Originally posted on Dreamwidth on March 12, 2010.
Eucalyptus, Cardamom, Orange Blossom Absolute and White Cedar
Red Turkish Rose Absolute, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute, Cinnamon Leaves, Mace and Rosewood
Benzoin, Tonka beans, Vanilla, Incense, Red Sandalwood and Guaicum Wood.
Forgive me, there's a little bit of preamble here....On Tuesday, Evil Twin and I went to the V&A to see the Theatrical and Performance costumes. To get to that display we had to walk through the Tapestries room, very low lit, very beautiful, smelt amazing in a way that I responded to on a very emotional level. I mention this because Elixir by Penhaligon's gets an almost identical response from me on first spray.
For both the Evil Twin and I, this scent immediately conjures up history. Old libraries, old ships, leather, paper, polished wood and dust.
Looking at the notes you can understand why, to a certain extent. The white cedar has a pretty big hit, with the rosewood and sandalwood not too far behind. Neither of us get much floral out of this (similar skins as well as everything else), but oh my stars, this is warm and beautiful. I was certain there was some amber in this as it really shines, like brightly polished brass. The spices make me think of stored tea crates, rather than walking into someone's kitchen. Every piece seems to fit perfectly with the scent picture that's being created. The incense kicks in early too, all warmth and smoke.
Eventually it dries down to a beautiful warm, not to sweet vanilla and tonka bean, reminding me for all the world like Organza Indencence. But it takes a long time to get there, having great staying power and wonderful silage.
Evil Twin and I went halves on a 50ml bottle of this as it was too good to pass up. (And when we left the shop we were squeeing like a couple of tweenagers who'd just left a Jonas Brothers' gig). It's rare for a perfume to get me THIS gleeful on first sniff, but Elixir is an utter joy. Indeed Evil Twin's reaction to it was "HELLO LIBIDO!!!", and it is indeed DAMN sexy, on top of everything else.
You can order it here or alternatively, I'm sure if you tweet nicely @PenhaligonsLtd they will send you a sample, they're lovely like that.
(Big shout out must go to the SA at the Wellington Street shop, who was an absolute darling, was really fun to chat to, told us about some FAB new releases, and was a genuine delight to deal with.)
One final note, if you really want to go the whole "history hit", tag team this with Miller Harris' Feuilles de Tabac, then you have a rather rakish man standing in your library....