Creating perfume is an art form, and no other brand understands this better than Clive Christian.
Months are spent procuring the finest, most exquisite ingredients and working out the best ways to pair them in their natural concentrated forms. Indeed it is these unexpected and complex pairings that have set the perfume house apart over the decades, and have ensured that Clive Christian perfumes last on the skin and unravel over time.
When furniture designer Clive Christian took ownership of The Crown Perfumery company in the 1990s (the only house to ever have been granted the image of Queen Victoria’s crown), he had already built a name for himself as an individual who admired, respected and championed luxury design. He therefore made it his mission to create rich, sophisticated perfumes at the helm. And although the brand has grown and evolved since, the brand’s three pillars of creativity, craftsmanship and provenance have remained steadfast.
An aromatic ode to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who made perfumes for each other as a symbol of their mutual love, Clive Christian perfumes were originally launched in matching pairs. This unique approach began with the inaugural Original Collection – perfumes presented in three masculine and feminine pairs, sharing many of the same ingredients so as to perfectly complement one another – and continues to this day.
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It’s not just the ingredients alone that make a Clive Christian perfume stand out – the treatment of each one demonstrates Clive Christian’s commitment to the extraordinary skills of true craftsmen. In the Absolute perfume collection, for example, the process of using natural ingredients requires a traditional specialist extraction technique known as ‘enfleurage’. This time-consuming process produces a pure form of oil that gently preserves natural fragrances and works particularly for delicate aromas such as jasmine and tuberose. At Clive Christian, this time-honoured technique represents the pinnacle of fine fragrance.
While Clive Christian challenges the ordinary and applies creative freedom at every turn, the perfume house ensures that its offering remains extremely rich. Every single pairing is both exquisite apart and extraordinary together. This is perfectly highlighted by the seventh fragrance pair Noble VII, launched in 2016, which reflects on Clive Christian’s personal inspirations through life. In this case, taking inspiration from the gardens that surround his magnificent Queen Anne residence. Both the Rock Rose and Cosmos Flower perfumes capture a key ingredient from the beautiful, exotic plants found there.
The powerfully fragrant Rock Rose is set against an invigorating top note of citrus, warmed with bergamot, black pepper and the classic cologne touch of neroli, while the more feminine of the pair, Cosmos Flower, is inspired by the sumptuous scent of the cosmos flower. The rich, chocolatey aroma is paired with bittersweet cocoa, sensual jasmine and intense osmanthus. The Noble VII perfumes mark Clive Christian’s first foray into the fougère and gourmand olfactory families and, in keeping with the exacting standards for which the house is known, only the rarest ingredients made the cut.
Today the house of Clive Christian continues to uphold its majesty and, true to style, the collections remain carefully edited and utterly personal. In 2017, the brand will be expanding, and while each new perfume symbolises a new chapter for the luxury company, the perfume house’s power as a master storyteller prevails above all.