Imagine a perfume house, founded in 1730, which is still operating out of its original premises, run by members of that same family, creating beautiful fragrances for men and for women.
That’s Floris: an extraordinary chapter in itself in British perfumery – even if its founder, Juan Famenias Floris, happens to have been Spanish by birth, travelling to London to seek his fortune. Step inside the shop at 89 Jermyn Street, then, and you are truly stepping into fragrance history.
And in Floris‘s archive, if you’re really lucky, you might be able to see leather-bound books filled with orders from Queen Victoria, the Duke of Windsor, crowned heads of Europe – not to mention Marilyn Monroe: the receipt for her beloved Rose Geranium Bath Oil is below.
The original Floris shop front on Jeremy Street in London.
Floris customized Bath Oil receipt created for Marilyn Monroe.
In the precious recipe books, meanwhile, you can still find the recipe – dating back to the late 1700s – for ‘Limes Perfumes’, a scent which remains in Floris‘s portfolio today. And really, that’s Floris: rooted in the finest fragrance tradition, but with its finger on the pulse of what 21st Century perfume-lovers want.
In 1820, Floris received its first of 16 Royal Warrants: Smooth-Pointed Comb Maker to King George IV. In addition to offering sought-after scents, Floris’s combs and brushes were hugely popular: Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein and wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, wrote from abroad asking a friend to send in her next care package ‘two hairbrushes and a small toothbrush,’ from the store. Today, meanwhile, Floris holds two Royal warrants: Perfumers to HM The Queen Elizabeth II and Manufacturers of Toilet Preparations to HRH The Prince of Wales.
By the time of the celebrated Great Exhibition, in 1851, Floris offered some 112 different fragrances ‘for the handkerchief’. After the exhibition, Floris kitted out the Jermyn Street shop interior with beautiful Spanish mahogany bookcases which are still in place today, showcasing archive materials, and scented treats both traditional and contemporary.
Throughout the years, Floris has continued to attract a distinguished clientele. Another gem from the archive: an invoice from 1934 for fragrances bought by Winston Churchill, including for Stephanotis and Special No. 127, which also remain in the collection today. Fast-forward to the 1970s, and a bottle of No. 89 for Men accompanied Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his team on an expedition to the Arctic.
And to celebrate their 280th anniversary, Floris launched just 280 bottles of their new 280 eau de parfum: a sumptuous floral Oriental creation inspired by one of the richest heritages in perfumery, anywhere in the world.
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