I Fell Down the Most Beautifully Scented Rabbit Hole–Love this Perfume House!

Welcome to the 695th Metamorphosis Monday!

Over the past couple of months, without even thinking about it, I’ve gradually switched over to wearing some of my favorite fragrances for summer. The sunny days and warmer weather just naturally make me crave lighter, brighter scents. If you wear perfume, do you find that you move toward wearing lighter fragrances this time of year?

For this week’s Before and After, I thought I’d share some of the perfumes I enjoy wearing in the spring and summer and a new fragrance house, well, new to me, whose fragrances I’m finding completely enchanting and addictive!

Over the past two months, I’ve been wearing a lot of the following fragrances: Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb, Philosophy-Amazing Grace, Chanel-Chance Eau Tendre, Dolce and Gabbana-Light Blue, Juicy Couture-Viva La Juicy, and Ellen Tracy-Pretty Petals. It was actually a BNOTP reader who shared Pretty Petals and I was able to find it in my local Marshalls. Pretty Petals is very budget-friendly and so fresh and light. I liked it so much that I went back a few days later and bought a couple of more bottles so I’d have plenty on hand. Since the price point is so affordable, you can be a bit extravagant with this scent and spray it with abandon on pillowcases, sheets, napkins, curtains, whatever!


A few weeks ago I stopped by a new Chanel beauty store that opened up not too far from my home. I wanted to replenish one of my favorite fragrances, Chanel Chance Eau Tendre. In the past, Chance Eau Tendre has only been available in an EDT, which I’ve been totally happy with since it lasts a nice long time on my skin. I was surprised to learn they had come out with it in a parfum! My EDT version is the larger bottle in the photo below–the one that’s getting close to being empty. I decided to try the parfum–visible upfront with the silver cap/top. I’ve only sprayed the parfum once so I can’t really give it a fair review. I need to give it another try. Have you tried the parfum version of Chanel Chance Eau Tendre? If so, what did you think?

Chanel Chance Eau Tendre Parfum


Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Recently, I fell down a big, deep rabbit hole and I have to say, I loved every moment of it! When I discover something new that really captures my heart and imagination, I get ridiculously excited…like “can’t-go-to-bed-or-to-sleep” excited.” It’s a curse, being that way sometimes, but I just can’t help it!  I’m such a big lover of perfume and I’m forever amazed by how a scent can completely lift my mood. If you’re a lover of fragrance, I know you know, what I mean. Music can do that, too–right? I guess when our senses are involved, it can really impact how and what we feel.

So here’s how I fell down this wonderful, beautifully scented rabbit hole: A while back I was watching a video by a British YouTuber and she shared a perfume that she planned to wear that day called, Empressa. I was enthralled by the bottle–it was just so pretty! I did an online search and started reading about the brand and the more I read, the more intrigued I became. Penhaligon’s is a Royal Warrant holder, dating back to 1903 when it was issued its first Royal Warrant by Queen Alexandra. They received their second  Royal Warrant in 1956, issued by the Duke of Edinburgh. Its third was issued by the Prince of Wales in 1988. Penhaligon fragrances have been popular with the royal family for many years. Though I don’t really follow or keep up with news about the Royal Family, that history with Penhaligon’s definitely piqued my curiosity about the fragrance. The Duke of Cambridge supposedly enjoyed wearing Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet, which has a long and hallowed history. The Eau de Toilette was originally commissioned for the ninth Duke of Marlborough in 1902. (Blenheim Bouquet is available here: Blenheim Bouquet.)

Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet


The more I learned about Penhaligon’s, the more I wanted to try some of their fragrances. I decided to order one of their Discovery Sets and this is the one I ended up ordering below: Scent Library. At $40, it was an affordable way to try many of their most popular fragrances.

Penhaligon's Scent Library


I really like the packaging this discovery set came in. I’m not sure how Royal Warrants work, but I read that two of the warrants are still in existence today, so does that mean they expire? Ummm. That explains why there are only two on the cover of this discovery set.

Penhaligon's Scent Library


This discovery set included 10 nice size samples and I could not wait to try all of them! (This set is available here: Penhaligon’s Scent Library.)

Penhaligon's Scent Library with 10 Scents


I purchased these perfume test strips to try out the perfumes in the discovery set. The test strips are nice and sturdy and really soak up the perfume. I very much recommend them if you occasionally like to test fragrances before wearing them. I couldn’t wait to try all the Penhaligon fragrances and they were perfect for that. (Perfume Test Strips are available here: Perfume Test Strips.)

Perfume Test Strips


After trying and wearing several of the fragrances this weekend, I ended up ordering three that were instant favorites. I ordered Empressa which is an Amber Floral fragrance, originally launched in 2014. The nose behind Empressa is Christian Provenzano. The top notes are Blood Orange, Peach, Bergamot, Mandarin Orange, and Pink Pepper; middle notes are Rose, Dewberry, Cassis, Neroli, and Geranium; base notes are Patchouli, Brown sugar, Musk, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Cacao, Olibanum, and Amber. This was the fragrance I had seen in the video that first introduced me to Penhaligon and I think it may be their best known and maybe even their most loved scent. It’s available here if you would like to read more about it: Penhaligon’s Empressa.

