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Blasted Heath – Past, present and future….October 5, 2015

Photo: perfumeniche.com - Walking along the Dorset Coast

“This September, Penhaligon’s unveils two new perfumes inspired by the extreme, wild and passionate British landscape; that moment where the Land meets the Sea and untamed energy explodes.

Where dramatic landscape meets the restless ocean in an eternal caress; the pure, wild elements are infinitely inspiring and have thrilled painters, poets and lovers throughout history.

The fragrances transport to a world of majestic landscapes, of unceasing movement and energy,
Penhaligon’s celebrates the drama of nature with two new creations, for men and women.

Composed by Master Perfumer Alberto Morillas, these two unexpected fragrances explore an olfactory palette reminiscent of the colors, textures and sensations of the wild coast. Cold neutrals, earthy browns, navy blues, textures inspired by rock, bark or earth, two fragrances of contrast, of freedom.”

                                                                  Penhaligon’s Press Release

I know this place. I know this smell. An autumnal family holiday in a rented cottage at Renscombe Farm in Dorset. Thomas Hardy country. Days spent on walks along magnificent coastal paths of the Jurassic Coast so narrow in places we have to walk single file. Breathtaking views of sea and shore, the sound of the waves a constant in the background – sometimes a gentle lapping at other times pounding, wild and feral. Long, lazy, boozy pub lunches.  Evenings spent in that cozy cottage, talking, laughing, sharing, drinking, cooking and eating in the dining room warmed by a big, crackling fire. Then, finally, to bed.

This is the mood, the memories – down to the colour palette – that is in my bottle of Blasted Heath, one of the two new Penhalgon’s fragrances released last month.

Blasted Heath really stirs some special memories for me, so much so that I felt a sort of connection with the perfume the first tem I smelled it. I realized, in fact, that I know very little about the nose behind it -Alberto Morillas. Some digging around changed that.

Born in Spain in 1950, Morillas, is largely a self-taught perfumer. He joined Firmenich in 1970 and in 1988, they named him Master Perfumer. During his illustrious career,  he has signed over 120 fragrances for large houses and niche lines like Amouage, Eau d'Italie, Le Labo, By Kilian, a Lab on Fire and Penhaligon’s. (Note to self: put Morillas frags on your radar).

But let’s get back to Blasted Heath because I can’t stop sniffing it. It opens with the smell of the sea – an aquatic accord deepened with the smell of seaweed bolstered with herbaceous clary sage. It smells like the salty spray from a roiling sea when the seaweed has been churned to the surface. The green herbaceous opening is carried into the heart with the smell of green leaves and marks a shift from sea to land. Then, it gets woody with a light, clean and sheer woody note that just belongs here. This is from Clearwood™, a material created by Firmenich, which has the woodiness of patchouli without the dirty earthiness. If I miss my dirty patchouli, I don’t mind because what comes next is a delicious whiff of tobacco and boozy whiskey – nothing harsh or loud, just a gentlemanly declaration of masculinity. The woodiness of the heart becomes the backbone of the base with dark, earthy, woody patchouli, cedarwood, gaiacwood and vetiver.

On me the drydown is a woody, warm skin scent with whiffs of salty sea air, smoke and an elegant earthiness that’s so smooth and refined, a woman could carry it off easily.

I love the way that first good whiff of Blasted Heath took me back to a happy place but I’m not one for sentiment. I’m wearing Blasted Heath now and I can tell you it is definitely in my future.

Blasted Heath is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.