Penhaligon's – 'Portraits'

British fragrance house Penhaligon's has used animal heads to characterise a fictitious aristocratic family in its new 'Portraits' collection. Lady Mary would approve...

BY AMY BRADFORD

You wouldn’t be surprised to spot a classic Penhaligon’s fragrance on the dressing table of any of the Downton Abbey ladies, so it feels fitting that the British heritage perfumer has taken inspiration from a similar aristocratic sphere for its new ‘Portraits’ collection. Described by the brand as ‘the first olfactive fiction’, it’s a set of four perfumes, each of which embodies the ambivalent character of a member of an imaginary family. Thus the patriarch ‘Lord George’ is a masculine mix of rum and tonka bean, while his wife ‘Lady Blanche’ is a ‘green floral narcotic’ reflecting her secret scheme to poison her unfaithful husband! Each character in this colourful universe is represented by a different golden bottle stopper that might be said to represent their animal spirit – Lord George, for instance, is a majestic stag. Last but not least, the ornate packaging by Icelandic-born, UK-based artist Kristjana S Williams conjures up a magical world by interweaving fragments of Victorian engravings with contemporary illustration.

ABOVE AND ABOVE RIGHT: The 'Portraits' Collection, £175 for 75ml

Find this extravagant collection at Penhaligon’s newly unveiled flagship store in London’s Regent Street, designed by architectural studio Al-Jawad Pike. It came about after the studio created a window display for the store, which won a RIBA Award for Best Window Installation in 2014. Inspired by the brand’s original boutique in St James, English panelled rooms and the art of fragrance making, it features an elegant curved frontage, intricate floor and wood-clad walls.
penhaligons.com