Clive Christian was established in 1999 when the English designer acquired the oldest British Perfume House, The Crown Perfumery, first made famous 135 years ago when it was uniquely honored by Queen Victoria with the gift of her crown as a symbol of utmost quality and British excellence.
Clive Christian revived the original values of the House to create pure perfumes in complex formulas with the most precious natural ingredients from the corners of the British Empire. He set out to create a new level of luxury perfumes and accomplished just that.
Whilst not a perfumer Clive Christian has used his uncompromising creative talents to guide his perfumers as a conductor guides the orchestra to create the sounds and emotions of his imagination, he has been totally involved in the creative process of all of the Clive Christian Perfume formulas.
He had a very firm vision of each fragrance’s customer, and cared passionately about every last detail. He wore each trial and insisted that those people he had in mind that epitomized the fragrance’s profile wear them and give their opinions.
As a result, when Christian approached world famous perfumer Roja Dove, he had one criterion – money is no object. This attitude along with a motto he lives by, “Only deal with people and things you love; handle them with care and passion, and the result will be without compare” led him to great accomplishments in the luxury goods industry.
According to a source, Roja Dove “opened his treasure chest – his collection of scents – and looked for the most precious and expensive notes the world has to offer. Rose oil for 6,000 euros, orris root for 11,000 euros per kilo, jasmine from India, Italian cinnamon rose which requires at least 170 blossoms for a single drop of oil!” A batch of this liquid gold reportedly takes six months to reach the perfect stage of spice.
This vision led to the creation of the Original Collection of perfumes – 1872, X and No.1- which was to be recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as The World’s Most Expensive Perfume.
A 500 ml release known as Clive Christian No. 1 – Imperial Majesty will set you back approximately $215,000. This fantastic edition comes in a French Baccarat crystal flaçon, the neck of the bottle is fashioned after the coronation tiara of the British queen and is made of 18-carat gold inset with a five-carat brilliant-cut diamond.
The collar is later engraved with the owner’s name and the bottle is then gently placed into a velvet-lined ebony case with gold and platinum details. Rumor has is that Sir Elton John had his fragrance in a bottle shaped like a piano and Katie Holmes reportedly wore Clive Christian No. 1 at her wedding to Tom Cruise.
I had the great fortune of learning more about the brand’s values and creative process straight from Victoria Christian, Clive’s daughter and representative. The launching event of Clive Christian “C” perfumes at the Madison Luxury Perfumery in Bucharest, gave me the opportunity to interview Victoria, an elegant and stunning woman, with a clear perspective on the relationship between perfumes, luxury and fashion.