Saturday, 7 August 2010

Review - Penhaligons Elixir EDT

Disclosure - PR sample

Penhaligon's (Penhaligons?) fragrances have been getting a lot of coverage on LBR lately. What can we say? They've made an impression on us. While not a universal fan (I find some of the scents a bit old fashioned and floral for my tastes), I've been thoroughly impressed by the depth, complexity and originality of both Amaranthine, and now Elixir.

Perfumer Olivia Giacobetti created Elixir in 2008 as a tribute to the 1872 Penhaligons ouevre "Hammam Bouquet" (a very early hit).

But this is no slavish re-make. Elixir, to me, is an oriental with serious spirit. It opens up with a hit of whisky and almost Christmassy spices, and an orangey warmth blaring in the background. On drying down, a subtle vanilla takes over, played off against churchy incense that catches in the throat like woodsmoke on a desert night. The lingering impression is a medley of woody, oud-type scents which are warm and comforting on the skin.

The website outlines the notes as follows:

Head Notes
Eucalyptus, Cardamom, Orange Blossom Absolute and White Cedar
Heart Notes
Red Turkish Rose Absolute, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute, Cinnamon Leaves, Mace and Rosewood
Base Notes
Benzoin, Tonka beans, Vanilla, Incense, Red Sandalwood and Guaicum Wood

The only thing I don't recognise at all is the eucalyptus. I don't pick that up for some reason.

Elixir's packaging is a great example of how Penhaligon's designers ride the line between on-brand and unique. The standard glass bottle is given a Middle-Eastern type print and a red ribbon with a veil effect over the lid. The box (not pictured) echoes the design. 

Elixir costs £50 for 50ml, or £70 for 100ml. Find it at

1 comment:

  1. My god, I don't like the sound of the scent but that bottle is just gorgeous!


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