Penhaligon’s scent profiling is often referenced as one of the best free things to do in London. After attending myself, I can say that this statement is entirely correct and would emphatically recommend to all.
Penhaligon’s Islington store is an enchanting Aladdin’s cave full of dark wood fixtures, beautiful fragrance bottles (little changed from William Penhaligon’s original designs) and helpful staff to help you guide you through the myriad of different aromas.
The profiling started with Penhaligon’s signature scents and what struck me was the breadth of the range, distinction and associated history of each of the products. For example, the first perfume ‘Hammam Boutquet’, created in 1872, was inspired by the aromatic Turkish baths once situated next door to the shop on Jermyn Street.
My favourite of the signature smells were those with distinct floral and masculine undertones (and I was reliably informed that women purchasing masculine aromas, for their own use, is extremely common).
In all, I tried eight scents - each profiled to fit with my taste and lifestyle. While this was fanstastic, unfortunately I fell in love with all eight…and ended up walking out of Penhaligon’s with not one perfume…but three (Malabah, LP and Douro).