Posts Tagged ‘scent’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on March 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm
Filed under: floris, fragrance, london shopping, luxury shopping, perfume, scent

Luxury London – Floris

There’s soap. And then there’s soap.

We’re not talking Imperial Leather here, or Tesco’s Extra Value. Floris soap is sixteen quid a bar, triple-milled, hand-wrapped, scented luxury.

Juan Floris arrived in London in 1730 from Menorca, by way of Montpellier in southern France, where he’d learned the perfumier’s trade. His scents became fashionable – Jermyn Street, where he set up shop[map], was the heart of Clubland – and by 1820 the firm had got its first royal warrant. The shop is  still run by the same family – though in generations of marrying into English families, they’ve changed the name from Floris to Bodenham.

A trip to Floris is a journey into the luxurious past. The shop at 89 Jermyn Street has splendid nineteenth century Spanish mahogany showcases, and customers are still handed their change on a velvet covered pad. (That was so you didn’t get your gloves dirty, in the days when ladies always wore gloves.)

As well as women’s and men’s scents, Floris has now launched fragrances for the home, including scented candles. Sandalwood and patchouli smells a bit hippy to me, but cinnamon and tangerine, or lemon and ginger, seem promising – tying a citrus acidity to a spicier, warmer note.

I find most women’s fragrances too cloying for me – so I’m pleased to note that Floris makes a unisex scent with just the kind of clean, slightly astringent notes that I like; ‘cefiro’, citrus and bergamot with a hint of cardamom. If on the other hand you want an atmosphere of English gentility, there’s Snow Rose or Edwardian Bouquet…

I must admit that usually I use olive oil soap that I got in Istanbul, and it cost me about 10p a block. That’s good for everyday use. But Floris really is something else… and though I’m not going to get used to that level of luxury every day, just once in a while I might need to pop by Jermyn Street.

Photo by currybet on flickr

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