There are fragrances, there are luxury fragrances, and then there’s Clive Christian.
Originally established as The Crown Perfumery during the reign of Queen Victoria in 1872, the fragrance house had fallen upon hard times, with declining profits and a fall in the quality of its products. Perfumer Clive Christian purchased The Crown Perfumery in 1999, intent on restoring the brand back to its former glory.
The first release by the newly purchased company was the Original Collection, which featured the fragrances ‘1872’, ‘X’, and ‘No.1′. Today Clive Christian fragrances are widely known as the most expensive perfumes in the world, with prices that reach upwards of $800, and they’re happy to tell you that—you’ll find “The World’s Most Expensive Perfume” inscribed on the label of ‘No.1’ (US $2,150 an ounce to be exact). Mission accomplished: another great British brand revived and restored to its former glory (ala Burberry).
But what goes into such a lofty price tag? Well, there are the ingredients they use. The scent has top notes of bergamot, lime, Sicilian mandarin nutmeg, cardamom and thyme. The heart notes are more of heliotrope, ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, and lily of the valley while the base notes smell of sandalwood, cedar wood, amber wood, vanilla, and vetiver. And all of the Clive Christian perfumes contain between 20 and 25% perfume, making them linger on the skin longer.
And then there is the packaging. The bottles are a work of art in and of themselves. Each bottle is handmade from lead crystal, while the neck is 24-karat gold-plated sterling silver, set with a solitaire. Not to mention that they have Queen Victoria’s stamp of approval – an enduring symbol of quality and British excellence.
Okay, let’s just get a reality check on all of this. Imagine you’re just starting your day. After a leisurely bath it’s time to choose which fragrance will best fit your mood. Instinctively, you reach for a bottle with a label proclaiming it is “The World’s Most Expensive Perfume.” A smug, satisfied smile reveals itself as you think, “I’ve made it, I’m wearing the world’s most expensive fragrance” –at US $750.00 for 50ml of liquid (two and a half table spoons), which works out to circa 70 cents a drop or US $30.00 per light spray.
But hey, if that’s the price for confidence in a bottle, maybe it’s not such a bad deal after all.