Penhaligon’s Night Scented Stock (1976, reformulated 2009)

Penhaligon's Night Scented Stock © Victor Wong
Penhaligon’s Night Scented Stock © Victor Wong

I know to make chicken stock, you need onions, celery stalks, carrots and herbs, but I wonder what’s in Penhaligon’s “Night Scented Stock” (1976)? Maybe vanilla, incense, jasmine, gardenia, amber, tonka bean and some spice? What a wonderful thing to daydream about at work. I went to Fragrantica to find out what’s in it the formula and I wasn’t too far off! But there’s one little thing that bugged me…why did the bottle label show only one stalk of flowers when there were so many ingredients in the perfume? Only later I realized that the name of that flower on the label was actually called night-scented stock.

According to Penhaligon’s, Night Scented Stock is a “soliflore”, a floral composition designed to highlight the beauty of a single floral essence. (Originally I thought it meant designed to mimic the scent of a flower that cannot be extracted.) I have never smelled a night scented stock flower, but I highly doubt that the perfume is going to let me experience the beauty of it when you have cinnamon and cloves in the formula.

I blind bought Night Scented Stock partly because it was on sale at Penhaligon’s website, but the bigger reason was that, for what I’d read, it’s super powdery. Not just powdery, but heavy spicy-floral-powdery, which means Grandma Time™ ! I dearly love this 1/4 Opium + 1/4 flower bouquet + 2/4 Johnsons’ and Johnsons’ Baby Powder perfume. For a good night sleep, a few sprays and the moon descends, the cat walks on the fence and I go zzz.


Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

2 thoughts on “Penhaligon’s Night Scented Stock (1976, reformulated 2009)”

  1. The flower “Night-Scented Stock” actually smells like cloves, carnations, “Sweet William” (that’s also a flower, and related to carnations or “pinks”, because of the fringed edges that look like they’ve been trimmed with “pinking” sheers – which cut a zig-zag edge.) as well as lilacs and oriental lily, but a bit less refined. The cloves and other spices are in the formulation to simulate the actual scent of the flower. Perfume blends contain surprising combinations to yield seemly simple scent notes. Apparently the scent of fresh Lilac is attained with a combination of Rose, Lily of the Valley, almond notes and a hint of clove. Both can be overpowering indoors, and have a tendency to smell rank/rotten rather quickly. For more on the mysteries of perfume blending, see “notes” on

    I’ve been thinking of trying Penhaligon’s Night Blooming Stock, though not sure about the baby powder. Maybe I will try a small decant first. I like their Lily & Spice, though prefer Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale (alas $$$$).


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