What it feels like to purchase and wear the most luxurious scent on earth….
Enter any of the 200 speciality stores or luxury boutiques around the world (including Bergdorf Goodman New York, the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie in Harrods, Paris Gallery and Neiman Marcus) that carry the Clive Christian Perfume collection and your journey begins!
Here you will be greeted by a perfume specialist who will introduce you to the unique heritage of the perfume house dating back to 1872 and the reign of Queen Victoria. The Queen granted the crown to the perfumery as a mark of excellence and in honour of the extreme complexity and concentration of each rare and exotic ingredient from the far reaches of her Empire in every perfume.
You will experience three pairs of perfumes (a his and hers in each as per Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s request that all their perfumes were matched). Arrive wearing no scent and prepare to try a few drops on your skin to see how the perfumes unravel.
The next step of the journey is to select your two or three favourite perfumes of the three pairs called 1872, X and No.1.
- 1872 is a traditional, classic Victorian perfume – built to smell clean and fresh and invigorating.
- X is the most unconventional harnessing the most powerful natural aphrodisiacs at the heart.
- No.1 is the rarest and most precious released in a crop of 1000 bottles annually – it is officially recognised as The World’s Most Expensive Perfume.
You will be introduced to all six on blotter cards to enable you to get a feel for the perfume personality – although this will change significantly on the skin. You will smell the ladies and then the men’s perfume in each pair.
Two or three perfumes will immediately stand out for you – these will most likely be in your usual fragrance family (oriental, chypre, fruity or fresh, for example). It is now that the perfume specialists will assist you in spritzing a drop of your chosen perfumes on to your skin – usually on the back of each of your hands so as to keep the perfumes away from your clothes and jewellery, which can alter the scent.
It is recommended that you now let the perfumes settle on to your skin. A pure perfume spray, as with all of the Clive Christian perfumes which are up to 40% concentration, has an evolution of between 12 – 24 hours on your skin. This slow unravelling of the perfume is down to the dense concentration of each ingredient – for example, 170 rose heads of the May rose at the heart of 1872 for women are required to make one drop of the perfume concentration.
One drop will start to unravel immediately on your skin but when choosing and investing in a perfume that will reflect your personality and become a signature for you, it is important that you do not make a hasty decision.
For those unable to decide, there is the Traveller collection – a set of all three female or all three male perfumes in replica sized bottles of the original perfume bottles from the 1800s. Each bottle holds 1/3rd ounce of the perfume and enables you to explore and experiment. The Clive Christian Perfume Traveller Set For Men and For Women cost £170.00
Over the course of the day, the perfumes will settle and warm and find their place on your skin. One perfume will emerge as your favourite – as the density of the perfumes create a gentle ‘‘sillage’’ in your path. As Clive Christian says, ‘‘a perfume should be no more than an extension of your handshake.’’
Should you choose a Perfume Spray – these bottles all come in a black box that keeps out the two main enemies of perfume (heat and light), and the perfumes should last for several years if stored correctly. Usage of the perfume depends entirely on your preference – Clive Christian recommends two spritzes on either side of the neck, to sit as if it is a lion’s mane or an invisible diamond necklace. As it is pure perfume, there is no need to spray more than twice as the perfume has great longevity.
A connoisseur of perfume knows that the only true way to experience the complexities of pure perfume is by investing in the most concentrated form of the scent – in a crystal stopper bottle. When a drop of perfume is placed on the skin in this fashion, the perfume is allowed to slowly begin its journey, unravelling in accordance with the skin’s canvas and revealing all the facets and intricacies as it warms, lasting up to 24 hours.
After every drop is applied to the skin, the crystal stopper must be cleared of the skin’s oils to ensure the remaining perfume is kept in pristine condition, and the only way to do this is by using a piece of pure silk. A silk handkerchief is a must in the ritual of using and maintaining your pure perfume. The crystal bottle is placed in a black ebony box lined with silk and is placed on a silk handkerchief featuring artwork inspired by the perfumes themselves.
The Clive Christian Pure Perfumes are priced at £830 for 1872 Pure Perfume, £1020 for X Pure Perfume and £2,700 for No.1 The World’s Most Expensive Perfume.