The British Legacy
By : | July 16, 2013

Clive Christian, who took over the reins to one of the oldest British Perfume Houses, has created pure perfumes in complex formulas with the most precious natural ingredients from the corners of the British Empire.


What began as an experiment in promoting all forms of luxury is today a business that spawns bespoke perfumes.

Clive Christian founded his eponymous British Design House in 1978 with a vision to establish the Clive Christian brand as a generic for British luxury. However, his world-renowned perfume collection that comprises evocative scents, each with its own unique qualities, has catapulted him into the big league in luxury.

In 1999, Christian acquired The Crown Perfumery, a British perfumery with a history that dates back 135 years, which was uniquely granted the honour of using the image of Queen Victoria’s crown. He began the Perfumery’s transformation by applying his design philosophy to the perfumes.

The launch of the Clive Christian Perfume House heralded the return of luxury perfume to the world stage, and anointed Christian as the custodian of an ancient British perfumery. The designer, instead of eschewing the old, embraced it to revive the original values of the perfumery, creating only pure perfumes with complex formulae that use the most rare and precious ingredients in their concentrated forms.


The result was a raft of perfumes headlined by No1, recognised by Guinness World Records as The World’s Most Expensive Perfume.

The 2012 New Year Honours List in Great Britain announced Clive Christian as the recipient of an OBE – Order of the British Empire – for his contribution to the hallowed British luxury goods industry.

The No1 for Women is a serene and sophisticated perfume with ylang-ylang at its heart. The fragrance reveals a gentle Tahitian vanilla, an ingredient which takes over six months to crystallise and gain the desired delicate spice. No1 for Men, on the other hand, is understated yet powerfully distinctive, and rich with aromas of ancient Indian sandalwood.

As the inheritor of this heritage perfumery, Christian has won commissions to create unique presentations for Her Majesty The Queen’s Jubilee and the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in the recent past. Besides, Clive Christian Perfumes have legends like Sir Elton John, Beyoncé, Michael Jordan and Serena as their most avid fans. Katie Holmes, in fact, chose the brand as the wedding perfume for her marriage to Tom Cruise.


A perfume connoisseur is only satisfied with the highest concentration possible. No wonder then Clive Christian Perfumes, which are often called ‘Pure Perfumes’, are much in demand. You can buy them in their iconic hand-cut crystal bottle that comes with an imperial crown-shaped stopper

In his portfolio are perfumes like 1872 for Women – a classic citrus scent which opens to a heart of Rose de Mai, an aroma so pure and feminine that it has long been associated with an angel. A rare flower that blooms only three weeks in the year is blended with 170 roses to yield a single drop. In the timeless 1872 for Men, aromatic lavender and the spices of clary sage combine seamlessly.

At the heart of the unconventional and exotic X for Women are the most powerful natural aphrodisiacs known to mankind. This dynamic scent has Egyptian jasmine, a captivating and exotic aroma. Notoriously rare, the jasmine must be gathered from the banks of the Rive Nile at dusk in order to capture its intoxicating essence. The sensual character of X for Men can be attributed to Orris, or the root of the iris flower, which is blended with the dry, distinctive accords of cardamom and cinnamon spices.


After ten years at the pinnacle of the luxury perfume world, Christian was finally persuaded by clients and perfume devotees to release scents from his Private Collection, named after his daughter Victoria. C for Men and C for Women push all the house’s best notes to a crescendo and have been embraced worldwide as the cornerstone of the ‘Private Collection’. While C for Women is a soft ‘floriental’ scent, embracing an accord of rose and jasmine absolute, in union with violet and tuberose, C for Men is a deep woody oriental fragrance, exuding scents of leather and wood, enhanced by treasured saffron spice, tobacco absolute, cardamom, sandalwood and iris.

The second release from the collection, V for Men and V for Women, also bear the concentration and complexity one associates with the House. V for Women smells of orange blossom, traditionally associated with joy and betrothal, and is embraced by rose and jasmine, entwined with soothing scents of chamomile and bright lavender. V for Men has a combination of precious woods and resins.

The Private Collection Perfumes are presented in the customary pressed glass, amber-coloured bottle and pay tribute to the original apothecary bottles from the perfumery, which were uniquely crowned by Queen Victoria in 1872 as a mark of British excellence.

Born and raised in New York City, Mitch graduated from Colgate University. He went to l’Universite de Geneve to study clinical psychology, as well as training as a Jungian Analyst in Kusnacht. Working in his chosen field for several years, he moved into the business world first as a business consultant for Business International – a subsidiary of The Economist. Hired by one of his clients – Digital Equipment Corporation – European Headquarters (at the time, the second largest computer manufacturer in the world) – Mitch brought his organizational and marketing skills to bear across a range of strategic initiatives, including participating in the launch of what would become one of Digital’s most important lines of business.