Home  :  Penhaligon's  :  History of Penhaligons

All Treats = No Tricks! Use coupon code: fragrance for $5 Off a $50+ Order Now + $32.50 Gift w/ $75+ Order view now

History of Penhaligons

History of PenhaligonsHistory of Penhaligon's: In the late 1860's, William Henry Penhaligon left his native Penzance on the picturesque south west coast of England, and came to London to establish himself as a barber. By 1870 William had a thriving business supplying perfumes, toilet waters and pomades to the aristocracy. His first fragrance, created in 1872, was named Hammam Bouquet in honour of the famous Turkish Baths that had inspired it, and it remained his personal favorite. He secured his reputation by creating scents for the nobility. Blenheim Bouquet, created for the Duke of Marlborough, was to become a particular favourite of another distinguished scion of that family, Winston Churchill. Gentlemen's scents up to this time were usually rich and floral; Blenheim Bouquet was one of the first citrus scents created and is still recognised as a classic today. Penhaligon's now creates fragrances for men and women.

Over 20 Penhaligon's fragrances are available, including Artemisia introduced in 2002, Blenheim Bouquet first sold during 1902, Bluebell 1978, Castile 1999, Douro 1910, Elizabethan Rose 1984, Ellenisia 2004, Endymion 2003, English Fern 1911, Hammam Bouquet created 1872, Lavandula 2004, Lily and Spice 2006, Lily of the Valley 1976, Malabah 2003, Ninevah 1995, Opus 1870 2006, Quercus 1996, Racquets formula 1989, Samarkand 1995, Violetta 1976. There is also a special Fragrance Library Set of 10 available as well as a range of Home Fragrances.

Opulence. Exclusivity. Artistry. Service. Are the cornerstones on which William Penhaligon first built his business. They are today the keystone on which we practice and will continue his legacy.

Pioneering perfumery. Heirloom trinkets. Eccentric English whimsies. It all starts with a rough, calloused, grimy pair of hands. Penhaligon's exquisitely wrought collection of silver, glass, leather and marquetry is hewn, blown and hammered into shape by proper old fashioned craftsmanship. Amid the dirt and the grit of the artisans workshop delicate objects of glittering light take form, fashioned by the roughest, yet most fastidious of hands.

Skilled craftsmen work on Penhaligon's crystal scent bottles and silver dressing table accessories. Glass is hand blown in traditional heavy style and then cut by hand with a diamond wheel. The silver tops are crafted by British silversmiths, who have been creating such trinkets for century upon century. The leather goods are fashioned by hand, in the tradition of the saddle maker with hand stitching.

And of course there's the perfumes. Penhaligon's is one of the few true perfume houses in the world: designing and making its own scents, going to great lengths to achieve precise effects. Only fine and rare ingredients are used, such as hand-squeezed oil of bergamot and jasmine oil at twice the price of gold.

Our twenty-two unique fine fragrances evoke a magical world of decadence and delight to be discovered. The whimsical little bottles of scent have become the handbag accessories of the 21st century, and as one of the last traditional perfume houses left in the modern world, a Penhaligon’s fragrance has all the cachet and romance of a great vintage find.

Today when you step into a Penhaligon’s shop and you are stepping into a wildly eccentric, darkly mysterious and strangely historical realm. There's the unmistakable aura of the old-fashioned barber shop with wood and glass cabinets and row upon row of little haberdashers drawers. All around are the traces of a luxurious and decadent existence: silver scent bottles, pill boxes, notebooks. Leather vanity cases, picture frames and manicure sets. Penhaligon's is where the aristocratic luxuries of yesteryear become covetable necessities for the modern lifestyle.