranthine Eau de Parfum 50ml - £60 from Penhaligon's.


  1. Sounds good. Cardamom and coriander sound like they're going to add some depth too - must try this one out.

  2. I love this. I rarely buy perfume, it might take weeks and months until I make a decision, but to this one I was torn right away. Because it is awfully expensive in Germany, I got from London form a dear friend. I used it in summer and what shall I say - a hint of it and you feel sexy and audacious. GRRR!

  3. It's definitely a winner. Penhaligons do orientals SO well.


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