Henri Bendel Signature series ~ new fragrances

Henri Bendel Signature series

New York-based luxury department store Henri Bendel has launched a series of 6 signature scents (a prior signature line is still available on the site as well):

Rose & Oud (shown) ~ "Always a true romantic but never a sap for heartbreak, you happily wear your heart on your sleeve. Sweet yet cautious, girly but glam, you’ll flush with blushing blooms of strawberry leaves, violet, sugary pink jasmine and a balance of oud. Go ahead – shake it up, and smell the roses…"

Gardenia & Vanilla ~ "Never known to show off in stilettos, you’re pure beauty shines through naturally. Subtle and soft, the sweet scents of peach blossoms, lily of the valley, fresh gardenia, and soothing vanilla yield the sunny hue of a walk through spring’s gilded garden."

Persian Lime & Pepper ~ "Showing off comes second nature to Bendel Girls with some sass. What’s a day without a little mischief? Indulge with naughty notes of Rio red grapefruit, bold black pepper and the mysterious quality of sweet-scented basil. You’re sure to turn heads…"

Orange Blossom & Jasmine ~ "Sunny and funny, you light up a room even on dreary days. It’s easy to kick the blues with notes of sugary Clementine, tangy tangerine, and bouquets of Sumatra lily. It’s as if you’re toting the tropics…one delectable step at a time."

Incense & Musk ~ "Balmy and beautiful, you’re at home in the sultry sands of an exotic Eden. With provocative patchouli fleur and luscious lotus blossoms in your wake, it’s easy to lose yourself in a fragrant, far away fantasy."

Grapefruit & Vetiver ~ "Never judge a book by its cover. Peel back the tangy and tart layers to reveal the true you – a study of calming care. Gentle notes of cooling cypress and mellowed musk balance the punch of pink grapefruit, refreshing Meyer lemon and ooh la la orange essence."

Henri Bendel Rose & Oud, Gardenia & Vanilla, Persian Lime & Pepper, Orange Blossom & Jasmine, Incense & Musk and Grapefruit & Vetiver are available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum, $65. (via henribendel)

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  1. kalynna says:

    Hmm, these seem worth trying. Orange Blossom & Jasmine and Incense & Musk? Yes please! I must remember to try before I buy though…even if they are ONLY $65!

    • Robin says:

      A few of them do sound nice.

  2. Suzanne941 says:

    Six at once! Another jus deluge. Another the grapefruit & vetiver sounds interesting. I like the small size too.

    • Robin says:

      I think they used to have that many in their older signature series…guessing they’re replacing them with these? But this is a lot.

  3. abirae says:

    These sound nice enough. I recall the Bendel candles being significantly better than they needed to be. I hope these turn up at Bath and Body Works.

    I’m a little amused by the thought of a “girly but glam” oud.

    Is anybody else trying to match up the descriptions with the appropriate Golden Girls? I’m gonna say the “sunny hue” of Gardenia and Vanilla is Betty White.

    • Joe says:

      Does BBW carry Bendel candles? Just online, or in their regular shops? Would be nice if these turned up there, I guess.

      • abirae says:

        My brick and mortar BBW did, at least for a while. There was a rather nice Bendel quince candle that I thought about buying.

        Based on my work temping, my guess is that IFF does the fragrances for all the Limited brands. Bendel is Limited’s aspirational line, so they can spend a little more and play around with different trends (Oud!?!) before introducing them to BBW and VS.

        • sashabla says:

          the quince Bendel candle is lovely right about now and it’s always available at BBW.

      • mjr17 says:

        Joe, BBW carries Bendel candles online and in-stores.

        • mjr17 says:

          I meant to add also that they are my favorite candles, if tad bit pricey. My top scents are Amber, Firewood, Lavender Leaf.

    • Robin says:

      Agree, they were nice candles, and I think the older signature series were all from those scents.

      • miss kitty v. says:

        If their scents matched the candles, I would buy them in a heartbeat. I loved their Firewood candle. They do still sell the candles at B&BW, although I think they’ve dropped some scents from the line.

        • Robin says:

          Firewood was great…too great. As I’ve mentioned here before, I always forgot I was burning it and would have the momentary worry that my house was burning down.

          • sashabla says:

            Agree…firewood is fabulous in the winter!

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Persian lime and pepper–definitely Blanche.

      • miss kitty v. says:

        Hit reply too soon.

        Vetiver and grapefruit for Dorothy. :) She strikes me as a vetiver gal.

        Can’t peg Sophia. Maybe if they had something with a dash of oregano…

        • abirae says:

          Histoires de Parfum – Picture it: Sicily 1929.

          • miss kitty v. says:


          • Joe says:

            I’d buy it. At least for a split! :D

  4. rickbr says:

    These sound very nice really. And for a luxury department store, the prices are reasonable and the package + bottle don’t look tacky. I’d like to try the Rose & Oud, Persian Lime & Pepper and Musk & Incense. By the names, they look like compositions simpler and made to be layered, something like a jo malone line for a department store.

