The Platinum Jubilee is an excuse to celebrate all things royal.
And if you’re planning on channelling the Queen and her family over the festivities, then don’t forget the olfactory element.
Floris on Jermyn Street, holder of a warrant for perfume from the Queen, is just up the road from St James’s Palace and Buckingham Palace. Everyone says that the Queen’s favourite scent is its White Rose, but even thumbscrews could not extract confirmation from Edward Bodenham, ninth generation in the firm. I think we’re on safe ground in saying that the Rose Geranium bath oil, which is gorgeous, is a favourite.
And to mark the Jubilee, the firm has produced a new scent, Platinum 22, which is inspired by the Queen’s gardens, with rose and violet on a woody cedar base with mellow tonka bean and amber. It’s soft, subtle and good, I reckon, for both sexes.
100ml EDP £20, florislondon.com
Penhaligon’s is another company with royal connections since the Victorian times, and has a warrant for toiletries from the Prince of Wales: think shaving cream and soaps. The scent most associated with the royal family is probably Hammam, so named after the Turkish baths of the 1870s. Lavender, rose and sandalwood.
£150 for 100ml eau de toilette, penhaligons.com
Grossmith is an historic firm revived by descendants of the original owners. It has two scents associated with the Royal Family – Betrothal, rich sensual modern fragrance based on the one Grossmith created for the engagement of Princess Mary of Teck to George V; and the Diamond Jubilee Bouquet, created for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Over a century earlier, its Victorian Bouquet scent celebrated Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Samuel Gearing, the fragrance guru, describes it as “lovely…fresh and powdery, with lots of Rose de Mai”. Each comes in a classy ridged bottle.
50ml, £210, grossmithlondon.com
Creed’s Green Irish Tweed is said to be the favourite of the Prince of Wales, in which case, good for him. It’s a terrifically classy fougere fragrance, clean and refreshing, with green geranium, lemon and lavender over a woody base. This is one that women regularly poach from their menfolk.
50ml, £185, creedfragrances.co.uk
Santa Maria Novella
European royalty of course have their fragrances too. One of the best is Guerlain’s Eau Imperiale, an eau de cologne made for the Empress Eugenie, with the family bees on the bottle. But for heritage, you don’t get more of a pedigree than Santa Maria Novella, the fragrance house and pharmacy long run by the Dominicans of Florence. When Catherine de Medici married Henry II of France in 1533, she commissioned a fragrance from the friars. The result is Queen’s Water, Aqua della Regina, which is a subtle, clean and light citrus-herbal scent. Oh, and I am told that Buckingham Palace is partial to the Melangrano (pomegranate) soap, which absolutely everyone loves.
50ml, £80, uk.smnovella.com