Thursday, August 4, 2011

Penhaligon's Bluebell is Like Springtime in a Bottle

Do you remember back when I posted on Penhaligon's collaboration with the Meadham Kirkhoff  Fashion Show for Fall 2010? Well, I hadn't smelled Bluebell at the time of the posting. But I liked the idea of scenting a fashion show so much I had to share it with you. Now, at long last, I have smelled Bluebell so I can actually TALK about what it smells like.

Image From Penhaligon's Website
What Penhaligon's Website Says about Bluebell
Head Notes
Heart Notes
Hyacinth, Lily of the Valley, Cyclamen, Jasmine and Rose
Base Notes
Galbanum, Clove and Cinnamon
Created in 1978, this is the pure and unadulterated distillation of the scent of bluebell woods. The telltale earthy sweetness of hyacinths rises through the soft citrus Head Notes and mingles with rose, lily and jasmine at the heart. As it settles the flowers give way to spicy clove and cinnamon and the unique textural base note of bittersweet galbanum.
Tremendously evocative of wet earth, moss and rain, it softly detonates across your scent receptors and instantly transports you to the woodland, surrounded by dripping leaves, skin tingling with spring.
Perfumer: M Pickthall
Bluebell can be purchased for 100 mls  for $120 or 50 mls for $80. It also comes in a bath oil, candle, fragrance solid, soap... you name it, they have it. Must be pretty popular, right?

My Experience With Bluebell
I have to tell you that when smelling it two images come to mind:

Botticelli's La Primavera

Image from Review of Sorts
And Jessica Biel in the middle of a field for Revlon:

I don't know why that last image I start to feel like the scent smells more modern and less mystical. But either way, I swear Penhaligon's has bottled SPRING.

When I first smelled Bluebell I thought that my sinuses were going to be rebel. Thankfully they did not, and I actually can wear this fragrance! The initial smell of this is very grassy with a hint of citrus. It's not "lemongrass' but the scents mix sin such a way that it could be an approximation. There are floral notes, with a slightly spicy under tone. Penhaligon's wasn't kidding when they said "moss" and "rain". The scent smells like the best parts of spring after a rain shower (or during it slightly). Very fresh, and magical - almost like being accosted by the three graces in La Primavera. As it dries down I smell more field of flowers, and think of blue jeans and romantic outdoor encounters - the Jessica Biel Revlon commercial. I don't find this scent to be "young" although, it could be. It's certainly not overly sexy - except that what about "spring" isn't youthful and sexy?

The scent itself doesn't last a super long time, like most Penhaligon's fragrances. I can see why someone would want to layer it over lotion and shower gel. However, I have never smelled anything else like it. It's fresh, without smelling that semi-medicinal "fresh" smell us Americans like to put in our fresh smelling scents.

Bottom Line
I strongly suggest picking this up in February, just to get your spirits lifted for Spring. You can wear it all through summer, but I think it has a shelf life when autumn comes around. Regardless, I can see this being a somewhat iconic scent for Penhaligon'ss from what I've smelled. If you're a collector you will want this.

You can purchase Bluebell from Penhaligon's Website. 

The product in this review was provided by Penhaligon's LTD for my consideration. I am not affiliated with Penhaligons LTD and I do not sell their products.