Penhaligon's novel Portraits collection is inspired by a dysfunctional family

Penhaligon's novel Portraits collection is inspired by a dysfunctional family

Family secrets

Text: Renée Batchelor

Think your family is strange? Wait till you meet the quirky characters that inspired Penhaligon's latest fragrance collection

We've heard of fragrances inspired by exotic destinations, femininity and of course, love. But a series of luxury scents (in fact the most luxurious offering yet from Penhaligon's) that was inspired by the members of a British, aristocratic family is witty, quirky and downright brilliant. Dubbed 'Portraits' the first collection revolves around the family of Lord George. The four scents are named after four key members of the family, Lord George, his wife Lady Blanche, his son-in-law the Duke and his daughter Duchess Rose. The bottles also deviate from the usual, simple, stoppered designs of Penhaligon's scents, with gilded animals heads as the caps. These seem to represent both the aristocracy's love for hunting, and hints at the personality behind each creation.

Portraits collection Penhaligons
By painting 'portraits' of these characters, each scent is imbued with certain characteristics. Lord George's scent is masculine and elegant with a hint of rum. The woody, ambery fougére was created by prolific perfumer Alberto Morillas and has interesting notes like shaving soap and brandy. We can practically smell the stiff upper lip from here! The other masculine scent, for his dandy son-in-law, the theatre-loving Duke, is quite different. Created by Daphné Bugey, the fragrance is a spicy rose, with hints of gin and leather, for the man who is not afraid to express the feminine side of himself.

A sneak peek at the second collection of Portraits
Not to be outdone, the two female scents in this collection also bring their fair share of drama. Duchess Rose by perfumer Christophe Raynaud is a twist on a classic, innocent rose, thanks to the addition of woody notes that hint of a darker secret lurking underneath. Think of it as the perfect counterpart to her husband's rose fragrance. Finally Lady Blanche, is a narcotic green floral, also by Bugey, that hints at a woman who is witty, put-together and a tour de force. Think of someone classy and refined, but never boring. See yourself in any of these portraits? Take a whiff to find out for sure.

$400 each. At Penhaligon's stores and counters in October