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Perfume and toiletries in historic London

December 7, 2009

While writing about perfumes and oils, a favourite subject of mine, for my new book, I sniffed out some fascinating snippets on the history of early perfume suppliers in London.  I have a nose for these things ( He He!) as in my past life I also blended oils and perfumes.    One name stood out in historic London- Juan Floris.

He opened his shop at 89 Jerym St. in the elegant quarter of  St. James’ London soon after his arrival from the Mediterranean in 1730. After starting as a barber and comb-maker, he missed the aromas of his Mediterranean youth and began blending oils, essences and fixatives, from Europe, into the first Floris fragrances.

‘ Purveyors of The Finest Perfumes & Toiletries to the Court of St James’ Since the Year 1730.’

In the same manner that Fortnum & Mason held Royal Warrants to supply groceries to the Royals, Floris held Royal Warrants to supply perfumes, shaving items and toiletries.

The first Royal Warrant granted to J.Floris Ltd was in 1820 as ‘Smooth Pointed Comb-makers’ to the then newly appointed King George IV. Then, the social elite followed the court until the Floris ledgers held accounts for an array of public figures, including practically every European Royal. These days, and at the same premises, Floris still supplies world celebrities with an array of fragrances and bathroom accessories.

Check them out here for world wide delivery –

        Oh, and speaking of celebrities who love visiting London to stock up on their favourites!

Guess who popped into “Geo F Trumper in London last year ( another shop advertised as ‘London’s Favorite barber and perfumer since 1875’ ) , where he bought a bag of specialty shaving cream.

Keanu Reeves! ……. sigh!

Perhaps he needs my help applying it?   Oh, well, one can only dream!

Enjoy the scents and smells of London!


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