Penhaligon’s latest fragrance is an unexpected delight. It would never occur to me that a scent inspired by Afternoon Tea would be so addictive. It was conceived by Master Perfumer, Oliver Cresp, and is the first Gourmand fragrance in Penhaligon’s 145 year history.
Just as the ideal afternoon tea wouldn’t be complete without a beautiful vase of flowers, it is with these floral notes that Equinox Bloom opens. The initial hit of fresh Neroli and Violet is softened by Chantilly, a carbon copy of the vanilla flavoured whipped cream. Though Chantilly is a top note, I feel its creaminess very much defines this scent from beginning to end.
Moving on to the heart, the creaminess is rounded out with the help of Frangipani while the Jasmine adds a subtle muskiness. Orange Blossom helps keep the floral element alive. Before it settles, I find Equinox Bloom to be a true multi-layered scent that smells slightly different with each sniff.
The floral chords fade for the dry down and Equinox Bloom finishes with a cream that’s been caramelised. The base note of Ambrox help give it this smooth, velvety essence. I’m continually lifting my wrist to my nose when I’m wearing it – I literally cannot get enough of it.
Luca Turin says Gourmand fragrances should make you salivate and not burp. Equinox Bloom definitely falls into the first group. There’s nothing vulgar or unsavoury about it. Instead, it’s warm, delectable and leaves you hungry for more.
Another thing worth noting about Equinox Bloom is that it’s an Eau De Parfum. This means it contains considerably more aromatic compounds than Eau De Toilette and the difference show itself in its longer wear time. Though there’s a drop in intensity after aprox. 6 hours I can still detect it on my wrists the next day.
The imagery for the packaging has been taken from an installation called Falling Garden, by Swiss artists Steiner and Lenzlinger, where botanical curios are suspended from the ceiling. I normally throw away the outer boxes of fragrances but this one is a keeper.
Here’s a full run down of the notes:
Head Notes: Neroli Bigarade Essence, Violet Leaves Absolute, Chantilly SmellTheTaste
Heart Notes: Frangipani NaturePrint, Orange Blossom Absolute, Jasmine Sambac Absolute
Basenotes: Ambrox, Benzoin Siam Absolute, Brown Sugar SmellTheTaste
Equinox Bloom is £93 for 50ml or £128 for 100ml and is available now from Penhaligon’s.
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