Not a care in the world- ’Tralala’ New Penhaligon’s fragrance


Normally a new Penhaligon wouldn’t excite me massively, but this beautiful description and the notes had me intrigued, especially the magic word: Saffron!

I do love this spice in perfume, and am especially interested whenever saffron is not paired with rose. Don’t get me wrong, rose and saffron is a wonderful combo, but not exactly unexplored (A quick search gave 398 perfumes which contain these two notes together). Some of the finest, where saffron is not just a substitute for oud, being: Noir de Noir, Safran Troublant, Agent Provocateur and Rose d’Arabie.

Apparently this perfume is a collaboration between Duchaufour for Penhaligon’s and Designers Meadham Kirschoff, whom I must admit to have not heard of before this perfume.*


‘Tralala’ opens on the aldehydes that I think of as the happy ones, those sparkly, rosy, soapy ones that put a smile on your lips. Without a doubt the soapiness is enhanced by the violets, which also adds a sweet cushiony feel. It also instantly makes me think of several vintage perfumes – but here it’s paired with a burst of warm yet sharp saffron and a tiny whiff of whisky, which makes it 2014 retro chic rather than something from mid last century. I am totally in love with this opening. It plays with the ambiguity; heliotrope á la Après l’Ondée, , oh no leather like in Traversée du Bosphore… and on it goes without ever becoming a patchwork, but being intricately weaved and playfully tailored like the couture items that inspired the perfume.

I smell golden ylang-ylang and spicy, velvety clove/ carnation all sunny and fun. The rubbery white flowers are only there to enhance the smooth and womanly feel of this perfume as a velvet backdrop.

Peggy Lee Benny Goodmann ‘Not a care in the World’

Up until this point the perfume is its own, like it doesn’t have a care in the world, but it’s as if the dry down didn’t quite dare to be different; ok, so let’s give them the musky-sweet cosy vanilla version that everyone loves. So let me quote the above song:

‘I view the scene
Like that queen of old Russia
As Kate the Great
Used to state long ago

Tralala! There are worse things in the world than nice vanilla dry downs touched up with a bit of almond macaron. And Tralala is a perfume that feels like spring sunshine on fluffy clouds, and the enjoyment of it rubbing off on everything in your wake… You do touch me, Tralala.

‘So if I move in a groove
With a giddy trot
I’m a trottin’ because I’ve got
Not a bean in my pot
Not a care in the world’



Notes from Fragrantica are aldehydes, saffron, whiskey and violet, leather, tuberose, incense and carnation, patchouli, vetiver, musk and vanilla

* Judging by the bottle design, it’s clear to me why. What say you, how do you find the bottle?

**can mean ‘quite ok’, ‘quite nice’ or ‘not bad’- along with many other things

Disclaimer: I was lucky to win a sample over at Magnifiscents ‘ La Gardenia nell’Occhiello-blog, already linked to in the first sentence.

For more perfume reviews of Tralala go to; Black Narcissus, Persolaise , CaFleureBon. Feel free to add more links in the comments if you reviewed this.

17 thoughts on “Not a care in the world- ’Tralala’ New Penhaligon’s fragrance

  1. Thanks for the timely review Asali. This does sound intriguing and I’m hoping to get a sample soon.

    I love the lyrics you’ve choosen as illustration.

    I was also wondering who this was aimed at and you make it sound rather feminine which is interesting. It’s such a shame that Penhaligon’s don’t seem to have the budget to carry the ingenuity down into the base. That was the disappointing part of Vaara for me. It was such a stellar opening and then rather blah.

    I like the over-sized bow-tie but the clown/doll head isn’t my thing. I’ve never been one for kitsch though.

    • Dear Tara, you’re very welcome. Thanks for the thumbs up on the lyrics.
      I felt that Tralala was rather feminine, but not girly in any way, probably because of the aldehydes and floral heart. Not that men couldn’t wear it if they wanted to, of course… I didn’t try Vaara, but now you made me very curious, the dry down in Tralala did feel like a very conscious choice though, but we can quickly agree that ingenuity down into the base would always be preferred. I do wonder now how you’ll like it. I hope you’ll write about it, or else let me know.
      I think there’s kitsch and then there’s kitsch. Something a bit silly is fine, but this one is almost a bit scary, I think.

