Penhaligon’s Artemisia

And so it begins, not with a bang, but with a whisper.


Perhaps this review would have been different if I sprayed you? I doubt it though.


  • Wet: violet, makeup powder, sandalwood
  • Dry: violet, makeup powder, sandalwood, apple, jasmine, vanilla, amber

Artemisia brings to mind something soft and fluffy but sanitized, like a highly-processed cashmere sweater, a cartoon rabbit, or a bathrobe. It doesn’t really settle like a liquid does, really, it starts out incredibly soft then climbs in strength after a moment. I could barely smell it on my wrist when I first applied it, which was an odd experience for a liquid fragrance but not entirely uncommon for talc. It starts with an dusting of violet candy and setting powder, and warms up on sandalwood and amber with a tiny bit of fruitiness and jasmine. The most interesting thing about it by far is that after a bit the musk and sandalwood and amber take an almost savory turn from the violets and vanilla that dominate the first hour, but really all of it stays within the realm of sweet, clean, and puffy. It’s what I imagine a blond homemaker’s hair would smell like years back.

It’s old-school and perfume-y, but in a 1950s religious revival sort of way.

Very, very conservative.

Non-dramatic, this rises from a pianissimo to a piano and really just stops there delicately on the skin. It’s not alluring or lush in any way. Just sweet, puffy, and soft. This would be a lovely one to get a 10 year old, or for someone who doesn’t really like fragrance but does like the feeling of warm laundry and would like the feeling of it wrapped around them for hours (at least 6, in my experience.) I don’t think I’m that big a fan of dryer sheets to be honest, so I won’t be applying this again, but if you do or if you know someone who’s really into meltaway tabs, definitely look into this one.

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