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VM choice: Penhaligon's Blasted Heath

Penhaligon's is celebrating its new perfume range, Blasted Heath, with a very edgy window. Installed in its Paris and London stores, this example is from the King’s Road and perfectly captures the bleak-but-beautiful mood of wild British landscapes adjacent to the sea.

There are two elements in the range: Blasted Heath, described as where the sea meets the shore, and Blasted Bloom, the essence of wild flora. The window has a ‘King Lear on the heath,’ or a ‘Heathcliff’ roughness, with the foil on the glass suggesting the distinctive perfume bottle has been thrown through it. Beyond lies a broken chandelier resting on rough heathland.

The main window contains two moss-shrouded picture frames, which run with water during store opening hours. This is very clever as the moving water commands customers’ attention, offering subtle movement where none is expected.

The resin half-mould perfume bottle is securely fixed to the surface of the glass and behind it is a another broken glass foil, suggesting the bottle has either broken through the glass, or broken in to the window.

A close up shows how compelling this illusion is.

And an oblique view reveals that the stopper was created separately: a nice detail.

The complete range is evocatively arrayed on moss with a few larger stones, just as we might imagine it would be glimpsed by Tess Derbyfield, the personification of nature in Thomas Hardy’s ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles,’ as she wandered alone on the heath. Excellent.

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