Scent Of The Season: Floris Santal
If you stroll far enough down the illustrious shirt-making address of London’s Jermyn Street, those with a discerning sense of smell will notice a rather sophisticated scent pervading the air around no. 89. Since 1730, this has been the home of Floris perfumers, founded by a Menorcan entrepreneur, Juan Floris, who established the company after emigrating to London from the then British-ruled Balearic island.
This discreet and traditional family-run business has been supplying scents to some of history’s most eminent figures for almost three centuries, including Victorian dandy the Count d’Orsay, James Bond creator Ian Fleming and society photographer Cecil Beaton, along with a host of aristocratic blue bloods and the odd Grand Duke thrown in for good measure.
In fact, Floris holds the title of royal perfumers to both the Queen and the Prince of Wales, a tradition begun by George IV in 1820. Marilyn Monroe was known to call up Floris in the 1950s instructing them to ship bottles of her favourite scent to Los Angeles, whilst Winston Churchill was also known to be rather partial to a splash of Floris cologne.
Ian Fleming was such a fan, he paid tribute to the company in his Bond novels, Dr. No and Moonraker, which see 007 patronising Floris products. With a client list of such pedigree, there must be something to their scents.
Floris offers a wide range of both men’s and women’s fragrances and grooming products, with some scent recipes dating back to the eighteen century. The company offers a ‘bespoke’ perfume service, with their head fragrance alchemist working with the client in consultation sessions over a six-month period, to blend a one-of-a-kind scent. This unique experience will set you back a cool £4,500. If your pockets don’t run quite this deep, why not try one of their ready-to-go concoctions, formulated using the brand’s 280 years of expertise.
Many of Floris’ traditional fragrances have an intense, mature feel, but one of their most contemporary scents, Santal, is ideal for the modern man. With an impressive formula consisting of top notes of bergamot, black pepper, cardamom, green grass and lemon, mid notes of clove, lavender and nutmeg and base notes of amber, cedarwood, frankincense, musk, sandalwood, vanilla and vetiver, Santal has a warm, woody citrus feel that’s ideal for wearing in the evening, year-round.
The presence of bergamot and lemon keeps the fragrance fresh, making it perfect for summer months, whilst the rich, exotic wood extracts make it warm enough for cool winter evenings. Overall, it’s a great all rounder and will make a smart addition to your scent library.
So next time you find yourself on Jermyn Street, remember there’s more on offer than just shirts – call in at no. 89 and give your nose a treat.
Floris Santal Eau de Toilette is priced at £50 for 50ml or £75 for 100ml and is available over at florislondon.com.