Monday, October 18, 2010

Review (Part 1): Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service - An Aromatic Journey Begins

Ever since my colleague sent me the gift of Penhaligon's Artemisia Solid Perfume I have been absolutely obsessed with the brand and with their other scents. What particularly caught my eye was a link at the bottom of their site that said "Fragrance Profiling". 

What Is Fragrance Profiling?
Penhaligon's offers you the chance to answer several questions about yourself and their master fragrance advisors, Zillah and Alex, will let you know what scents they think will best fit your personality out of the Penhaligon's library.

What Does it Cost?
Here's the best part - this personalized service is absolutely free. I'll be honest with you, though: I would have paid for this service if they sent samples of the recommended scents along with it. (Penhaligon's listen up - you could earn some extra cash here).

I Already Had Artemisia and Loved It, so What Could I Gain?
Well, honestly I wanted to see if the master advisors would suggest Artemisia to me or if there was something else that was better for me. I went into this with every intention of purchasing the scent that was recommended highest to me - taking a risk.

What Were the Questions?
I encourage you to try the service yourself and see (you must have Flash installed), but here were the questions (paraphrased) and my answers:

1) What fragrance(s) do you currently wear? What do you like about them?
  • Burberry Brit - I love that it makes me feel confident and polished.
  • DKNY Red Apple - I wear this when I'm looking for something casual. It makes me feel fun. But it wears off too quickly.
  • Dolce & Gabbana The One - This makes me feel sexy, confident and polished. More grown up.
  • Versace Red Jeans - Wore this in the past because the guys I knew liked it.
  • Lolita Lempicka - Just fresh and great.
  • Gucci II - Wore this for my wedding. It was romantic, and young.
  • Chanel Chance - makes me feel pretty, sophisticated, youthful (I am 31 years old).
  • (Omitted when sent to the profiler) Penhalingon's Artemisia - I just received this in solid form as a gift. You don't have to take it into consideration. I am sort of curious if it is one that you would recommend for me. 
2) Are you looking for something to compliment or contrast your current fragrance choices?
I don't really think I'm looking for either. I am just looking for something that is great for me for a variety of locations. I've never really found that "me" fragrance. I'd like to find a signature fragrance. As you can see from my previous answer I've tried many.
3) Why do you wear fragrance?
I don't feel like I'm fully dressed without something. If I am being completely honest, sometimes I also worry that I smell bad and I don't want to smell bad. :)
4) What mood of fragrance do you imagine yourself wearing?
Comforting - though the Flash application only lets me pick one. I would have also chose Seductive. Why does a fragrance have to be one thing?
5) What are some of your everyday smells?
  • Baking cookies
  • Garlic and onions being sauteed.
  • My cat's fur after he's bathed himself.
  • Gasoline
  • My eye cream at night (apricot scented just a bit)
  • Fresh laundry

6) How would you describe your personal style in three words?

  • In Flux
  • Casual
  • Playful
(On retrospect, I've decided that I am definitely NOT playful. But I'd like to be).

7) Imagine your ideal room, drink in hand, listening to music.
How is the room decorated? 
Dark walls, hardwood floors with a colorful rug. White chair sofa chair with an ottoman. Wooden side table. Wooden bookcase filled with books. Candles. A small window with white linen curtains. A cat-bed somewhere in the room. There's a photograph on the side table, not sure of who. 
What are you drinking?
A Green Tea Matcha martini, or just plain green tea. If it's that type of day, sake at room temperature out of the bottle. 
What are you listening to?
Clair de Lune, which is an odd choice for me.
 8) If you could go anywhere in the world on holiday, where would you go and why?
Probably to New York City for shopping because I recently lost a lot of weight and could use a new wardrobe! Or back to Oxford UK because I loved that city. Or Venice to continue my collection of Venician masks. All places I've been before. "Holiday" means relaxation to me and I have a hard time relaxing in new places, though I love visiting new places too.

How long was it before I got a response? 
While the site says it can take up a week or so to get a response. Master Profiler Alex Musgrave responded to me in less than 24 hours. Although these are personal responses, I was given permission by Alex and the head office of Penhaligon's to publish my correspondence with Alex on my blog as I embarked on my fragrance journey.

What am I going to do now?
I will be reviewing each of the scents Alex recommended to me as I review them. Yes, a kind person over at Penhaligon's sent me samples of the perfumes that were lower on the list of suggestions I received from Alex. And yes, I did purchase a full size of the one Alex and I agreed would probably be best for me (I took a risk!!!).  I will segment Alex's responses in with each of the scent reviews so you can get his take on the scent as well as my own.

Want to know what Alex thought of my current Fragrance choices? Stay tuned! More to come in the next few days.