Penhaligon's Perfume, Empressa


I fell hard for the fragrance, Luna. Oh my gosh, it was definitely love at first smell! Luna is the lovely creation of perfumer, Alienor Massenet. It is described as a “fresh floral” with top notes of bergamot, lemon, and orange bigarade, heart notes of rose, jasmine, and juniper berry, and base notes of fir balsam, ambergris, and musk. It’s available in two sizes at the Penhaligon’s website and you’ll find those here:  Luna, 100 ml AND here: Luna, 30 ml size.

Penhaligon's Perfume, Luna


The 3rd fragrance that stole my heart (or should I say my nose?) was Penhaligon’s The Favourite. The Favourite is a Floral Woody Musk fragrance that just launched in 2020. The nose behind this fragrance is Alienor Massenet. The top notes are Violet, Freesia, and Mandarin Orange; the middle notes are Mimosa, Iris, and Jasmine Sambac; base notes are Musk, Ambroxan, and Sandalwood.  It’s available here: The Favourite.
Penhaligon's Perfume, The Favourite


I just ordered another one of their Discovery Sets because I’m really intrigued by their Portraits Collection. The bottles are sooo cute with the animal head tops!


The Discovery set for the Portraits Collection is available here: Portraits Scent Library.Penhaligon's Portraits Scent Library


I would love to eventually purchase this miniature set for my guest bath. I have several miniature scents of perfume now and I recently realized they were perfect for keeping on a small tray on the counter in my guest bath–a fun way to pamper visiting family and friends. You can read more about this miniature set of some of Penhaligon’s most popular scents here: Penhaligon’s Miniature Collection of 5 Popular Scents.

Penhaligon's Perfume, Miniature Bottles


I’ve read online and have heard several reviewers say that Penhaligon’s Bluebell was one of Princess Diana’s favorite scents. I would love to get a sample of it at some point. I love the color of the juice and that pretty blue bow! (Read more about this fragrance here: Penhaligon’s Bluebell.)

Penhaligon's Perfume, Bluebell, Diana's Favorite


I requested a sample of their Elizabethan Rose scent when I placed my order this weekend. Hopefully, they will include a small sample because the reviews I’ve read say that it is stunning and one of the absolute best rose scents available. I don’t currently have a rose-scented perfume so would love to try this one. You can read more about the notes in this fragrance here: Penhaligon’s Elizabethan Rose.

Penhaligon's Perfume, Elisabethan Rose

Do you have any of Penhaligon’s fragrances? If you do, please share which ones in the comments. I would love to know! I can’t wait until my Portraits Discovery Set gets here and I can sample them all!

Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday!

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  1. I love perfume and haven’t bought any in ages, you have me very tempted! Thanks Susan!

  2. Love the rose! Also – used to love A Victorian Posy by Penhaligons. My husband had gifted me the book on our first anniversary (37 years ago!!) and the pages were scented with A Victorian Post. (It’s faded now – but you can still smell it!!). I need to see if they still make the perfume! Thanks for the memory!

  3. I write a perfume blog, so I always enjoy when you mention perfumes. In general, your taste in perfume is different than mine, you like lighter and fresher. But I love all the Penhaligon scents you’ve mentioned. They are indeed a historic and storied perfumery. I love their portrait collection!

    • Cynthia, I know you’re right and I was thinking about that this weekend as I was sampling all the Penhaligon fragrances in the discovery set I ordered. I sometimes try samples or buy small bottles/travel sizes of more unusual fragrances and I do love how they smell, but when it comes down to what I actually spray on my body before I head out the door, I always end up going for something fresh, clean or floral scented. In the Penhaligon discovery set, I like Halfeti a lot and I would probably enjoy it in a candle, but I just don’t want to wear it.
      Not sure if you saw the post I did about Zoologist. They really have some wonderful fragrances and some really unusual ones. I haven’t purchased any full bottles yet but there were a couple I really liked…the lighter, more feminine ones.
      What perfumes do you wear the most? What is your most complimented fragrance when you’re out and about? I will check out your blog, love learning about perfume!

      • Hi Susan, I hope I didn’t sound like I was judging your perfume choices! Far from it. Everyone likes what they like. I used to like heavy florals and in winter heavy spicy perfumes. Last year I had two operations in a row (all good now!) but I found after that experience, I really began to
        enjoy lighter perfumes that were easy and pretty. As if I just wanted to smell nice, but not have to think too much about it! In the light vein, I’ll be doing a story soon on the Eau d’Italie brand. My daughter is getting married in Lake Como in June, and of course I’ll be taking perfume! Theirs are all light but pretty. I also like Willow & Water by Margot Elena. In deeper perfumes I have a ridiculous number of bottles. I suppose it’s better than gambling, right? 🙂 Gosh, too many to name but a great cheapie gardenia scent, if you like gardenia, is the old Elizabeth Arden one. In Penhaligon’s which you described, a nice light one is Savoy Steam. And sample sets are a great way to discover new perfume houses!

