Hong Kong is abuzz with beauty – from new products and treatments to stores and spas, there’s loads going on in the beauty world (check out our latest Beauty News Flash here!). But if you’re fed up of looking for the latest lipstick or scouring the shelves for skincare saviors, then you might want to try something a little bit different. You don’t have to change your appearance to feel fabulous – just spritz on a gorgeous fragrance to lift your spirits!
Fragrance. There is nothing more powerful than a scent to take us back to somewhere we want to be; pinching our granny’s Chanel No. 5 from her dressing table or back to a trip to the Dordogne where you spent the entire summer dowsed in Tom Ford White Patchouli. Nostalgia is a beautiful thing and if it comes in the form of a pricey, pretty bottle filled with a heavenly scent; at least you know it’s a price tag worth paying for. Perfume always does what it says on the tin and despite the glossy advertising around it, you do always end up smelling nice.
Think of perfume as the sweet-smelling cherry on the top of your identity. Isn’t there always that girl in the office who always smells gorgeous? Copying her fragrance, however, would be unthinkable. It’s always a case of Get Your Own Scent.
I was a little tired of the run of the mill products on the mainstream market. I’ve been a Miss Dior Cherie, a Jean Paul Gaultier Classique and most recently a Tom Ford Black Orchid. When I consulted my mother with this latest first world problem, she looked longingly into Skype and said that she wore Penhaligon’s Bluebell as London Girl in the 80s. So did Lady Diana and now, incidentally, Kate Moss. Penhaligon’s, I thought, now there’s class.
Penhaligon’s of London still sell their original 1872 bottle of Hammam today and their brand history is as rich as the ingredients that go into their fragrances. They have stayed true to the quirky, British spirit of the brand and have refused to sell out to larger-scale marketing ploys. This means you won’t leave their store smelling like every other Tom, Dick and Harry. Check out their latest collaboration with Meadham and Kirchoff which resulted in Tralala and you should get the idea.
So off I trotted to their new Harbour City Store to try out their unique fragrance profiling. The shop is fittingly decked out with English antiques, and I was greeted with a bottle of water, which I was told I was going to need to keep my smelling powers clear! I spent a very happy hour with Dara, the store manager, who talked me through the different perfumes and the stories behind them. And believe me, when it comes to scent, these guys really know their geraniums. But even more interestingly, we talked about me; not just about my fragrance tastes, but also about me as a whole woman. The whole process was surprisingly therapeutic and there was a lovely moment when I found my scent. (The new Iris Prima as it happens). I left their store feeling and smelling like a million dollars. Penhaligon’s fragrance profiling is the very definition of retail therapy, stripped of all fads and faffs and definitely beauty worth buying into.
Penhaligon’s, Shop 3236, Level 3, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2111 4147, www.facebook.com/PenhaligonsHongKong
See all Penhaligon’s stores in Hong Kong here.