The latest perfume in the Penhaligon’s stable is Peoneve, a very girly sounding mix of rose and peony which on paper wouldn’t necessarily push my perfume buttons. I love peony flowers and I love the smell of roses but as a perfume it can sometimes be a bit cloying and reminiscent bathroom products.
Air freshener this ain’t, Penhaligon’s have come up with something which is very reminiscent of roses but the peony refreshes this tried and tested ingredient. A surprising fresh hit of green comes from violet leaf and there’s a trace of something that smells like tomato leaves. Once it settled on my skin Peoneve is definitely an unashamedly feminine fragrance, but it retains an effervescence which cuts through the sweet notes. Vetiver base notes help sustain this and I’m loving the cashmere wood which gives it a ‘skin’ kind of smell and blends with your natural ~odours.
It’s no mystery to learn that the brains/nose behind this perfume is Olivier Cresp, the creator of Thierry Mugler’s ultra-feiminine Angel perfume. Angel is a much-maligned but bestselling fragrance that hides some surprisingly dirty, earthy base notes behind its girly, vanilla smells. Scent subterfuge, I like it.
The general consensus is to go for fresher, lighter fragrances in summer but sometimes you want a more robust perfume that wont get lost in the heat. The same way that smells carry through the air in the evening, I like wearing a scent that stands up to balmy temperatures and summer stickiness. A lot of mainstream designer fragrances have that ‘get up your nose’ generic perfume smell that is made so much worse by heat, but all the Penhaligon’s perfumes I’ve tried so far avoid that horrible itchy nose/headache feeling.
Peoneve is now my new favourite summer evening scent, I’ve been wearing it constantly in the evening and will do so until the weather cools, when I can return to sniff the bottle for an instant reminder of the end of summer.