Blog post by Gwen
Photo: Courtesy of Penhaligon's
When my husband I were starting to get to know each other, we discovered we both had Scottish roots. After we married, it was fun to go through our photographs of his mother and aunt dancing Scottish sword dances as teenagers and my father and uncles dressed in their Black Watch tartan kilts when they were young men. If I looked at those old pictures long enough, I swear I could hear bagpipes calling out to me. So, of course, it was only a matter of time before we headed to Scotland.
On our first visit, we took an overnight train from London to Edinburgh and the moment we arrived, we both felt at home. We loved the city, the people and the sites. We played tourist for the week we were there, and I remember a particularly wonderful day spent wandering the beaches at Aberlady Bay. It was the kind of trip that leaves a soft spot for the place in your heart. That soft spot was touched again, many, many years later, when I sniffed Penhaligon’s Blasted Bloom.
Blasted Bloom was introduced in 2015 along with Blasted Heath. According to the Penhaligon’s press release, the idea for the creation of these two fragrances was “the extreme, wild and passionate British landscape; that moment where the Land meets the Sea and untamed energy explodes…”
Blasted Heath was designed for men, while Blasted Bloom was created for women. Both fragrances were signed by renowned nose, Alberto Morillas. For these fragrances, Mr. Morillas “was inspired by the poetry of the nation’s island landscape – in particular the wild coasts of Scotland – where the land meets the sea, to create these intriguing perfumes.”
It opens with a burst of berries. They aren’t jammy or stewed; instead, the smell is floral and fruity, like when the scent of wild berries growing in the ground gets caught up in a breeze. A salty aquatic note says the breeze is coming off the ocean. Soon, I smell the scent of crushed green leaves, botanical and fresh, as if the leaves were being crushed underfoot as I walked along a wild and beautiful rugged coastline. Something I’ve never done in Scotland but somehow recognize in this fragrance. The breeze dies down as we move to the heart where I smell roses and apples. It’s the scent of eglantine, a wild rose with apple-scented foliage. The eglantine is boosted by Pink Peppers SFE’s. Made by Firmenich, Pink Peppers SFE’s are fresh, aromatic and spicy – which warms the rose and gives it depth. Hawthorn, smelling like marzipan, adds a gentle almond sweetness to the heart. The base is woody from cedarwood, while Clearwood™ contributes the dark woodiness of patchouli and the warm creaminess of amber. A note of moss imparts a wet-earthy greenness to the base, while musks add sensuality to the blend.
Blasted Bloom in one of the most harmoniously blended fragrances I have ever smelled. The drydown is elegant and fresh, green and woody. It gives the impression of being in a field out in the open by the sea.
We’ve been back to Scotland but haven’t taken a walk along a coastal path, but I’ve got my eye on Duncansby Head and the Gates of Hell, after all, now that I know what it must smell like, I want to see it. All I'll have to do is follow my nose.
Check out Blasted Bloom in our Shop.