Blasted Heath and Blasted Bloom by Penhaligon’s

There’s nothing like a returning trend which you remember vividly from the first time around to make you feel your age.  It doesn’t seem like five minutes since aquatics fragrances were at high tide before receding from the mainstream market. When they went out of vogue, many of us were relieved to see the back of them.

Really, it’s unfair to tar all watery-themed fragrances with the same brush. For me (and I suspect many others) it was more the ubiquity of the calone-fuelled 1990’s phenomenon L’Eau d’Issey that made me tire of the genre. There’s actually been a number of really great niche oceanic fragrances since then, including Heeley’s Sal Marin and Epice Marine Hermessence.

Last year aquatic fragrances staged a comeback. I was pleasantly surprised by Jo Malone’s Wood Sage and Sea Salt and in September Penhaligon’s launched a duo of scents which were also inspired by the windswept British coastline.

Blasted Heath and Blasted Bloom were both composed by perfumer Alberto Morillas who incidentally did – count them – five L’eau d’Issey flankers.

Blasted Heath

Aquatic accord, seaweed absolute, clary sage absolute, green leaves, Clearwood™, tobacco absolute, whiskey accord, patchouli essence, Alaskan cedarwood essence, gaiacwood essence, vetiver SFE and musks.

Blasted Heath embodies the scent of salty sea air and seaweed mingling with the aromatics of shrubbery and wild herbs.  There’s an aquatic accord woven through dense leaves and sage.

It has a decidedly masculine feel, with a slight metallic edge. If you can imagine such a thing as an aquatic fougere you’d be on the right track. Blasted Heath is as much about aromatic greenery as it is about seawater.

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Blasted Bloom

Notes: Wild berries, aquatic accord, green leaves, eglantine rose, pink pepper CO2, hawthorn, Alaskan cedarwood essence, Clearwood™, moss and musks.

As you may have suspected from the name, here in Blasted Bloom we have wildflowers at the shore being blown about by the bracing sea breeze. The berry note isn’t bold or syrupy sweet but actually quite tart and subdued.

The flowers are delicate and spring-like while the aquatic aspect is less evident than in Blasted Heath. This is more about cool, reviving coastal air than brine and algae. You wouldn’t need to be a fan of aquatics to enjoy this, but you would need to like super fresh florals.

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Both fragrances wear pretty light with soft sillage and moderate longevity. Neither is to my taste but Blasted Heath is novel and it successfully captures the wilderness by the cliff edge as the waves crash into the rocks below.

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How do you feel about aquatic fragrances? Are there in the genre that you admire?

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14 Comments

Filed under Perfume Reviews

14 responses to “Blasted Heath and Blasted Bloom by Penhaligon’s

  1. Of all aquatics I’m not sure these would convert me 🙂 the bottles are pretty though, as are your descriptions. How do you feel, would you wear them? I didn’t think they sounded quite like your style either.

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    • Hey Asali, unfortunately Blasted Heath is a bit too masculine for me and as for Blasted Bloom, I’m not into those kind of chilly fresh florals . However I like that it’s a British take on beach scents.

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  2. Tara C

    Don’t care much for aquatics, although I do like the Jo Malone you mentioned.

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    • Hi Tara C,

      Yes, I can understand that; aquatics are a tricky one and not something I feel drawn to either. Wood Sage and Sea Salt was very nicely done and I’m not normally a Jo Malone fan.

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  3. Lady Jane Grey

    Definitely not my favorite, aquatic scents – in spite of really liking Sal Marine and Aqua Sale. I was thinking of you today : as you know I’m at the Maine coast right now and went for an early morning walk. I’d have loved to capture the moment in a perfume : woodsmoke, wet earth, pine and lots of sea – was amazing…

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  4. I love Blasted Bloom! I don’t love it more than my true favorites but I really, really like it.

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  5. Reblogged this on Serenity Now and commented:
    From Tara at A Bottled Rose — more thoughts on Penhaligon’s Blasted Bloom, which I’ve also reviewed, and its partner Blasted Heath, which I’ve sampled but not reviewed. Enjoy!

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  6. I am still shuddering at the thought of Alberto Morillas doing all those Issey Miyake flankers. That is bound to scar – if not tar – you for life, hehe. Not feeling either of these two, though I am sure you do them justice with your descriptions. I wondered if there might be any similarity between Blasted Bloom and Pure White Linen, another chilly fresh floral.

    But more than that I have an ideological objection to the duo, namely that for me ‘heath’, which has pretty much annexed the word ‘blasted’, has to be landlocked and somewhere in Yorkshire or the wrong side of Manchester like Saddleworth Moor. You can’t have anything blasted by the seaside, haha.

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  7. I’m not into aquatics as well and I’m just starting to warm up to Penhaligon’s, but I’ll give these two a try the next time I see them in the store (yes, we now have a P’s store near to where I live). For some reason I think I’ll like the masculine one more.

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    • Good to hear you now have a store near you. Even if you don’t love any of them yet at least you can try them. So interesting you feel more drawn to Blasted Heath as I know you are a floral fan. Wonder if that will be the case when you try them.

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