Launched in 2015, as part of British Fragrance house Penhaligon’s, Trade Routes Collection, Halfeti was inspired by the lavish goods traded with Turkey by the Levant Company; exotic florals, spices, soft leathers and precious fabrics, says Penhaligon’s website and is named for the black roses that grow in the Turkish village of Halfeti.
It opens with a nose-tingling notes of tart bitter bergamot and tangy grapefruit. There is no harsh bitter citrus blast – the fruits here are bright, fresh and elegant. Herbal Artemisia and camphouros cypress provide a green undertone. As it blooms, Halfeti gets warm from a blend of market spices: cumin, nutmeg and saffron, making it exotic and dark. The spices are joined by flowers: violet, jasmine and lily-of-the-valley, supporting the star ingredient: a deep and dark rose. It’s the way the the spices and the flowers play off each other that make Halfeti so irresistible to me. At the base, the florals have softened, sweetened by amber, vanilla and vanilla-tinged Tonka bean. But it’s the combination of soft leather, oud, resins and woods that make it exciting to me.
The drydown is rich, warm and luxurious. Halfeti really likes cold temperatures, which seem to give it a certain tenacity. It sparks my senses and takes me to a time and place I could never know but secretly longed for.
And, really isn’t that what perfumes, good perfumes like Halfeti, do so well?
Notes: grapefruit, bergamot, green notes, Artemisia, cypress, cumin, nutmeg, violet, saffron, rose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, leather, oud, amber, resins, Tonka, vanilla, sandalwood.