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Penhaligon’s Iris Prima ~ perfume review

Penhaligon's Iris Prima Spirit of the Ballet

Iris Prima launched last fall, one of two 2013 fragrances from British niche house Penhaligon’s (the other was Vaara). I’m always happy to see a new iris, especially a unisex one. Iris Prima, like Vaara, has a great backstory: it was developed in collaboration with, and inspired by, the English National Ballet, and the tag line is “The spirit of the ballet. Bottled.” This of course made for all sorts of ballet-related promotional activities, including the lovely “ballet flash mob” at Saks in San Francisco and the liberal use of ballet shoes for displays (see here and here).

That said, Penhaligon’s is admittedly not one of my favorite perfume houses. Other than Vaara, which I was lukewarm about, the only other Penhaligon’s scent I’ve ever reviewed was Lily & Spice, which I was, likewise, lukewarm about, and the only Penhaligon’s fragrance that has ever made my buy list was perfumer Olivia Giacobetti’s brilliant spice-fest Elixir

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Holiday fragrance gifts 2013, part 5

Our series of holiday gift posts continues with a selection of fragranced teas and sweets — even perfumistas need to eat and drink, right?

Up next (probably on Thursday), more travel sizes & coffrets. If you missed them, check out Part 1: scented body products, Part 2: travel sizes & coffrets, Part 3: home fragrance and Part 4: gifts for men.

More shopping ideas: see the Fragrant Man’s round-up of holiday fragrances from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz.

Hudson Chocolates Yuzu Fruit

From Hudson Chocolates, a ‘Yuzu Fruit’: “Made in a mold cast from an actual Japanese yuzu fruit, this gorgeously executed Yuzu Fruit confection is a perfect example of wabi-sabi – the ability to see beauty in imperfection. Its creamy, sweet-tart, citrusy ganache is made with yuzu juice and milk chocolate, which is wrapped in a thin layer of lemon verbena ganache before being encased in a crispy layer of candied almond nougatine.” $34 at Dean & Deluca

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Penhaligon’s Vaara & Givenchy Dahlia Noir L’Eau ~ fragrance reviews

Brief reviews of two 2013 fragrances: Penhaligon’s Vaara and Givenchy Dahlia Noir L’Eau.

Are there any recent releases you’d love to see us review? Do comment.

Penhaligon’s Vaara

Penhaligon's Vaara

Penhaligon’s new Vaara has a great backstory: it was a private commission by His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II for his granddaughter Vaara. Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour reportedly traveled through India looking for the perfect ingredients “to create a scent fit for royalty”. Of course, he’s already done much the same — albeit probably without leaving home — for the four India-inspired fragrances he created for Neela Vermeire Créations (Trayee, Mohur, Bombay Bling and Ashoka), but Vaara stays squarely in what I think of as Penhaligon’s territory…

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