New Perfume Review Penhaligon’s Equinox Bloom- Spring Gourmand

I am used to getting a lot of new spring releases featuring rose. It is a difficult space to do something new within. It seems like a few brands decided to get away from rose for 2016. Now they aren’t eschewing florals entirely they’re just not relying on rose to be the flower which represents spring. As someone who has to sniff so many of these it has made many of the new releases more interesting. Another emerging theme from this trend away from pretty roses for spring is these other florals have been paired with sweet gourmand accords. Penhaligon’s Equinox Bloom is one of these.

Penhaligon’s has been one of the more successful brands at wearing its country of origin on its atomizer. There are many very British inspirations throughout the collection. For Equinox Bloom perfumer Olivier Cresp wanted to recapture his afternoon of tea and cakes surrounded by lush floral arrangements. One of the new technologies helping M. Cresp is Firmenich’s SmellTheTaste collection of proprietary food extracts. This new process is purported to capture food smells in a more accurate way than ever before. In Equinox Bloom M. Cresp uses Chantilly SmellTheTaste and Brown Sugar SmellTheTaste. I really feel the difference in these ingredients. Their use perhaps heralds a new creativity in gourmands.


Olivier Cresp

Equinox Bloom opens with the Chantilly SmellTheTaste providing a luscious Chantilly cake in scented form. By itself it would be too sweet so M. Cresp uses violet leaves to pull back on the sugary intensity. The heart is the floral bouquet. Neroli, jasmine, frangipani, and orange blossom. I think M. Cresp made a nice choice of florals to represent spring instead of falling back on rose. The neroli and frangipani bracket the Chantilly SmellTheTaste forming that tea cake accord M. Cresp wanted. If M. Cresp was trying to keep the sweetness at bay early on by the time we get to the base notes he has unleashed the Brown Sugar SmellTheTaste. It feels like the crystalline particles are present on my skin. This is going to break Equinox Bloom for people who are not fond of sweet perfumes. Benzoin and ambroxan finish out the construction of Equinox Bloom.

Equinox Bloom has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Based on this first experience with the SmellTheTaste molecules I am looking forward to see which other food extracts Firmenich has to be used. The two used in Equinox Bloom make it worth thinking of as an alternative to all those other spring rose fragrances.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Twisted Lily.

Mark Behnke

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