Unveiling the Portraits collection from Penhaligon’s perfumers

Craig of That Dapper Chap joins Penhaligon’s for the launch of their latest range of fragrances: The Portraits collection

My first view of the new Portraits collection from Penhaligon’s


The launch event

If you’re familiar with Penhaligon’s London you’ll know that they offer some of the most incredible fragrances for men, and women and this new collection is no exception. The associated artwork and the design of the bottles alone is second to none, but more on that later.

To celebrate the launch of their Portraits Collection the Penhaligon’s team organised an evening of history and cocktails which began with a guided tour around the area between their shop in the illustrious Burlington Arcade and their flagship store in Regent Street.

The start of the tour and our Portraits collection experience

An olfactory fiction

 Each fragrance in the new collection centres around a member of a fictional aristocratic family and our guide lead us to parts of London that they would have frequented, sometimes for daily needs such as hats and cigars, other for less salubrious pastimes!

The James. J. Fox cigar shop in James Street, London


Bloggers on tour: our guide shares stories and insights in to Victorian London life

As the walk continued, the characters in this story came to life: Lord George with his passion for fine things and loose women. We have his wife Lady Blanche: socialite and picture of devotion, but is she harbouring a sinister intent where her husband is concerned?

Our tour took us back in time and brought the Portraits family to life

Then we have their Daughter: Duchess Rose who is eager to shed the trappings of Victorian life along with her corset, and her Husband The Duke, a flamboyant dandy and an avid fan of theatre, his eye not only falls upon the ladies…..

So, with these characters and their lives firmly implanted in our minds we arrived at the Regent Street store where we were to meet with their fragrances, each one entirely individual with it’s own unique experience and truly elegant bottle.

Outside the stunning window display at the Penhaligon’s store in London’s Regent Street

The unveiling

As press and bloggers alike descended with bated breath upon the Penhaligon’s flagship store, we were each greeted by the butler and announced to the guests, I myself was announced at “The Duke of Hammond” which was a really nice touch and helped to compound the historical ambience of the evening.

Guests arrive at the store and share their thoughts via Tweets and Instagram stories

 It was a day of full sunshine in central London so first item on my agenda was to partake in a hand crafted Blooms Gin cocktail. Each of the cocktails on offer were created around each character in the family, so, with my ‘Lord George’ cocktail in hand it was time to sample the new fragrances.

Hand crafted cocktails came courtesy of the guys from Blooms Gin


The Portrait collection

With Lord George in mind, I introduce you to his fragrance; The Tragedy of Lord George Eau De Parfum. My favourite of the new collection it comes in a stunning bottle with a stags head topper. The fragrance itself has head notes of brandy followed by the masculine scent of shaving soap and Tonka bean. It’s a woody and ambery concoction and I can tell you that it lasts all day.

The stags head topper on the ‘Lord George’ fragrance


The new fragrances on display at the Penhaligon’s Regent Street store


Guests arrive at the Regent Street store for the first sight and smell of the new collection

The ladies fragrances: The Revenge of Lady Blanche, with orris, narcissus and hyacinth, and The Coveted Duchess Rose with its mandarin, rose and musk are a delight and again the bottles are stunning with their leopard and fox toppers.

The Lady Blanche and The Duchess fragrances

Aside from the Portraits collection, Penhaligon’s offer a wide range of fragrances


Waiting in anticipation for my hand crafted cocktail


Blooms Gin kept us cool and hydrated with delicious cocktails representing each member of the Portraits family

 Proceedings were interrupted by the butler at this point who took his time to eloquently and passionately describe the characters in this Victorian drama. As guests filmed, photographed and ‘ooo’d’ and ‘Ahh’d’ in response to the insights that were revealed, we got to learn just a little bit more about these fictional people and their high society London lives.

The Butler tells us all about the lives of this fictional family

Guests at the event mingle and discuss the latest collection

  The final fragrance is Much Ado About The Duke. I would suggest that this is a unisex fragrance and it comes with a head note of peppery rose, followed by gin and leather. Less masculine but not a feminine as it could be, much like the Duke himself it seems.

Other fragrances available from Penhaligons at their Regent Street store


An evening of fragrances and cocktails at the Portraits collection launch

Guests enjoy the new fragrances

The artwork

 At this point I have to mention the wonderful artwork for this collection, as they truly are works of art. Created by artist Kristjana Williams, these delicate and intricate illustrations depict elements of each character, and include a menagerie of fauna and fora that delight the eye and will have you studying each piece for clues about the character it represents, in each deeply woven and fascinating composition.

The beautiful artwork by Kristjana Williams, deliciously intricate

The Portraits collection bottles


The ‘Lord George’ fragrance with its stunning stag head bottle

Each fragrance is now available online and in stores and are priced at £178 for 75ml. When you get yours please post a picture to social media and be sure to tag myself and Penhaligons to get noticed.

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Enjoying a much needed ‘Lord George’ cocktail by Blooms Gin




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