Amaranthine by Bertrand Duchaufour for Penhaligon’s 2009


Post by Portia


Hi there Crew,

Way back in 2009/10 when Amaranthine was first released it caused uproar. Nobody could quite believe that very British house Penhaligon’s would bring out such a naughty little firecracker of a frag. I have a bottle from Birgit at OT but while going through my decants I refound Amaranthine and decided to give myself a big fat spritz.

Amaranthine by Penhaligon’s 2009

Amaranthine by Bertrand Duchaufour

Amaranthine Penhaligon`s FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Banana leaf, Green tea, Cardamom absolute, Coriander seed, White freesia
Heart: Rose, Carnation, Clove bud oil, Orange blossom, Ylang-ylang-oil, Egyptian jasmine absolute
Base: Musk, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Evaporated milk, Tonka bean absolute

Yes, it opens green and fresh yet curiously tropical and already you can tell there will be white flowers in abundance. Amaranthine is large and forthright, filled chock full of creamy flowers, their stems and a little of their vase water that has perhaps been left a day too long before changing.

As we leave the opening extravaganza behind Amaranthine becomes totally tropical. A warm rich and radiant white/yellow floral with a healthy green punch and fruity byplay. Creamy seems to fall short of how smooth and glutinous Amaranthine becomes, not sticky or lumpy but perfectly, silkily, gloriously thick and luscious. With my nose up close I feel that it’s so thick and viscous that perhaps I will drown in its vegetal embrace. Once I put my arm back by my side it softens to a gently and warm vanilla and floral bouquet, Amaranthine become charming and harmless again. Beautiful, alluring and enchanting but in a safe way, then I bring my arm back to my nose and I’m lost. It’s a heavy scent, a brocade bouquet.

Amaranthine Penhaligon`s Patrick McNally White Ginger FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

March on Perfume Posse uses the word refulgent and when I looked it up it means shining brightly. It’s as accurate a word as I can find to explain how dazzling Amaranthine is. Strange that we read or hear so little about it nowadays because it was a game changing fragrance at the time and now I can only think of Amoureuse by Parfums DelRae being anywhere near as outrageous.

For some reason today my skin skips the sexy boudoir completely and goes directly to plush, sweet vanilla/sandalwood and a hefty dollop of clean skin musks. This lovely comfortable dry down can last for a full day & night and is basically indelible on fabric.

Amaranthine Penhaligon`s Jesus del Toro Garcia Bridal Boudoir FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Perfume Shrine
Libertine Parfumerie has $239/100ml with FREE Australian delivery
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/ml

How was Amaranthine for you? Is it something you’ve loved, hated, never tried?
Portia xx

13 thoughts on “Amaranthine by Bertrand Duchaufour for Penhaligon’s 2009

  1. Hiya Portia! I recently received a small bottle of this in a swap and I have fallen in love with it – actually I swapped away Amouruese to get it. Whereas Amoureuse was too green-sharp-syrupy on me, Amaranthine is pure ylang custard and creamy sandalwood radiating off my bosom all day long. Boy are you right about its tenacity. Like you, I don’t really pick up anything dirty in this at all, apart from a brief cuminy crotch moment in the heart. I think everyone swallowed the marketing copy when it came out – or maybe far filthier things have come out since and we’re all just gotten used to it.


    • Hey Claire,
      AMOUREUSE!!! One of my all time faves. Yes, I get that it can be completely overwhelming.
      Amaranthine though is lovely, and yes again, only a little bit smutty. I think you’re right on all counts about why we don’t feel it’s terribly dirty.
      Portia xx


  2. Amaranthine isn’t dirty on me, either – in fact, my experience with it tracks right along with yours. I only have about 2ml left in my decant; shame it’s been discontinued.


    • Hi Mals86,
      Interesting that you get quite a tame ride also.
      I didn’t know it was discontinued, what a terrible shame.
      Portia xx


  3. I do love this one but can seldom wear it, because something literally dirty comes out on me about midway through; it smells a bit like unwashed rhubarb. That note only lasts about 20 minutes, so I love wearing Amaranthine when I’m working alone around the house and garden, but I wouldn’t want to be around others when that note shows up.
    The rest of the scent is somehow herbaceous and creamy at the same time, and I love it.


    • OMG! FeralJasmine, That’s so weird, just a 20 minute window of ho panties. Come on, wear it to the shops. See if you get weird looks?
      Portia xx


  4. It’s a creamy, airy white floral on me. Like a whipped tropical dessert made with mild, sweet bananas (not the huge commercial Cavendish bananas, little floral ones). It is long lasting, but after about five hours it morphs into either a strong dryer sheet musk that I try to scrub (I get this note almost instantly with Ostara), or a pretty light floral-musk which I love. It’s a scent I adore when it behaves. I think I have smelled something a bit naughty once or twice in the creamy opening, but so briefly that it is totally office-appropriate for me. I’m appalled that they discontinued Amaranthine, but it was a bit of a departure from the rest of the line so I guess its popularity wasn’t so huge with the non-perfumista customers.


  5. This perfume was my Christmas present this year–I figured it wasn’t going to get any cheaper or easier to find. It doesn’t last all day on me, though–I’m lucky to get four hours. I wonder if I’m anosmic to one of the musks MikasMinion smells. It’s beautiful while it lasts, though.


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