Tag Archives: Penhaligon’s

Perfumed pages… Endymion by Benjamin Disraeli and Penhaligon’s The Dandy Celebrates World Book Day

“It was a rich, warm night, at the beginning of August, when a gentleman enveloped in a cloak, for he was in evening dress, emerged from a club-house at the top of St. James’ Street, and descended that celebrated eminence. He had not proceeded more than half way down the street when, encountering a friend, he stopped with some abruptness. “I have been looking for you everywhere,” he said. “‘Tis as warm as noon. Let us cross the street and get into St. James’ Place. That is always my idea of solitude.”

Velvet-jacketed and heavily scented, rarely without an outlandish hat of some description, sporting be-jewelled rings worn over white silk gloves, a well know author of romantic fiction, Benjamin Disraeli was hardly the archetypical Imperial British Prime Minister, even before the matter of his Jewish descent is taken into account.

Yet this striking, dandy-like figure, whose first fiction, Vivian Grey, would inspire the eponymous hero of Oscar Wilde‘s only novel, was Queen Victoria‘s favourite and ‘Dizzy‘ as he was widely known would lead his country not once but twice and be engaged in political battle at the highest level with his nemesis Gladstone over decades.

“Without tact you can learn nothing. Tact teaches you when to be silent. Inquirers who are always inquiring never learn anything.”

Endymion was Disraeli’s final work to be published in his lifetime, the last he finished.

It is a nostalgic fantasia on his own youth. A roman a clef with more than slightly camp overtones.

An assortment of improbable romances and intricate political intrigues, that ultimately ends up a heap of sentimentality rather than making anything approaching narrative sense.

For all that, taken on its own terms, it is a thoroughly enjoyable romp, a joyful, colourful whirl.

A glimpse into the late Georgian world, a world of possibilities, where a young man with hunger and ambition could change almost anything, including himself, in order to get ahead.

“I do not think you are capricious, and yet the world sometimes says you are.”

Penhaligon’s may have had Keats or classical myth more in mind when they created their antique anachronism of the same name in 2003, yet it is Disraeli’s Endymion to which their aroma owes most.

From it’s colourful burst of citrus to it’s front parlour full of lavender at the start.

Through the soft leather of the ‘nice’ gentleman’s gloves at it’s heart to the complexion-enhancing patent powder of the dry down, this is an arch nineteenth fey fellow’s fragrance.

It is an Aubrey Beardsley sort of scent.

“My idea of an agreeable person.. Is a person who agrees with me.”

Just as Disraeli was a Wildean sort of politician.

Apply the perfume without moderation and frequently to achieve full effect.

Peruse the book in short bursts while sipping sweet tea dressed in a purple smoking jacket.

Happy Reading.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Fields of Fragrance The Perfumed Dandy’s Outside Spring Scents Part I

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Dear Friends

As some of you may have seen, The Dandy had a dashed lovely day out in the Park yesterday, well The Gardens to be precise and Kensington Gardens at that.

Thank you all to those of you who suggested some scents that might go with my humble snaps.

Perhaps the wisest proposal was that such sublime scenes of nature required no man made smell to assist them. Too true.

However, The Dandy was ever one to throw caution to the wind and so this week he presents some 25 scents to go with those same scenes…

1. Daffodils

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Certain folks may be beginning to believe that one has an unhealthy obsession with Yardley, the English purveyors of faux soliflores such as the nearly disappeared Narcissus.

So be it, but when a rich, earthy, vibrant and very realistic scent such as this is available at such a good price I will continue to crow about it with glee.

To be true, this is a humble daffodil and no neo-classical narcissus: a bright bold, orange-hearted and handsome thing.

But my way of thinking this fragrance is made all the better for that!

2. Fountains

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Water perfumes are so often so desperately dull, speaking nothing of the sensational fun of the stuff itself.

One only has to ponder those endless lines of blue aquatics (especially those targeted at the gents) to become overcome with a sense of ennui.

And yet, when The Dandy, thinks of water and fountains in particular three things take his fancy: the Louis and their Versailles, the far from boring Borgias and their Villa d’Este and the British and their Gin and its Tonic.

So there’s my excuse for setting out a case for this decadent spritz of misspent summer afternoons in spray form.

Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling is a quinine soaked cocktail of a scent that is guaranteed to intoxicate with its irrepressibly mischievious insousiance.

3. Statue

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Perhaps a little the worse for wear on account of that Sling, The Dandy can’t help but imagine that this young thing is trying to catch a few rays to eradicate that “pale and interesting look” she’s sporting.

“Heresy!” I hear you cry to describe a sculpture such… well here’s another: not a serious scent at all but a “beauty product”.

Whilst obviously not a patch on its magnificent namesake, Guerlain’s Terracotta Sous le Vent is about as fabulously fragrant as a moisturising mist might ever hope to be.

The weather may not yet be warm enough to prends un bain de soleil, but if you feel like a glow all year round you could do worse than this perfumed water variously described as having a note of tiare flower, orange blossom and jasmine.

Light, airy and aerating this is an energising floral fillip for anyone struggling to shift change of season sluggishness and swing into Spring.

4. Tulips and Hyacinths

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A tough assignment this, for as many of you have pointed out a true hyacinth aroma is hard to find.

Tougher still is the tulip, though one of The Dandy‘s very most favoured flowers on account of its shapely appearance, it has a scent that is evasive to the point of non existent, though a few perfumers have attempted to capture the concept at least.

So what to do by way of solution? Why a bouquet of course!!

Whilst Floris Edwardian Bouquet may lead with jasmine, hyacinth is high in the mix and there’s even a little oakmoss to add a brisk and breezy edge.

All in all this wonderfully composed water is an elegantly restrained exercise in self-effacing English luxury, and a worthy addition to any Spring wardrobe.

5. Green Leaves

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“Why!?!” I hear you exclaim, “Norell by Norell could quite easily have been your hyacinth dear Dandy“.

And so it could… but for all its top note florals, almost no scent is as gregariously green as the original Norell.

To The Dandy, it is a sparking emerald among the jewels of perfumery.

However, I will not wax too lyrical at this time about the virtues of this galbanum-laden gem, for there is more to come very soon on this same scent…

So a first five fragrances to follow on from those photographs.

Twenty more to come ‘twixt now and Friday!!

If you’d like to take a peek, why not spend a moment perusing the complete album of The Perfumed Dandy’s Sunday In The Park.

Any additional suggestions would be gratefully received.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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