Design for Penhaligon’s on Regent Street, London

Perfume stores have long been places where you can wander around, squirting and sampling the various bottles. Penhaligon’s is one of the finest fragrance houses around. Founded in 1870 by William Penhaligon, this creative and innovative perfumery is stimulating art and pursuing new ways to interpret sophistication.

Maverick London-based designer Christopher Jenner created the design for Penhaligon’s new boutique store this year. Overall, the project is a get-together of traditional English handcraft and high-tech manufacturing. Jenner uses brand iconography as informant, layered via materials and textures. The design explores the union of classic Edwardian splendor and Japanese Manga,  pursuing depth and quality with its own set of emotive values. By nature, his work is an assembly of elements and forms deep-rooted, interconnected relationships.

Jenner worked together with the owners to renovate the shop, focusing on preserving and restoring the company’s branding and identity, showcasing both art and architecture all the way through the interiors. The new space is a showcase for the brand’s flagship perfumes, very much in keeping with the concept of an old English boutique shop. Design details play with proportions, whilst nodding both to Penhaligon’s’ colonial past and flamboyant present.

Elements of concave and convex paint detailing imbue the space with friendliness and warmth. Venturing inside, clients walk past a candy stick table and padded stools below Brighton Pavilion Onion Dome chandeliers on ceiling roses inspired by Westminster Abbey. An overhauled Edwardian Desk with mirror backing and huge padded walls, pierced by sticky chamfered light boxes, draw your attention to a kaleidoscope of heritage. All have been painstakingly restored and incorporated into the new, fresh interior. The interplay of the modern and the traditional are undoubtedly the highlights of this boutique store.

Penhaligon’s is an informed, welcoming boutique shop, which creates the feeling of a bespoke relationship between brand, emotion, luxury, and craft. They say you can’t please everyone, but ironically, in catering specifically for a style-focused minority, Penhaligon’s might have done just that.

WordsMaria Passarivaki

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