William Penhaligon is where our story begins. A lowly Cornish barber who made his way to the Persian Shah’s court.
William H. Penhaligon is born on January 27, 1837, and he grows up in Madron, Penzance. Here is where the ambitious fantasist hatched his goal to become a famous barber and a master of the sense of smell. William Penhaligon and his family relocate to London in 1869, residing in with William’s uncle Henry in Rochester Row, Westminster.
In 1870, he starts a barbershop on Jermyn Street and quickly becomes the go-to stylist for the hair of many of Mayfair’s up-and-coming young professionals.
In 1872, two years after he became resident barber at the Turkish Baths, William created his debut fragrance, Hammam Bouquet. In other words, it’s out of this world. His patrons constantly beg for more of his work. When William Henry Penhaligon dies in 1901, his son Walter takes over the family business.
The 9th Duke of Marlborough commissioned Walter Penhaligon to design the now-iconic Blenheim Bouquet.
In 1903, the company received its first Royal Warrant from Queen Alexandra.
In 1910, William Jr. came up with his own version of a traditional Fougère called English Fern, which he infused with a sense of pastoral Englishness.
The following year, in 1911, Sir Percy Croft, a purveyor of port, hears of Walter Penhaligon’s perfume talent and orders a concoction called Douro, named after the region in Portugal.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh bestows Penhaligon’s with its second Royal Warrant in 1956.
When the famous Wellington Street opens, the air around Covent Garden is filled with the heavenly aroma of Penhaligon’s. Until William’s great-granddaughter presented Penhaligon’s with an original bottle of Hammam Bouquet, complete with the round stopper we are familiar with today, concoctions were bottled on the premises, bath oils were created in the basements, and finished products were sealed with ribbon around a square stopper.
A concentrated, undilute version of the bluebell woods aroma, created in 1978. It has fans in the worlds of fashion, politics, and even the royal family. Among the many perfumes that were favorites of the late Princess Diana is Penhaligon’s Bluebell. The floral and fruity perfume, features citrus top notes blended with Lily of the Valley, jasmine, rose, and even a touch of clove and cinnamon.
The exquisite fragrance is housed in the brand’s signature boudoir-style bottle, which, with its pretty blue bow, would look just stunning on any vanity.
In 1984, Penhaligon celebrates its longevity and tenacity by introducing a fragrance based on the oak tree (Quercus, the English national tree), which quickly becomes a customer favorite.
In 1988, HRH The Prince of Wales bestowed upon Penhaligon’s a second Royal Warrant, and the scent of the products soon filled the Palace.
Penhaligon’s differentiates itself from other perfume houses in 2010 by collaborating with Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons to launch Sartorial, a timeless fragrance with a unique twist.
In 2015, five years they opened the doors at No. 33 Jermyn Street, and they named the newest Eau de Cologne after that address.
Cairo inspired them to macerate Damascan Rose with an abundance of woods and spices. Cairo is fascinating at first glance, but it keeps giving as you explore it more.