If you’ve ever had an idle moment and considered the ill-advised purchase of something smelly, Penhaligon’s might well have been on the shopping list to find something.
A distinctly Edwardian ambience characterises this retailer’s UK interiors with whole forests of (presumably sustainable) dark wood having been harvested to create them at some point in the past.
Now flit to the other side of the world and drop in on the newly-opened Penhaligon’s store in Singapore and although the brand provenance is clear, you will encounter an utterly different store. This 538 sq ft shop, designed by London-based Jenner Studio, is a fine shade of fuschia pink.
It has a padded fragrance wall with integrated light boxes, a ‘wrap around’ brass wall and a fragrance profiling table with 100 legs, made to a bespoke pattern in the UK.
And why has the retailer decided not to follow the UK pattern with Edwardian and Victorian furniture? According to the design company this is an attempt to define itself for a new market with aspects that will reflect its Southeast Asian location, as well as being a reflection of the values of the product.
Whatever you may think of this rationale, there is no denying that it looks a world away from what you’d expect of a Penhaligon’s and yet oddly, if the name above the door were removed, you might actually have a racing chance of guessing the retailer correctly.
This is an altogether brighter interior for the purveyor of upscale scents and it is just possible that the choice of colour has something to do with the orchids that are found in this neck of the woods.
A fine-looking shop and one that will grab the attention of passing Singaporeans.