By Erin Williams
From food to clothes, with the amount of excess in our country you wouldn’t think that we would really need to import anything, ever. However, there are those lovely cheeses from France, cars from Italy, and delectable fragrances from our motherland, England, that we just couldn’t do without.
From Clive Christian’s “most expensive perfume in the world” whose creations are modeled after the “old formulae” passed through decades, to Jo Malone’s mixing bath oils in the kitchen in the 1980’s, England has made impressive contributions.
Time: 1872, Place: London. A celebrated perfume house is granted the use of the crown by Queen Victoria as a mark of “quality and excellence,” gaining the name of The Crown Perfumery. Jump up a century and some change and British designer, Clive Christian, takes the helm, http://www.clivechristian.com. For a line with only six fragrances (three main perfumes divided into men and women) to say they do pretty well is an understatement.
“1872” is probably their most traditional of the three, containing citrusy natural ingredients in a conservative formula and was originally made by the Crown Perfumery itself. The name refers to the year the Perfumery received their own title. “X” is the most recent addition and is the most mysterious of the bunch. The men’s fragrance combines pink pepper, ginger, pimento oil, and amber, among others, while the women’s is more fruity with peach, ivy, rose, and cashmere musk.
However, the reason you probably know Clive Christian is “No.1” – recognized as “the world’s most expensive perfume.” We’ll put it to you this way – a 30 mL bottle goes for $1,820 – $14,500. Why? You may, and should, ask? Clive Christian has gathered the finest and most rare of ingredients with no limit to cost. Like what? The women’s “floral oriental” contains plum, cardamon, orchid, tonka seeds, and sandalwood while the men’s “oriental ambery” is made up of lime, thyme, heliotrope, ambery woods, and vanilla. AND, embedded in the crystal bottle is a white brilliant cut diamond.
Personal consultations are available with Clive Christian himself to develop and design an individual perfume bottle containing No. 1 for Men or Women for $50,000. All of the fragrances are highly original and long lasting — very sophisticated but classy. So save up girls and you can be in the elite club of No.1 wearers. Give Victoria at Bergdorf Goodman a call 212-872-2581.
For the next generation of British noses, Jo Malone is a definite forerunner, http://www.jomalone.com. Born in Chelsea, she started helping her mother who worked for facialist Countess Labatti. Jo began her own private practice of facial massage and skincare. Meeting with success, she went on to develop, at present, 14 fragrances that are divided into five main types – spicy, citrus, light green floral, floral, and woody.
Ten years after working in her small, private location, Jo’s skincare and fragrance business was launched and was later bought by Estee Lauder. She has designed fragrances for French Connection, McDonald’s (lemon scented hand wipes), and scented the entire Royal Albert Hall for an event.
The thing that’s special about Jo Malone’s fragrances is that they seem to tell stories. Her newest perfume, “Orange Blossom,” is simply beautiful, combining clementine leaves with orange blossom and water lily to remind the creator of orange trees in the California sunshine. “Lime, Basil, & Mandarin” is the top seller and is perfect for upcoming spring months.
All of her fragrances can also be combined because they work so well together and allow the wearer to create his/her own customized scent. At the flagship store in NYC, “Scent Booths” allow both single scents and combinations of scents to be sampled at the touch of a button. Want to try a different pair? The scented air is then whisked out so no traces of the original remain and you can go all day. Once again, the staff at Bergdorf Goodman is EXCELLENT – 212-872-2766.
So, depending on your budget you can go all out or reign it in without sacrificing simple or complex layered fragrances made just for you or for the discerning few who know about these British treats. The Queen of England and of perfume would approve!