Well it’s that time of year again. Amazon keeps telling me “Amazon Day” is coming up and other places are trying to grab me with promises of 50% off on everything from voice-activated light bulbs to ATV tires. Of course what grabbed my attention was a sale at Penhaligon’s.
Penhaligon’s seems to have a bit of a dual nature: there are the older scents, like Castile and Bluebell that have been around forever and there are new ones with funkier names, funkier packaging, and far higher prices. Since I am, shall we say, financially challenged if not downright parsimonious (OK, I am just damned cheap. Happy?) I tend toward the former, especially at 50% off. Which is how I own bottles of Castile and Bluebell.
Blenheim Bouquet was, according to Fragrantica launched in 1902, with Penhaligon’s stating that it was made the Duke of Marlborough- who apparently liked his gin since they compare the scent to that liquor. I don’t really get that- there isn’t anything like juniper that I can discern and nothing as obvious as quinine taking it into tonic territory. They say lemon, pepper, and pine. The main thing I get is pencil shavings.
Yes, Pencil shavings. With citrus and pepper.
Now hear me out on this: you might be young enough that you never in school had to take one of those stupid standardized placement tests. One upon which your future hung. In America, we had to several times in out academic lives starting early- tests that were designed to tell us whether we would be Captains of Industry or asking “would you like fries with that” in our adult careers. Part of these tests was that it absolutely positively had to be filled out with a No. 2 pencil (I never found out of there was a number 3 pencil and never wanted to- I’m sure using one would mean that you were sent off to Military School or the Salt Mines.) So the scent of a freshly sharpened Faber Columbus is something that I have a distinct (and oddly pleasant) memory of.
Blenheim Bouquet for me has this. So much so that the citrus and the pepper take a backseat and the scent almost goes into CB territory; it could be titled “Memory of Placement Test” or “SAT Dreams.” At ($65 marked down from $95) for 30ML it may not have been the least expensive trip down memory lane I’ve taken, but it’s a nice one.
Blenheim Bouquet is sold out at the Penhaligon’s Website, where I purchased my bottle. Photo of the bottle is mine.