When I heard that Penhaligon’s was launching The Omniscient Mr. Thompson, a new fragrance in the Portraits family, I was of course immediately hooked. The line of animal head flacons is my secret soft spot, even if I must confess that so far none of them has moved in with me. That still has to change in the long run. Only which one should I choose, since all the family members of the Portraits Collection tested so far were just great in my eyes. Visually, the bottles are also a real eye-catcher, and each in itself: a dream.
The story behind each eaux de parfum is so exciting, innovative, macabre and quintessentially British that it has been a real pleasure to get to know and introduce you to each member of the Portraits family. In the meantime, the line has grown to eighteen fragrances, if I haven’t lost count. Each creation is dedicated to an individual person whose character varies from cranky, snobby, wicked, eccentric-shrill to bona fide-naïve – and sometimes everything applies at once. As a visual icing on the cake, Penhaligon’s also puts a handsome golden animal head on its Portraits flacons to match the attitude and essence of the person depicted in the creation.
In the meantime, the collection of my contributions to the Portraits Collection has grown to an impressive number:
- The legend of Lady Blanche and Lord George
- The fragrant marriage of Duchess Rose and Duke Nelson
- The Portraits of Clandestine Clara and Roaring Radcliff – Penhaligon’s Forbidden Love
- The third chapter – Penhaligon’s Portrait Collection
- Penhaligon’s – Countess Merciless and the French Goat
- The family saga continues – Penhaligon’s Portraits Collection
- To be continued – Penhaligon’s Portraits
- Heartless Helen & Terrible Teddy – The next generation by Penhaligon’s
- The Inimitable William Penhaligon by Penhaligon’s – The saga continues
- The World According to Arthur – Penhaligon’s Portraits enter the next stage
The Omniscient Mr. Thompson
The latest fragrance, The Omniscient Mr. Thompson is dedicated to a person who is almost always present in the life and hustle and bustle of the aristocratic Portraits family, noticing everything and always remaining in the background.
No affair, no misconduct, no nefariousness escapes The Omniscient Mr. Thompson – and we know by now that there were quite a few missteps and deviousnesses in the British high-society dynasty of Portraits – because he is always at the centre of the action.
The Omniscient Mr. Thompson is, in fact, the all-knowing butler who will presumably go by the first name of James – here I’m using the stereotype that is common for me. He is the stylish man, always reserved and waiting for his turn, who enjoys, feasts and entertains on the incidents and occurrences in the house. The Omniscient Mr. Thompson tells us his own story with the help of the fragrance notes pink pepper, iris, vanilla and sesame.
A fleeting shadow – but as reliable as a grandfather clock. Mr. Thompson is a master in the dark art of spying, or discreet observation, as he prefers. The most important thing about his job as a butler is to always be up to date: he reads the family dramas and disappointments like a shepherd reads the sky … With his sixth sense for indiscretion, he knows something is up just before the deed is done. Anticipation is always better than haste, is his motto.
Invisible and omniscient
A spicy freshness pervades the opening of The Omniscient Mr. Thompson thanks to the gentle and cooling spiciness of pink pepper, which is underpinned by the creamy and earthy nuances of iris very early in the fragrance’s course. Together, the two create a lucid and coherent duo whose facets oscillate between refreshing spiciness and powdery accents while remaining very light, airy and transparent.
The vanilla brings a touch of sweetness to the scent, but really only very subtly. Rather, the characteristic spicy nuances of vanilla blend beautifully with the creamy, spicy melange of pink pepper and iris, adding depth and seductive moments. The nutty notes of roasted sesame give exciting accents to the smooth and soft composition, with which the eau de parfum gradually fades.
The Omniscient Mr. Thompson by Penhaligon’s is a soft and understated fragrance with creamy powdery iris, refreshing spicy pink pepper, spicy vanilla and milky toasted sesame that is calm, quiet and subtle while maintaining a good presence and longevity. Stylish, sophisticated and always on point. With this, the British cult label has excellently olfactorised the characteristics of a butler, don’t you think? A great unisex fragrance for all those who love rather restrained and transparent creations with iris. For fans of the Portraits Collection, the eau de parfum is a must anyway. 🐘