Floris is a fragrance company with an illustrious history. First established in 1730 by Juan Famenias Floris and his wife Elizabeth, the company began selling perfume, combs and shaving products in London’s fashionable St James. Juan and Elizabeth opened a shop at 89 Jermyn Street, which remains the heart of the business today and is still run by their descendants.
The full history of the company is fascinating and you can read more about it here. So how does a brand with such an extraordinary heritage maintain its relevance in the modern perfume arena, especially with so many new fragrances being launched every year?
Floris has had its fair share of celebrity fans. Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill, Grace Coddington and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes are all known to have loved the brand. And a receipt in the Floris archive dated December 1959 shows a purchase of Rose Geranium made for screen icon Marilyn Monroe! Floris is the only appointed perfumer to Her Majesty The Queen, in fact the company has two Royal Warrants as it is also an appointed manufacturer of toilet preparations for H.R.H. The Prince of Wales!
But keeping pace with change can be difficult and it is easy to see why some brands get left behind…not so Floris! As the company entered the 21st century, the family opened the doors to its second shop at 147 Ebury Street, Belgravia. The new boutique offers the full Floris range, together with a Bespoke Perfumery service (we haven’t tried this but we’d love to!)
However the greatest proof is in the fragrances and here at Perfume Anorak we were keen to try a couple for ourselves. As well as the newest launch Chypress, we also opted to try Fleur (yes, yes it’s that white flower thing again – we just love it!).
Chypre fragrances have been enjoying a major revival so we were excited to see what a brand like Floris would create. Chypres are typically warm, dry and almost all built round a woody, mossy accord of oak moss, bergamot, patchouli and labdanum (from the cistus, or ‘rock rose’, plant). Elements of flowers, fruits or woodiness are sometimes played up in these fragrances, so which direction would Floris take? We couldn’t wait to find out…the first spray revealed notes of sparkling bergamot zest, creamy orange flower and lemon for a surprisingly fresh opening – particularly enjoyable as we tried the fragrance on a very hot day. As Chypress began to develop a very floral heart emerged offering up notes of jasmine, rose, osmanthus and ylang ylang. It is in the base however, that the fragrance shows its chypre roots. Floris have chosen patchouli, amber and musk to really anchor this fascinating scent. The overall effect is a modern, sophisticated fragrance that could easily become a signature, to be returned to again and again. Our verdict? Floris have succeeded in creating a highly desirable take on a classic fragrance family – we love it!
Floris Chypress is available priced £60 for a 50ml.
We picked the perfect time of year to try Fleur. Floris describe it as being reminiscent of the first days of English summer – a just-ripe peach plucked from the tree, posies of white blooms from the garden, slices of golden melon and running for cover from a light shower – and we absolutely got that when we tried it. Originally launched in 2000, Fleur is a soft floral with a cool aquatic facet and is the perfect scent to carry with you when the temperature rises. We can also see it being a beautiful wedding fragrance with its notes of jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, ylang ylang and violet.
Floris Fleur is priced £55 for a 50ml
With 53 fragrances in the range there really is something for everyone. Floris is widely available so we encourage you to go and have a play and enjoy discovering this truly historic yet refreshingly modern brand.