Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Penhaligon's - Orange Blossom

A light, sweet and refreshing orange veil for a hot summer day

Originally created in 1976 for their Anthology line, Penhaligon's classic Orange Blossom has been updated by the famous perfumer Betrand Duchaufour. You can watch a video of M. Duchaufour describing  Orange Blossom on the Penhaligon's site.

In the video, Duchaufour talks about how he wanted to modernize the perfume by giving is a more "contrastic" structure and richer notes. I don't know what the original was like, but this orange blossom feels quite sheer.

The top notes have a sharp lemony citrus.  Duchaufour speaks of adding a "leafy green" top note, and I do smell a little green here and it's also a little spicy.

In the heart Duchaufour added jasmine to the main orange blossom note, as well as other florals, but I think it's mainly the orange blossom and jasmine that I smell. He mentions adding a couple of florals that aren't in the official list, such as honeysuckle, narcissus and gardenia. I get a little of the narcissus, which has a feeling of pollen and once in a while, if I sniff deeply, I catch a hint of a rich gardenia.

To the base, he added "woody" notes and vanilla to make it more sensuous and comforting. What I mainly smell in the drydown is light, sweet wood and a slightly orangey vanilla. It is comforting.

On the whole, Orange Blossom is a light, refreshing, slightly sweet white floral with the barest hint of orange. It rests over my skin like a veil and is perfect in the muggy Toronto summer heat. Just a dab from the sample was not enough - I really have to pour it on to get the full effect - but it lasts all day and wafts up gently from my wrists as I write this. I might buy a full bottle and spray myself from head to toe this summer.

Perfume: Orange Blossom
House: Penhaligon's
Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour
Head Notes
: Neroli, Violet leaf, Bergamot, Lemon-cedrat, Cardamom absolute, Pink berries
Heart Notes: Orange absolute, Egyptian jasmine absolute, Tuberose absolute, Rose essence, Peach flower, Orchid
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Virginian cedar, White musk, Vanilla

Art: Mockingbirds on Orange Blossom by Albert Earl Gilbert

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