Penhaligon Bluebell – by Tom

MLK day was yesterday and is a holiday (well, a partial one; my previous employer did not give it off) so I made some plans including going to ScentBar for the first time in a while. Sadly, it was raining, so I couldn’t go. I know, other people manage to actually get things done in the rain and ½ the country was managing under crippling snow, but there you are. I’m a wuss.

So we are going to talk about the second purchase I made in the Penhaligon line, one that was a semi-blind buy: Bluebell. Now it’s not like I hadn’t smelled it before, or heard of it, so I sort of knew what I was going to be getting into. But even if I didn’t then that name alone would get me. Bluebell. It reads so innocent and spring-like, like fields of grass filled with fluffy bunnies wearing gingham and frolicking to some sort of upbeat classical music.

Well, it kind of is. Saks (where I purchased) lists the notes as “A touch of citrus at the top soon leads into a harmony of hyacinth, jasmine, rose, cyclamen and lily-of-the-valley, with cloves, cinnamon and galbanum for a unique green, spicy and bitter base beneath” I don’t get a whole lot of citrus on the top- for me it goes straight for the green, green grass of home in spring, complete with the lily-of-the-valley and hyacinth and yes, the slightly bitter bite of the base for the raw earth underneath. But just a touch- nothing full-on CB I Hate Perfume here. That might scare the bunnies. Or soil the gingham.

Bluebell was introduced in 1978 and according to the interwebs was a favorite of celebs as divers as Sienna Miller, Margaret Thatcher, and Princess Diana. It’s pretty much rocketed to the top as one of mine too, especially as a touch of spring on a dreary winter day. So, what do you wear for a dreary day?

Bluebell is available all over at the usual suspects. I purchased my bottle at Saks for $165/3.4oz.

(images via Pexels)

  • alityke says:

    Hi Tom, I’m a long time lurker but pandemic pushed me into being more interactive so hi ?
    You’ve become an enabler! I knew Bluebell decades ago but it was out of my budget at the time. Your post reminded me, so I popped onto the Penhaligon’s UK website and wayhay almost 50% off! I now have 100mls winging its way to me as a birthday gift from me to me.
    Interesting that Bluebell has been worn by such diverse women as Kate Moss, Princess Diana & Maggie Thatcher

  • AnnJune says:

    Hi Tom – So nice to see you back posting on the Posse again! I like Bluebell and have had a sample of it kicking around here for a while that, every time I pull it out I think I should really spring (oy) for a bottle, but haven’t yet done it. I believe there’s a bath oil that is supposed to be wonderful also, which is even more tempting. I love Ostara for early spring, which as always can’t come fast enough!

  • March says:

    I don’t recall Bluebell at all, although I feel so sure I tried it! I think I sampled a bunch of them once upon a time, captivated by those delicious bottles (so classic!) but didn’t find one that was particularly “me.” So jealous you have Scent Bar right there, what a great place!

    • Tom says:

      I think I have squirreled away somewhere a bunch of samples of these someone at ScentBar gave me. I think I was sort of overwhelmed at the number of them and (sorry) kind of the sameness of them after a while. Sort of like sampling 47 different vanilla extracts, all goo, all finely different. At some point I just want coffee..

  • Portia says:

    Hey there Tom,
    I’m so surprised you shut down in the wet. You’d be HATING this years summer in Sydney then. Can’t remember us ever having this much rain. Yesterday Jin and I did aquarobics in the rain. It was fabulous.
    You know how much I love a spring green fragrance but I’d never have tried Bluebell. It always seemed like one of those wispy, non event types of frags. Now that you’ve noted otherwise I’ll give it a whirl next time I’m near a bottle. It sounds gorgeous, and like it has real character.
    Portia xx

    • Tom says:

      Actually I don’t, usually, but a couple of months ago a rotten person biffed my car behind the drivers door and eventually it stopped opening from the inside, then the out. So in order to drive it I have to enter from the passenger side, start the car, use a mop to depress the brake pedal so I can put the top down, then I can climb over into the drivers seat and go. I could put the top up and drive once I am in the car, but have to put the top down to get out (I am too tall and a too zaftig to exit over the console even if I pour myself out the door like Edina Monsoon.) So unless I am going to a place with a covered garage, trips in the rain are out. Until I get it fixed.

  • Maya says:

    I tried Bluebell a long time ago and don’t really remember it. I love the feel and smell of spring and hyacinths. Will sample it again. For dreary winter days, I love the scents that make me think of summer and beaches. Givenchy Organza and EL Bronze Goddess 2011 are two that I can think of right now.

    • Tom says:

      I adore the smell of lotv and hyacinth and grass, individuslly or together. Loved the old Cristalle and the lamented Miss Dior and I think they still have a CdeG (series 7: Leaves?) that is all lotv all the time. I’ve never tried the two you mentioned but will have to rectify that..

  • Dina C. says:

    It’s great to have you back on the posse, Tom. Green scents are my favorite. I love hyacinth and galbanum notes, narcissus, Iris, lilac, that whole spring bouquet. I don’t own a bottle of Bluebell, just a sample. For springy, green florals I like SL Bas de Soie, Gucci Envy, and Guerlain Chamade better. You could add RL Safari to that list, too. I do agree that a spring floral is a great antidote to a dull winter day! I’ve dabbed on my Bluebell sample, and I’m getting lots of nice clove which reminds me of carnations. Mmmmmm…

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Dina- it’s good to be back!

      I blush to type this but I have never tried Chamade. Gotta fix that.