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Review of Penhaligon's "Blenheim Bouquet" shaving cream

March 15, 2011 — P

On the 13th of August 1704, the First Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, led his troops into battle against Marshall Talland's French forces at Blindheim (Blenheim).  After the battle, Churchill personally accepted the surrender of Talland and his men.  A grateful nation, and their queen, funded and built Blenheim Palace as a gift for his skillful military exploits.  

Blenheim Palace has a rich history of its own, and the bloodline of those that called it home became one of England's most respected.  To those who have smelled it, it is no wonder that in 1902, when Penhaligon's created a fragrance for the Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Bouquet was born.

The scent is an invigorating blend of lemon, lime, and lavender head notes followed by pine, musk and black pepper base notes.  Obviously, there is no accounting for taste, but the sophistication of this turn of the century scent is unmistakable.  It has been said that it takes arrogance of Biblical proportions for a gentleman to attempt to pull this scent off on a daily basis.  Perhaps that is true because the air of sophistication befitting this scent is rarely seen.

Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet upholds the aristocratic air of its namesake. Offered in glass jar with a silver plated lid or a tube, the reader will have to decide if the difference is worth £15.  Even at £20 for the tube, this cream is not necessarily budget friendly.

Blenheim Bouquet's performance is exactly what one would expect from a product in this price range.  It is hard enough to be loaded similarly to shave soaps, yet even soft tipped brushes are up to that task.  The cushion and glide are both excellent, and luxurious lather is easy to make.  Straight razor shavers will appreciate the moisturizing effect of this cream as well because it renders aftershave lotions or balms an unnecessary luxury.

Of course, there are no perfect products.  Blenheim Bouquet could have better cushion and glide, but this is a persnickety observation, not a complaint.  Scent preferences are too personal for recommendations, but the reader can be assured of Blenheim Bouquet's exceptional quality.

Bottom Line:  Blenheim Bouquet's Shave Cream is excellent, and it is well worth the experience

Comments (1)

And it bears repeating...

...that only a select few of us actually have the level of AoBP mentioned above.

Paul is spot-on here, this is one of those rare products that is exactly what you think it should be.The argument around many luxury brands is often whether you are paying for the quality of the product or the cache of the name.  I can't remember anyone who has used the Blenheim cream ever questioning how they spent their money or what they got for their money.  In a way it is actually kind of re-assuring, in an existential (subsection: shaving) kind of way.

On the other hand, even if this stuff was 20% less awesome it would still be worth trying at least once just because it is so damn cool.  The luxury, the name, the story, the whole silver-jar experience.  It is a couple of months of HIGH living, like AdP or C&S, that everyone should have a taste of at least once in their lives.