Blenheim Bouquet

My husband and I first encountered Penhaligon’s, Blenheim Bouquet while we were staying at The Milestone Hotel in London. We were fortunate enough that the hotel used Blenheim Bouquet as the fragrance for all of their complimentary products (except for a tube of lip balm ūüôā ). ¬†I remember thinking that it was a lovely fragrance that was incomparable to anything I had smelled before. ¬†I thought it was very British and quiet modern. ¬†I was surprised to later learn that it was actually an old fragrance dating back to 1902…

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The Milestone Hotel

On our first couple of days at The Milestone in London it was raining… ¬†And I didn’t mind it one bit.

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UK2 (2)During the day we ate, talked and occasionally took walks in the rain. Then at night we had their special honey ice cream and pampered ourselves with Blenheim Bouquet in the orchid laced bathtub.  It was marvelous.

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delicious honey ice cream

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And now, the scent of Blenheim Bouquet is a short-cut to those wonderful memories… ¬†I find that fascinating because it’s such an old, popular scent and I’m sure there are masses and masses of other people spanning the decades with equally sharp memories attached to that fragrance…

In any case, since watching Downton Abbey I’ve become a bit lonesome for England. ¬†So, since my husband uses Blenheim Bouquet shaving soap and aftershave balm I’ve decided to feature that in today’s post.

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Blenheim Bouquet is herbal, floral and citrus with a slight hint of something oceanic. ¬†It’s manly, on a man, but I’ve worn it myself many times and enjoyed it. ¬†It’s a very rainy day, gentleman in a rose garden “antique” fragrance, but like I said, it could easily pass as modern too – it’s not dated or irrelevant.

My husband loves using his shaving set (the Penhaligon’s brush and razor), the soap and the balm. ¬†He says that the soap is terrific – it works better than regular shaving cream. ¬†It’s moisturizing and actually treats his skin. ¬†The balm makes his skin feel very smooth and silky (I totally agree) and it leaves him perfectly fragranced – lots of longevity too.

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I used Agraria Cedar Rose bar soap.

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2015-01-07 21.11.28 (2)It’s a great fragrance line. ¬†The rose is vintage but luscious and the cedarwood is a very clear note. I was amazed by how little I had to use for it to linger on my skin and create a pleasant but discreet sillage. ¬†Sadly though, it’s not a particularly moisturizing soap, so lotion is a must after use.

I still miss England dearly, but I suppose that that’s the true point of this blog – someday I intend to cure my sadness at least semi-permanently. ¬†ūüôā

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Me in our cozy room…

No. 4711

As you may have noticed, my husband and I enjoy visiting antique stores.  Well, a few years ago, I visited Third Floor Antiques in Red Wing, Minnesota.  We found the bottle of Muguet des Bois that I recently sold and two bottles of No. 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser.

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At first, I was disappointed when I tried No. 4711. ¬†I found it strong, bitter and much too manly. ¬†It was a scent very foreign to my modern nose. However, after a while I started to develop an appreciation for it, and now it’s a delight to wear.

It’s a scent with a history too… ¬†No. 4711 was debuted in 1792 by Eau de Cologne & Parf√ľmerie Fabrik Glockengasse No. 4711 gegen√ľber der Pferdepost von Ferd. M√ľlhens in K√∂ln am Rhein. It’s a product of Cologne, Germany and is indeed the real “cologne” from Cologne. Presently, after going through many changes over the last 25 years it is now manufactured by Maurer and Wirtz.

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A friend of mine who grew up in France once told me that she used this cologne as a teenager in France and I’ve seen it sold in pharmacies when I’ve traveled to Europe. ¬†To my nose, it is a very European scent, however, it certainly has been a part of American history too. ¬†No. 4711 was supposedly a favorite of John F. Kennedy, and the fictional character Holly Golightly¬†(as portrayed in the movie version by Audrey Hepburn) in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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No. 4711 is a wildly refreshing, clean, citrus scent that is oh so vintage. It’s uncompromisingly from the past, but in the very best, long-lost sense. ¬†The romantic in me is automatically enthralled…

The top notes of  No. 4711 are listed as orange oil, lemon, bergamot, basil, and peach. Middle notes: jasmine, Bulgarian Rose, lily, melon, and Cyclamen. Base notes are listed as, patchouli, Tahitian vetiver, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss and cedar.

If you ever try it, I would suggest giving yourself time to cultivate an opinion. ¬†Wear it on warm days. ¬†Use it on cold days, and certainly give it time to proceed into the drydown. ¬†It’s also worthwhile to try to find one of the older bottles. ¬†I believe that in this case, the older version is preferable (and it’s not that expensive on sites like e-Bay actually).

Before I splashed on No. 4711, I decided to take a moment to relax and bathe in a tub of lavender bubbles created by Agraria Lavender & Rosemary Bath Salts sourced from the Dead Sea.  With a sharp, elegant lavender that slightly lingers on the skin it was the perfect match for No. 4711.

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Agraria Bath Salts, of Agraria San Francisco, are currently in lovely decorative boxes that come with a seashell to pour the salts into your water. ¬† The scent is sold in soaps, lotions, candles and room diffusers, and if you’re interested, until tomorrow (Dec. 1) the online store is having a 25% everything sale.