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All things beauty and then some. Andrea Claire has been a hairstylist and makeup artist for 23 years now. A Canadian based in Singapore since 2007, she has appeared on Asia's Next Top Model, Yahoo Asia, Canadian Idol, So Chic and more.

Penhaligon's London || not just for fragrance fanatics

By Andrea Claire · June 28, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Image provided by Penhaligon's London

Recently (ok, it was last night!) I attended the launch of Penhaligon's latest fragrance Peoneve.

Head Notes: Violet Leaf

Heart Notes: Peony, Bulgarian Rose, Hedione

Base Notes: Vetiver, Musk, Cashmere Wood

I have to be honest. I am not a huge perfume fan. The last fragrance I had coveted was Poison by Dior in the 80s. I recently declined writing a magazine piece on fragrances because I thought there was no way a naive nose like mine could muster up some intelligence to bring to the reader any benefit. I may have been wrong for the first time this year!

My friend and fabulous TV host, Anita Kapoor brought me to the event as her plus 1; it's tough being a trophy friend. *cough*

At first I restrained myself from any questions or comments about the fragrances since I was out of my comfort zone; that and the adorable cocktails in the tea cups accented with an orchid were closing my throat. [Not to worry, I googled 'are orchids poisonous' when I got home. According to Wiki they aren't... my mad detective skills would tell me that perhaps I have an allergy]

After listening to the conversations around me, my interest peaked and the questions came thundering out.

image source

In vintage masterpiece theatre movies you see the likes of Garbo, Taylor, Monroe etc applying perfume to their pulse points which includes the wrists. Often, as our grandmothers did, they would then rub their wrists together, this I learned is a no-no. Why? You are then crushing the notes when pressing or rubbing your wrists together compromising the integrity of the fragrance.

What are notes? Perfume notes, taken from music, are a combination of scents that work harmoniously together.

Top notes: are the initial fragrances that evaporate almost immediately. They are the teasing scents to draw you in and sell you the perfume.

Middle notes or Heart notes: are the body of the perfume. The heart is enveloped by the top and bottom notes. The heart of the scent slowly releases to settle with your chemistry making it your own.

Base or bottom notes: bring depth to a perfume and typically are not detected until 30 minutes after application.

Pulse points: are wherever your blood is pulsing at a peak point, ie temples, wrists, back of neck, inner thighs... wait... inner thighs? Why not! I think I saw that in 9 1/2 Weeks [the original 50 Shades of Grey movie...]

Will fragrances withstand the heat and sun?

Some perfumes can oxidize and become unpleasant in the sun. Generally, that would be influenced by the individual. Some particular scents are volatile in extreme weather. Recommendation: choose from day and evening fragrances. Day fragrances are lighter and the scents tend to be a little more stable in the summer sun and heat. Evening fragrances are a little sexier. Great for moonlit dinners are the beach.

Are day and night the same as summer and winter fragrances?

Nope. Perfumes are moods and memories. Summer is beaches, fresh cut grass, skipping through a field of wild flowers, the heat of the summer sun while sipping mint lemonade. Winter is the comfort of a cashmere blanket by the roaring fire while roasting marshmallows, the scent of mulled, spicy wine.

Can you spray perfume on your clothes?

Why not? It's an added accent, but the body chemistry dictates how you wear your scent. Remember, just as in clothing: wear the scent don't allow it to wear you.

Image source: me & my HTC ONE X

Maybe I was grasping at the proverbial straw with this one but: Is the paper used to test perfumes special paper?


Move over Dior Poison! My new favourite fragrance: Penhaligon's Malabah

"Spicy! The inspiration for this fragrance was an imaginary journey along the East Indian spice route."


The service at Penhaligon's is impeccable. You can go into the perfume boutique and get a fragrance profiling where through a series of questions the expert staff will help you choose the perfect scent for you.

Thank you to Penhaligon's London, ION Singapore, store manager, Andrius for answering all my questions! I walked away with new knowledge and appreciation for fragrances. Do note that the answers are not direct quotes from Andrius.

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