Blenheim Bouquet 
Penhaligon's (1902)

Average Rating:  87 User Reviews

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About Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's

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The setting is Blenheim.  Imposing, immutable, indeed a national treasure, we are at the home of the Duke of Marlborough.  He for whom this bespoke scent was first made.  Just like the most refined British humour, it is dry. (Churchill was a fan.)

Fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's

There are 87 reviews of Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's.

This has lemon and lavender, and an old-school Eau de Cologne feel.
Jan 26, 2021

A touch of pepper
And a wee bit of moss made
For a quaint cologne.
Aug 22, 2018

I am a fan of old-school citrus based fragrances so I was looking forward to this cologne with a rich history. What a disappointment... It is rather linear citrus and pine scent, which on paper is fine to me. However, Blenheim Bouquet is very harsh. Honestly, a modern air freshener or even a toilet cleaner smells more pleasant to me. I guess it must be a British thing, why this scent was and is still popular over there.

If you are looking for classic timeless citrusy fragrance, there are many elegant choices like Dior Eau Sauvage, Armani Eau pour Homme or Acqua di Parma Colonia. Blenheim Bouquet was a big mistake but I had to try it due to its history. Do not blind buy this even if you are into classic citrus colognes.
Apr 1, 2018

Penhaligon's of London is a beloved and time-honored name in the UK, yet in the world abroad, is little more than a niche perfumer with a rich backstory. It's to be expected, as they never grew into a multinational cosmetics conglomerate like America's Avon or France's Coty, and instead focused on serving their local clientele, among which included members of British royalty, earning them royal warrants that they still possess. This is all relevant to Blenheim Bouquet because it is with these warrants that the scent was created, originally as a bespoke fragrance commissioned by the Duke of Marlborough in 1902, it's official date of release. At some point, Winston Churchill himself began to wear it too, lending me to believe that it's sale became relaxed enough that royal affiliates could acquire it at very least until it was made publicly available. The same sort of bespoke-to-market story also follows a large portion of Creed scents, but they allegedly left the UK behind for Napoleon's courts long before Penhaligon's emerged with warrants, and maintained much more focus on a portfolio of elite clients than serving the public outright (a convenient way to refuse providing evidence), so for them it's a more common tale to tell, and a bit more suspicious. Blenheim Bouquet in the modern era is one of Penhaligon's biggest sellers, becoming something of an upper-class toiletry staple for guys once it saw release publicly, even after Penhaligon's stopped being an actual barbershop and started focusing solely on the take-home products.

The 1900's also saw shift away from florals-for-everything, since Fougère Royale(1882) and Jicky (1889) set new standards for abstract perfumery, which directly translates to more diversity through experimentation. Bay rum was popular in the Americas and the staple "barbershop" style of fougere was also coming about in France, but this is really nothing like those. There's no tonka here, no moss, no ambergris of any kind in the base, with only six notes overall and no detectable heart notes. Blenheim Bouquet must have been a really specific and targeted creation based on what the Duke of Marlborough liked, because there really isn't anything else quite like it from any decade, outside of stuff perhaps drawing inspiration from it or trying to ape it's reputation. The scent almost starts like a classic unisex eau de cologne, but with both lemon and lime singing together alongside a blast of dry English lavender. From there, it's just pine, musk for a fixative, and a strong pepper note in the base. That's literally it, making Blenheim Bouquet seem like Lemon Pepper: The Fragrance, but really the beauty here is in the ratios of ingredients and blending. I find this stuff to be a distant cousin to the traditional eau de cologne, just without all the herbs and soapy neroli treatment, being much more "forthright masculine" due to it's staunchly dry and assertive feel. Belheim Bouquet is very structured but still refreshing.

Wearing Blenheim Bouquet is surprisingly easy even well over a century after it's creation, which is in stark contrast to The Hammam Bouquet (1872) and it's quite literal "Victorian Ponce in a Bottle" vibe. It's either a nod to the Duke's good taste or the skill of Penhaligon's, maybe a bit of both, that makes this so timeless. Yeah, it's a very dry composition that will make it hard to relate for trend-seeking fragrance users, since it doesn't have that chemical burn or roundness modern male scents possess, but it's so fresh and peppery that it's almost impossible to not like unless you just can't do without that sugar. The only things that really compare to this are maybe Pino Silvestre (1955), Avon's Windjammer (1968) or Iceberg's Effusion for Him (2001) but I think that's just due to the black pepper and/or pine in each. This a very green scent as well, the pine is very much in full effect alongside that much-sung pepper, so between the two, one almost gets a feel like this might have been a very early precursor to something like Guerlain's Vetiver (1961) but more youthful than that. This makes a very good morning splash and after-shave fragrance, and I'm not sure why Mr. Churchill favored it, but for anyone today thinking of giving this centenarian a go, all they need know is that this stuff is quite literally a distillation of vigor in a bottle. Very pleasant and unique, but due to the vast shift in both tastes and paradigms of what's considered masculine, this is definetly not for everyone. Long before aquatics brought the "freshness" on a hot day, we had Penhaligon's doing it with this. Bravo.
Nov 27, 2017

Love the citrus opening, all fizzing lemon sherbet. But then, as others have noted, the pine and musk dry down somehow evokes, most unpleasantly, furniture polish. This makes for amusing analyses about emotional coldness and the English class system. Which is fine unless you have to wear it. I was left faintly nauseous. Thumbs down.
Nov 22, 2017

Smells just wonderful- very fresh and quite appealing. The problem is that 2 hours later, it was gone. As in, completely disappeared. If this baby had any kind of longevity, it would easily be full-bottle worthy. Oh how I wish...
May 7, 2017

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