Guest Post: Floris London Fragrance Launch
Tucked behind Fortnum and Mason lies Jermyn St. The street where you find your driving gloves, your hat, brogues and wonder down with a cheese hamper under your arm.
It was pelting with rain and I wished I had stopped off and grabbed that huge, luxurious tartan umbrella in the window of that bespoke tailors. However upon entering Floris at number 89, I forgot I was drenched with a cosy get together around a large oval table covered thoughtfully with a very british spread.
Warmly ushered through to a victorian tea party, I revived myself instantly with freshly brewed tea from a dainty cup and saucer. The store resembled a very old fashioned pharmacy.The wooden wall cases displayed an array of timeless bottles of lotions and potions.The sparkly glass cabinet shelves were decorated with a museum of bespoke, classic, iconic perfume.
I got the feeling that each fragrance collection was an antidote for one’s ailments. I suppose this is where Churchill must of come to rid himself of his “black dog”, for he happened to have frequented this establishment, as did Mary Shelley and Marilyn Monroe in their day.
Before exploring the new Eau de Parfum “Victorious”, guests tucked into homemade Victoria sponge cake and smoked salmon finger sandwiches. I myself couldn’t resist the mini scones with clotted cream and the colourful Pink Lemonade. Others sipped from long glasses of Pimms and “Coupes de Champagne”.
I felt privileged and surprised to be taught the recipe behind “Victorious”.The fragrance has been released in celebration of the spirit of Great Britain. Floris is the sole Perfumer by “Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll”. As my thoughts go, there must be no reason for this perfume to smell anything but regal. If I were that little bottle I would feel rather pressured amongst the curious spectators.
I was a little fearful that such an old fashioned institution could only produce something that I usually found on my Aunts dresser. She is a lovely lady but not renowned for her sense of style. She was, however, very renowned for her annual christmas gifts of smelly, rash inducing soaps and washing her hair with Fairy Liquid. Unlike Auntie Jane, my father always smelt incredible and interestingly he is the one person I know who has always been faithfully dousing himself in Floris since the 50s, usually on the nights he dined at his Gentleman’s members club down St James.
The Floris perfumer described “Victorious” as the complex harmony of five fragrant families. The families were offered dipped into strips in order to unfold and capture each ingredient. Such notes were that of Citrus, Grapefruit and Marine. Floral notes of Jasmine and Neroli followed, crushed with oriental pink peppercorn and cumin.The fullness of “Victorious” only came together when I was offered the final note that contained the woody base notes of Amber, Musk, Vanilla and Sandlewood. I closed the fan of strips and took a deep breath. Almost as a magic trick, to my amazement, the final fragrance “Victorious” appeared in all its glory, a victory usually found in a simple yet equally ornate bottle, from a store lost in time.
Indeed what an endeavour and a victory. Victorious is surprisingly more adaptive, youthful and fresher than I imagined and I would prescribe it myself as a fair, uplifting tonic for ladies and demoiselles who need to take some weight off their shoulders.
Eau de Parfum “VICTORIOUS” £99/100ml.