    • Robin says:

      They do sound nicer than you’d expect.

  5. Absolute Scentualist says:

    Abirae, I definitely think Sophia would be the Persian Lime type. lol I didn’t see any particular frag blatent enough for Blanche, though. :)

    This needs to be a mini/layering set in the worst way. All of them sound lovely, but I’m having more fun mixing and matching them in my head.

    • abirae says:

      I love it! She’d be the sassy and spicy one for sure.

      I fancy Grapefruit & Vetiver for Dorothy. Cerebral, a little tart, and I always found her grecian caftans to be incredibly soothing.

  6. Joe says:

    The Persian Lime & Pepper sounds great to me (so great that I feel a STRONG need for a sample), followed by Grapefruit & Vetiver.

    That Rose & Oud sounds awfully strange… not in a good way. At first I thought it had strawberry instead of strawberry leaves (do those smell?). Interesting.

    The copy is froufrou tacky. At first, I thought that it sounded less like “luxury” and more like Forever 21… but then I went to the site and realized that Bendel is really just an upscaled Forever 21. Muy froufrou perky-girly.

    • abirae says:

      Henri Bendel = Limited Brands = Victoria’s Secret = Bath and Body Wirks = Bigelow

      Bigelow and Bendel were NYC institutions that are now under Limited ownership.

      • Robin says:

        The original Bigelow in NYC is still privately owned though!

        • abirae says:

          Really? That’s exciting! They have a great fragrance selection. I’m happy to hear that they are still independent.

          • Jessica says:

            Yes! I can confirm that. It has basically licensed its name and identity out to The Limited, but that particular (original) location is still independently operated. And I do think B&BW, et al. work with various labs/perfumers; Twilight Woods was created through Givaudan, iirc… and it supposedly had an oud note! ;)

          • abirae says:

            I’m very happy to be wrong! I didn’t realize there was an Oud note in the Twilight Woods. I guess I have cognitive dissonance of my memories of BBW in the mid 90’s as a raspberry-cucumber headache, and the current BBW which skews a little more sophisticated and tries new things.

    • Robin says:

      Strawberry leaves = greenish strawberry, I’d bet. I really doubt anybody is distilling anything from real strawberry leaves.

      • greenel says:

        I have a newbie question, as a plant person I know the smell of strawberry and their leaves to be dry, balsamic almost , is that what they mean or is it fake fruityness?

        • Robin says:

          99% out of 100% they mean strawberry lollipop. But impossible to say w/o smelling it!

    • Suzanne941 says:

      “Muy froufrou perky-girly.” LMAO…quote of the day!

    • mals86 says:

      Watch it with the frou-frou-perky-girly comments… my toes hurt… :)

      • Joe says:

        Sorry, mals [takes on contrite look]. I can do froufrou-girly perfume as well (almost!) as anyone else… I just had this image of Bendel luxury in my head that did not jibe with the website or this ad copy.

        • boojum says:

          Don’t worry, I had the same reaction…just that I realized I didn’t really know who the Bendel customer was in time to stop myself posting. :D I had a sudden fear it might be Paris Hilton…

    • abirae says:

      I’m not a fan of the froufrou girly persona either. Someone needs to tell them that Sex and the City is off the air.

      It’s too bad that they’re cast the Bendel Girl as a silly teen socialite, because Bendel was one of the chicest, most avant garde department stores (is that an oxymoron?) not too long ago.

  7. maggiecat says:

    Orange blossom and jasmine sounds lovely – perhaps due to the gray coldness of our Dallas weather lately. I wish these would appear locally so they could be sniffed by those of us not lucky enough to live in New York!

    • Robin says:

      I’m not likely to get to smell them either.

      • hongkongmom says:

        me neither …and funny today i took out an orange blossom frag to lift the warm but grey day!!

  8. lilydale aka Natalie says:

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Poor old Bendels; it was such a snazzy place back in its heyday, and nothing to do with this “sunny and funny” Zombie Bendel. Its perfume department still has a lot of interesting lines, but it’s usually so empty you can practically see the tumbleweeds rolling through.

    • Robin says:

      Zombie Bendel — yes, perfect description.

  9. miss kitty v. says:

    That was the Harlequin romance novel of perfume ad copy. I could feel my IQ drop as I was reading it.

    • Robin says:


    • Daisy says:

      Quick! go watch the Old Spice Body Wash commercial from yesterday, a bit of clever humor will firm your gray matter right up!

  10. mjr17 says:

    I’m not feelin’ these fragrances and I’m certain it’s the ad copy turning me off. The only one that sparks my interest is the Persian Lime & Pepper, still I’m not burning for a sample yet. I think i’ll wait until someone reviews this one (or until some of you who get your hands on samples report back) before looking for a sniff!