        • I think that’s why I like light, happy scented floral fragrances. Wearing perfume for me is almost like creating a little mini-vacation for myself–so I want it to celebratory feeling and light-hearted, nothing too heavy or serious. Sometimes in the winter when I’m just here at home, I’ll wear something a bit heavier like Chanel Coco (not Coco Mademoiselle which I don’t especially like) because it’s like a warm, comforting hug and is just right for winter cocooning inside.
          Thanks for sharing the ones you like, I need to try to some of those. That’s so interesting how what you wanted to wear changed after your surgeries! Congrats on your daughter’s upcoming wedding! Beautiful time of the year to be getting married. ♥

  4. Just looked at the site, they will even engrave the bottle! Wow! What a great gift to yourself or others!

    • I saw something about personalization and wondered about that. That would be so nice for a gift purchase. Thanks for mentioning it, Deb…I’m going to look more into that.

  5. I have loved everything about Penhaligon for years…their scents, their packaging, their shops, etc. So English and so classy! There was a shop on Madison Avenue in New York but I’m not sure it’s still there. I used to love to pop in when I lived closer, even if just to bask for a few minutes in that lovely ambiance! If you are not familiar with Jo Malone, it’s another extra-special line of British scents, etc. Also beautiful packaging and easy to get in the U.S. Her Lime Basil & Mandarin scent…to die for! And Floris products are also quite wonderful and British!

  6. Amy Byman says

    I’m not sure what happened but my link needs to be added by you. Thanks so much

    • Amy, I approved it over on the InLinkz website earlier this morning when I got your first comment…so it should be visible. Not sure why the system isn’t finding your link each week if you’re linking back to the blog or the MM post. I know Inlinkz told me that their system can’t find the link if it doesn’t have enough time to search for it, so just make sure when you link up, to take your time when you add your link so the InLinkz system has time to find it. Not sure if that will help. Do you see your link visible now…since I approved it when I got your first comment earlier this morning?

  7. Nan Allen says

    Thanks so much for the information. I buy about one bottle a year but like to try new ones. I bought a sampler with several fragrances at Christmas. I still like the one I wore in high school, Woodhue, but I’ve only found it for sale one place on-line, not in stores.

  8. Mary Anne says

    Thanks for this wonderful information! You and I have similar taste in fragrances. I wear Amazing Grace or Light Blue or Chance pretty consistently. Please add Gucci’s Flora to your “try” list. Be sure it is the original though. There have been new versions added to the line since it’s inception that are not as nice.
    Mary Anne

  9. Ordered! Can’t wait to get it!!

  10. Elena MacDermant says

    My dad was a perfume chemist. He said you should always try the fragrance on your inner arm not on a strip.
    It will smell deferently once it drys down and mixes with your unique body oils. My daughter used fragrances that smelled great on her but not so great on me.

    • I’ve heard that too, but when you have 10 samples to try, you run out of body parts to try it on. lol I was spraying them on my knees before the test strips arrived.

    • That’s a great idea! I was running out of body parts though and wanted to try on all of them. lol I’m impatient! I do think they can smell differently once on your skin, though.

  11. I have the spritz samplers and the five sample bottles. Some of Penhaligon’s fragrances are too harsh for my skin. Others smell great on others but not on me. One fragrance I like is Freesia by a Florentine perfume house. But I do wear the Aromatics Elixir Body Smoother but just a light, very light application because it’s very strong. Sometimes I’ll order a little spritz sampler of Nuit du Noel by Caron from a fragrance site.

  12. I enjoyed your perfume review. Does the discovery set from the portrait collection include the miniature animal head bottles? Unable to find on the website. Thanks.

    • No, just the full-size bottles have the animal heads. You can see the Portrait Collection Discovery set here: https://bit.ly/3lxgW0X
      I ordered that discovery set and it is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I’ll try some of those out and share my thoughts in another post. I def want to buy a few full size bottles from the Portrait Collection.
      Sandy, if you want to have some fun, check this out: https://portraitsmansion.penhaligons.com/
      Try to look at it on a laptop or a bigger screen, not a phone. 🙂

  13. Great post – I don’t have any of those except for Amazing Grace. I am going to look for Pretty Petals next time I am at TJ Max! I always switch to a light scent ( right now, Arden Green Tea) but don’t buy expensive perfume because for some reason my husband cannot smell them on me. He bought me Chanel #5 one year and I loved it…he never noticed it. Same with Shalimar. One he could pick up was Interlude, by Francis Denny – very intense, but can’t find it any longer. Thanks for sharing…I will have to check out the rose scent…those are my favorites !

  14. I love penhaligons! I’m a man and have been using a few of their scents for a long time and get nothing but compliments! My first scent I got was bayolae, it’s a fresh scent reminiscent of a barbor shop. I also have a bottle of roaring Radcliff from the portraits collection for special occasions. It’s such a nice warm spiced scent for the fall and winter months. While Bayolae was my favorite for spring and summer, lately I’ve really been into Opus 1870 with it’s head notes of cedar for the summer, I think it’s amazing. Some people say it smells like a hamster cage and while I can understand the point of view with the forward cedar scent, the body of it is just so fresh and revitalizing!

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