PENHALIGON'S MAKES PERFECT SCENTS

Until today, here's how I've always bought my perfumes: half-dead, and bored off my face at airports killing time waiting for my next flight out. You'll find me, pushing a trolley, hair piled on top of my head, my glasses on, sniffing smelling strips with whichever nostril that isn't blocked [I have a permanently blocked nose]. Some might mistake my hardcore sniffing for snorting a certain white powdered stimulant. But no, it's just me, shopping for a new fragrance.

Once I find something I like - like my Miss Dior Cherie, or my Paul Smith Rose and Paul Smith Extreme, I stick to it and almost never falter. Until today.

For those who don't already know, British fragrance house, Penhaligon's, opened its decadent doors in Singapore late last year right smack on Orchard Road - in ION. Established in 1870, the English vintage perfumery will offer Singaporean scent connoisseurs a dazzling portfolio of 34 carefully blended fragrances, each crafted with a specific personality and atmosphere in mind.

And to determine the scent that is right for you, you can choose to go through a scent profiling session by one of Penhaligon's fragrance connoisseurs; Jolene and I were fortunate to have the very charming company of Mike, who took us through the rich history of the brand, and an interesting scent profiling session.

I won't divulge what goes on in a scent profiling session, so you can try it out for yourself [it's a complimentary service!] but it involves a lot of sniffing, and putting sense [and cents] into scents. I've written enough articles about bespoke suits and shoes to know how much work goes into clothes, and I never realised how much effort actually goes into fragrances.

Let me tell you this - I hate having people read me. I think fortune tellers are full of bullsh*t, I can't stand the thought of going to a shrink, and scent profiling was sort of a little like that - letting a complete stranger read you like an open book. But I didn't quite mind it, because I emerged with LP No. 9 for Ladies.

Created in 1998 and launched on Valentine's Dat, LP No. 9 for ladies is potent and addictive brew of sweet floral notes, spices and musk. It opens with a creamy accord of tarragon and lavender sharpened with a twist of lemon. The heart reveals the open sweetness of carnation wrapped in rich sensual base notes of cedar, spice & vanilla. The final effect is gorgeously soft and romantic, strange and beguiling.

The fragrance makes me want to throw on a sassy dress over Agent Provocateur underthings, thigh-highs and my highest CFM heels. It's sexy, it's empowering, and it almost comes with a little playful wink. I love it.

Let's just say I can't wait for J to smell me. ;o)

Penhaligon’s Flagship Store #03-16 ION Orchard +65 6634 1040 10.00am to 10.00pm daily ionorchard@penhaligons.com Facebook