    • Robin says:

      I do think they sound good, but the ad copy is horrific.

  11. AnnieA says:

    I am going to New York soon and plan to stop in at Bendels, mainly to find out what Bendelerious is all about. No harm sniffing these too, though.

    BTW, does anyone know who would stock Crazylibellule & The Poppies in NYC? Is is wrong that the majority of my shopping goals are perfume-related? (Not on NST, probably!)

    BTW, if anyone is going to the Olympics and is interested in perfume info in Vancouver, do speak up. –Annie, fleeing the Olympics

    • abirae says:

      They have some nice stuff including (as of my last visit which was a while ago) the full Etat Libre d’Orange line (I haven’t seen it anywhere else in NYC) and the Memoire Liquide line of one million accords (well, more than 30) which I like and haven’t seen elsewhere. And as Natalie pointed out, the tumbleweeds make for nice browsing. And make sure to check out their discount section discretely hidden in the basement. Their discounts on clothing can be dramatic.

      And while you’re in the neighborhood, you’ll stop across the street at Takashimaya, yes? They’re my favorite, and the place where I first encountered Ineke, Neil Morris and the Different Company. And their basement tea shop is fabulous and pretty reasonably priced.

      Barney’s is an avenue over, but they have a wonderful sales associate, a great selection of CdG, a Frederick Malle room (which I find intimidating, and maybe there’s a free standing store now?), and the Rosine and Byredo lines.

      And Bergdorfs is Bergdorfs. I find it a little hard to browse, but on the other hand they have the JAR room.

      Which doesn’t really answer your question. I got my CL&tP stick at Anthropologie, but I don’t know if they have it now. I’ve seen the sticks at Ricky’s on occasion.

      Best wishes, and have a great time in NYC!

      • AnnieA says:

        Abirae, thanks so much for your help! Have scribbled notes galore…A

    • Robin says:

      Sorry, don’t know where to find the Crazy Libellule in NYC. Maybe check their website to see if they list retailers?

  12. sarahbeth says:

    Robin, do you have any idea who the ‘nose’ is behind these. Do these types of launches even reveal ‘noses’? They probably smell alright I just can’t say I was intrigued in the least by the ad copy. Well, it was similar to the effect of reading my fortune cookie after Chinese take out, I suppose. The price was the only point I was able to appreciate. Even if I lived in NYC, I wouldn’t be drawn to Bendels for these.

    • Robin says:

      No idea — if I know, I’ll always include that info in the article.

  13. pigoletto says:

    Some of these sound very nice (the Persian Lime esp.), but the bottles look a wee bit tacky for something branded Henri Bendel. I saw something funny last weekend – I went into a small dept store in a town near me, and it had quite a nice packed out little perfume dept. You know how most displays are standard ones (against backdrop of an ad, or just set on trays) – someone clearly decided to get creative, as they got themselves an old oriental looking wooden birdcage, and fastened a bottle of Amouage Lyric to the bird swing! Bizarre, but funny. I really hoped it wasn’t a full real bottle, because it didn’t look so secure.

    • Robin says:

      Totally agree about the bottles. And the boxes are hideous, which is silly because the Bendel logo on their website is wonderful — they should have just used that.

  14. sweetgrass says:

    A Henri Bendel store just opened here in Houston at the Galleria a couple weeks ago. I went in today and tried their perfume line. It’s a small store, so they just had their own line, not the other stuff that the NYC store has.. I would have been thrilled if I had walked in and seen Aftelier and Aqaba and other such awesomeness. Most of the Bendel line I didn’t care for. I wasn’t even wild about the Wild Fig, fig fan that I am… it was too coconutty. The Persian Lime & Pepper is interesting, but I’m not sure it’s anything I would wear on its own. It might be good for layering. The Rose & Oud isn’t bad, but it’s oud for people who don’t like oud because it didn’t seem oud-y at all (ok I just wanted to say oud-y.. it’s fun to say). They didn’t have the grapefruit and vetiver, so I didn’t get to try that one. I wanted to like the Jasmine & Lilac, but I like my jasmine to have a bit of funk, and this didn’t have it at all. It was a very “polite” jasmine.

    I really liked the Incense & Musk, though, and that one came home with me. It’s really woody, with a sweetish, frankincensy top and kind of an ashy, burned incense effect in the base. It reminded me a little bit of a milder version of Parfums d’Empire Wazamba, which also had that ashy effect, but to an almost uncomfortable degree.

    • sweetgrass says:

      I will say that the Incense & Musk does layer well with both the Persian Lime & Pepper (I discovered this when i tried to cover up the latter with the former) and with the Wild Fig. They had sets of three smaller bottles for $48, and if those three had come in a set together i would have totally gone for it and been a happy camper. Unfortunately, neither of the two sets included the incense or the lime. The fig was in a set with Tuberose & White Pepper, which is ok, and Spring Blossom & Agave, which is fruity-floral thing I didn’t like at all.

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