When I first saw Penhaligon’s Tralala (2014), only one thing had come to my mind: this outrageous packaging is going to be discontinued in a hard way, for it is so fancy, the different factories that made their boxes and crazy ribbons may not have all the parts available when Penhaligon’s decides to make another batch later down the road. It’s just my collector’s gut feeling, I could be wrong.
So I blind-bought the perfume because of the packaging. Penhaligon’s, you win. But the actual surprise, is the perfume itself. Tralala, I have decided, is the perfume of former-glory. It’s a black and white photo that has turned yellow, a showgirl retiring from Moulin Rouge, a neglected face that uses a trowel to put the make up on, an unsatisfying life that needs whisky to resuscitate. I am sure that’s not the mood Bertrand Duchaufour (nose of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Timbuktu) wants you to feel, but this is the mood that I get when I am smelling it. (You might find it marvellous and uplifting.) In fact, the creatives of Penhaligon’s said it in an interview, ” I wanted the perfume to be heavy and old fashioned, I wanted it to smell glamorous. I love the idea of perfume dominating the space it fills and as a glorious sensory barrier between you and the World, like a deep velvety aura.”
Don’t get me wrong, I like the scent, and I am happy to own this bottle, but it smells delightfully depressing. Whisky, saffron, leather, incense, vanilla, myrrh, all the warm and moody notes paired with some aldehyde who has just lost its stock portfolio. Let me apply some now, I need drama.