Penhaligon's recently launched two new fragrances, Luna for women and Endymion Concentré for men, inspired by the ancient Greek myth of the moon goddess and her mortal lover. I can never resist a good (and weird) love story, and I'm a "moon child" born in June, so I looked forward to sampling Luna.
Luna is described as a "fresh floral" with top notes of bergamot, lemon and orange bigarade, heart notes of rose, jasmine and juniper berry, and base notes of fir balsam, ambergris and musk. It sounds a little more complex than it actually smells. It opens with a delightfully realistic citrus bouquet, not too sweet and not too tart; the bergamot is especially "present," but the orange is there too.
After that, things get a little vaguer. I associate jasmine with the moon, due to its narcotic quality and waxy white petals, but Luna's middle phase slants instead towards a sheer, just-picked rose. That's fine with me, just not what I expected. There's a hint of green juniper, and the dry down is a very mild transparent white musk. Luna is definitely the "crescent moon" mentioned in the official description, not a brooding full moon or a fiery harvest moon.
I like Luna; it feels light and fresh on hot days, and it's perfectly office-appropriate. It reminds me a bit of La Cologne de Rosine. The one problem: it's really fleeting on my skin. I can only get about two hours out of it. And I'd hesitate to pay so much for a fragrance with so little staying power, but what do I know? Luna is currently the local best-seller for Penhaligon's in New York City, followed by Endymion Concentré, Vaara and Juniper Sling.
Penhaligon's Luna is available as 100 ml ($170) Eau de Toilette. For buying information, see the listing for Penhaligon's under Perfume Houses.