Instead of a Christmas gift guide this year, I’m switching out my regular Candy Crush posts for just as regular Christmas Crushes instead. In these posts over the coming weeks you’ll find some wonderfully scented gifts just in time for the holiday season, with products that I am crushing on. So get ready for some marvellous Christmas gift inspiration!
The theme at Penhaligon’s this season is ‘Christmas is in the Air’ and with this Christmassy concept they are mixing the two things that make their identity so unique: tradition and eccentricity. Their golden packaging is accented by beautiful red ribbons, with what appears to be a rather traditional, Victorian scene as the illustration. Look closer though, and the signature quirk of Penhaligon’s is revealed! Carriages driven by birds and flying clocks lead one to remember that the world of Penhaligon’s is a topsy turvy one, and that’s what makes it so wonderful to explore!
This Christmas, Penhaligon’s have curated a fine selection of gifts for any of those eccentric beauties in your life. There’s perfume aplenty, with gorgeous sets and mini-collections amongst their expansive collection of scent. There’s even a special home fragrance for this year, not to mention many other quirky things to love. So in this extravaganza of a Christmas Crush post I’m brining you a veritable feast of Penhaligon’s gifts to hopefully inspire your present-buying this holiday season. With any luck we’ll have ticked some people off your gift list by the end of the post no problem.
Penhaligon’s is a brand famous for a number of dapper and dandy-esque masculine fragrances but none are more popular and suave than Sartorial. Inspired by the workroom of Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons, Sartorial is a contemporary twist on the fougère family that pairs traditional materials of lavender and violet leaf with completely untraditional notes of ozone, metal and beeswax, evoking the hot steam of irons, and the sharp slicing motion of scissors. The result is a unique and weightless (and modern) fougère and in my opinion, Penhaligon’s best masculine fragrance. What better gift for that special man in your life (whether he be a husband, brother, son or other) than a quirky yet debonair masculine that is just the very best?
Sartorial Eau de Toilette – 50ml/£72, 100ml/97.
Speaking of the best and popular, let’s move on to something lovely for the ladies on your gift list. Luna is a new discovery for me (it launched last year) but not for everyone else and it’s quickly become one of Penhaligon’s most popular feminine fragrances. Sniffing it, I can see why! Luna opens with what I can only describe as the most glorious citrus accord – it twinkles smoothly with bergamot, lemon and orange in absolute harmony. It’s a fragrance that speaks in fractals of light forged with perfect, mathematical accuracy – starting with pure white shine and warming with candied nuances with time. At its heart, Luna is an ethereal floral inspired by the Goddess of the Moon, boasting rose and jasmine against a backdrop of juniper and white musk, creating a luminous, ghostly aura. Luna is the perfect fragrance for the goddess in your life and with The Dreamer Gift Set, she will be able to enjoy the fragrance with the accompanying body cream, which is beautifully luxurious. Only the very best will do for our goddesses!
The Dreamer Gift Set – Luna Eau de Toilette 100ml & Luna Body Cream 175ml/£139.
For The Home
This section contains my usual disclaimer about how I freaking love a scented candle, blah, blah, blah etc, but this isn’t just a candle, my friends, no, this is so much more! The Christmas is in the Air Gift Set contains a gorgeous pine-scented candle in a handsome brass jar accompanied by a matching, pine-scented room spray in the most dapper bottle ever made. Well, I say ‘pine-scented’, but that’s actually underselling this most beautiful of sets. The Fragrance in both the candle and room spray is called ‘Christmas is in the Air‘, an ode to the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree, and features notes of fir balsam, juniper berry (Penhaligon’s do like to throw in a touch of gin in all they do – who can blame them?), cedarwood, patchouli and cashmeran. It smells soft and woody, with a subtle hint of pine needles. It’s not an overpowering fragrance and it quietly scents your home with just an air of Christmas, living up to its name perfectly. The room spray is much the same and leaves a lovely, seasonal-trail wherever it is sprayed (I spritzed my faux tree with it and it smells like HEAVEN). The Christmas is in the Air Gift Set is the perfect gift for the home proud or even just a treat for you if you’re hosting family and friends this season.
Christmas is in the Air Gift Set – Home Fragrance 100ml & Candle 290g/£79.
When people ask me which of the many Penhaligon’s collections they should smell, I always answer with “Trade Routes”. The concept is so strong and evocative, with each fragrance transporting one to different stops along the spice routes of the past. This year, Penhaligon’s is offering a collection of Trade Routes minis and I am LIVING for this handy little gift because now you and your loved ones can try five of the fragrances in the collection in beautiful, dinky bottles. The set features Halfeti (rich black roses, leather and oud), As Sawira (a heady, spicy oud), Empressa (a fruity, exuberant chypre), Oud de Nil (a billowing white floral oud and my favourite in the collection – it has some shoulder pads!) and Lothair (an ozonic breeze of gin and tea). This gift set really showcases the beauty of the collection and some of Penhaligon’s best. It’s the perfect gift for perfume buffs or those in your life who have a discerning taste.
Trade Routes Collection – 5x5ml/£32.
For Something a Little Bit Different
And now for something a little bit different… We’ve had perfumes, candles, body creams and room sprays, but what about something a bit more…delicious? If you’ve been paying attention to Penhaligon’s recently you’ll have noticed that they’ve gone a bit nuts for their Portraits Collection, which features a ficticious aristocratic family with, shall we say, a ‘colourful personal life’. Each character has a story and a funky animal head for their bottle. One of the most fun characters is Countess Dorothea, the grand matriarch of the family (she’s the wise owl). Dorothea loves to sip and spill the tea, which means she enjoys nothing more than sharing biting gossip over a cup of Earl Grey and a few ginger biscuits. To celebrate Dorothea and her love of tea, Penhaligon’s has created just that: a beautiful black tea (assam and ceylon) flavoured with crushed vanilla pods. Penhaligon’s say you can serve it with or without milk, or if you want to serve some serious Countess Dorothea realness, you can serve it with some sherry. How scandalous! Countess Dorothea’s Vanilla Tea is the perfect gift for those who love a posh tea and maybe a little bit of shade too.
Countess Dorothea Vanilla Tea – 50g/£38.
Samples, notes and quotes via Penhaligon’s. Images are my own.