Penhaligon’s is a creator of fragrances that tell stories. Recognising the emotive power of scent, it’s a brand that understands its customers are looking for more than just a great product; they want to buy into something that is a reflection of themselves.
With the Cornish barber William Penhaligon’s precious recipe books at its disposal – dating back to 1870 when a flash of ankle was considered titillating stuff – the brand has a rich and varied history and no shortage of stories in its armoury. But true to William Penhaligon’s founding principles, it continues to seek new ways to interpret its British heritage.
In a changing world, where new players are regularly entering the niche fragrance corner, Penhaligon’s objective is not to change the brand, but to build on what makes up its DNA. ‘Following the pack has never been our style. We’re not ones for jumping on the bandwagon or creating a fragrance based on a fad,’ says Lance Patterson, CEO. ‘We combine imagination and inspiration from the world around us. You don’t make it through 150 years without picking up a thing or two about standing out from the crowd.’
We are very fond of telling stories, and it delights us to invite our customers into a world of the unexpected
As Penhaligon’s did for the 9th Duke of Marlborough with Blenheim Bouquet, so it still creates one-of-a-kind scents for Penhaligon’s Bespoke, in partnership with some of the world’s top perfumers. Customers share their fascinating stories through in-depth conversations and from these the essence of ‘who they are’ is extracted and bottled. ‘It’s always rewarding when a customer expresses how our fragrances have allowed them to feel more confident, more alive – and that’s why we continue to do it.’
Britishness is considered a key attribute of the brand, and part of 2020’s anniversary celebrations will be to highlight Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit in homage to the founder’s personality. Passion for fragrance runs in the veins at Penhaligon’s, along with a commitment to quality and an intimate knowledge of the industry, honed through 150 years. ‘We pride ourselves on our knowledge,’ says Patterson, ‘though we’re seldom boastful. We reference our past, but we have a contemporary vision.’