Penhaligon's Amaranthine (2009): "A Corrupted Floral Oriental" {New Perfume}

amaranthine-crystal-B.jpgBritish perfume house Penhaligons will release a new perfume from October 12, 2009 called Amaranthine. The name's meaning is interesting and multifaceted. In this case it refers to a particular shade of red-purple color as the limited-edition crystal bottle reveals, but more poetically it would also be an allusion to the myth of an imaginary flower that never wilts and is forever beautiful.

The tag line, I note, is: "Amaranthine: the daring new fragrance from Penhaligon's." It might not struck you as very original. Like for the Anthology collection issued last summer, the composition was entrusted to perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour who normally is attached to the house of L'Artisan Parfumeur (See his two other opuses coming out his fall, Havana Vanille and Al Oudh). The reason I pause when I see the word "daring" here is because beyond what may appear to be standard marketing spiel, this is exactly the vibration that emanated from the Anthology series, one that I did not expect to experience in a Penhaligons's offering, to that extent at least although their compositions like Hammam Bouquet can be bold, but still classic...


I further have to pause when I read the descriptive "A corrupted floral oriental..." as this would also be the kind of word I would have used, but didn't, "corrupted", upon smelling the Anthology scents by Duchaufour. As I stressed before, Penhaligons gave the impression of walking on the wild side led by the experiments of Bertrand Duchaufour. It's good, it's interesting, it's unexpected.

The house is conscious about its choices,

"As Penhaligon's evolves as a fragrance house, there is a continual quest for innovation and individuality in each new fragrance release. For 2009, something unusual was required; a fragrance for the contemporary woman, shocking and compulsively sensual."

As I found out, the ad copy is very discrepant from the feeling of edginess and modernism conveyed by the work done by mercenary Duchaufour, in a good way, but still with this sensation of an anti-romanticism struggle like attempting to strangle beauty. So I would wager that the copy is probably more harmonious than the scent itself,

"In a darkened room a woman lies amid a sea of silk sheets. Candle flames cast a flickering web of shadows across the walls; shimmering threads of light in the darkness. She smiles, takes a bottle of perfume and touches the stopper to
her collar bones and décolleté, then runs it up the back of her legs. The air trembles with the scent of tropical flowers and spices, anticipation and desire. Something catches the light; the soft beat of wings, fluttering in the night air.
Time spins and she becomes sleepy, everything heavy and drowsy with dream."

Notes and accords are: spices, tropical green, jasmine, ylang-ylang, clove, tea, musk, tonka bean absolute.

Amaranthine 50ml Eau de Parfum £60 
Amaranthine 100ml Eau de Parfum £85
Amaranthine Limited Edition Parfum in Crystal Bottle £350

Via press release

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. I believe that L'Artisan and Penhaligon's are owned by the same company. So, maybe Bertrand Duchaufour has become the nose of both brands.
    It would have been nice to have Duchaufour at L'Artisan and Olivia Giacobetti at Penhaligon's (she did Elixir for them). Something like En Passant would have been lovely in one of those Penhaligon's bottles.

    Further, I hope Orange Blossom will re-enter the Anthology collection.

    • Ah, yes, I like Orange Blossom and actually still own a bottle of it.

      Yes, you're right, Craddle Holdings owns both Penhaligons and L'Artisan. He would be like Jean-Michel Duriez for Patou and Rochas.

      Chant Wagner

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