      • I’m hoping to review it when Nick sends me a sample. May have to chivvy him up!

        The opening to Vaara is Quince, Rosewater, Carrot Seed, Coriander Seed and Saffron. I love it and think you’d like it a lot too. It does turn to rose shortly after that though.

        • That does sound like a promising opening, very special indeed. Get on to Nick…What takes him so long? 😉

  2. I don’t mind the drydown of this, but I kind of got stuck on the aldehydic beginning.
    Although like you said, there are worse things than aldehydic openings. 😉

    • Ha, that was not what I said, cheeky. 🙂 But I can see how people who struggle with certain aldehydes, will not be too enamoured with this one.

  3. Hmmmm, I must put this on my try list; which is increasingly getting bigger and bigger.
    I have to say, I’m not keen on the bottle though… Even if I really like this scent, the design of the bottle might put me off buying it.
    I love Saffron, in perfume or otherwise. They are really big in cooking around here; Paella, Fideuà, Oven rice, all sorts of stews and even in Tortilla. Once I dyed my tanktop using Saffron, it turned out to be a gorgeous soft yellow. 🙂

    • Dear Magpie, Oh, that tank top sounds beautiful- how much saffron did you use I wonder? I might try that myself 🙂 Great to see another saffron fan, it truly is such a diverse spice.
      I think it’s an odd design for a bottle, as Tara said, perhaps just a tad too kitschy.

      • I can’t remember in gram but I used a whole spice jar. Now I’m thinking that a soft muslin scarf might be a nice one to try. 🙂

        • A whole spicejar! Here in the pricy north, far away from the golden spice, that would work out pretty expensive. I still think I need to try it though 🙂 Soft saffron tinged muslin scarf, I like the sound of that. Thanks for sharing your magpie knowledge 😉

  4. I have yet to try this but my ears pricked up at the mention of saffron, which I love in any combination! Also ylang ylang – and I am fine with aldehydes if they don’t consume the whole composition. Don’t like very retro aldehydic scents, though, or clove as a rule, but you are clear that this doesn’t smell dated in the sense that I fear. Is the bow really at that screw-wiffy angle? 😉 And yes, I would lose the doll head too.

    • I could lose the doll head AND the bow. You know, if you care for saffron and ylang ylang, and I know that you don’t mind that a perfume is on the softer side sillage wise, I could well imagine it being for you. I really don’t find it too retro, and also quite a lot smoother around the edges than many other Duchaufours. But that’s just my five cents 🙂

  5. That sounds like could be love. Thank you for introducing this, for long I wouldn’t have been any curious to try new Penhaligons. Now I will.

    • Dear Maria, so good to ‘see’ you here. I understand about being reluctant to try new Penhaligon’s, I was the same. It isn’t exactly symphonic, but perhaps a string orchestra rather than a mere quartet, which makes it nice for this time of year.

  6. I have to admit that your review is probably the most interested I have been in this. I feel like BD is just variations on the same theme, ad nauseum, these days (if I may mix my metaphors). But, your description sounds nice, and I do have a soft spot for heliotrope (and Traversee du Bosphore).

    As far as the bottle, I think it’s cute. Not cute enough to make me want to buy it solely for the bottle (which I wouldn’t do, but there are bottles that make me want to), but cute.

    • Natalie, I wouldn’t say that you should seek it out for the heliotrope, but perhaps for being a different BD and it may surprise you? It did me, I find it more seamless than any BD I’ve smelt so far. Just the dry-down nags me a bit for not daring- but truly just the tiniest bit.
      Ha! and trust you to be the one for thumbs up on the bottle design :-D, since you also like the bust-flacons! Now I wonder a lot which ones you’d buy solely for the bottle?

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