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crest

CLIVE CHRISTIAN AND THE CROWN PERFUMERY: 150 YEARS OF HERITAGE

The signature golden crown that adorns every bottle of Clive Christian is a lasting memento of the brand’s predecessor, The Crown Perfumery Company.

 

The Crown Perfumery was given the right to use this regal symbol by Queen Victoria in 1872, and 150 years on, Clive Christian celebrates this important milestone with a special anniversary collection.

 

The Anniversary Collection will comprise two limited edition perfumes: Timeless and Contemporary. Wrapped in the signature green of the Crown Perfumery Company, with ornate silver decoration, the new scents will express the heritage of Clive Christian as well as celebrating its prestigious status as a leading perfume house.

 

Clive Christian perfumes pay homage to the heritage of the Crown Perfumery Company, and are a reflection of past, present and future in perfumed form.  

Thomson and the Crown Perfumery Company

 

A corsetier by trade, William Sparks Thomson, founder of the Crown Perfumery Company, catered to London’s high society first with his patented corsets and then later with his range of opulent perfumes, lotions and smelling salts.

Having first opened a corsetry business in 1840, Thomson found that due to the tightness of the garments, ladies would often faint, leading them to create lavender-based smelling salts to help revive their clients.

In 1872, the Crown Perfumery was established, the same year that their most famous patron, Queen Victoria, granted the use of the likeness of her crown on the bottles.

The Crown Perfumery continued to gain devotees across the elite circles of London and Europe, and by 1879 was exporting half a million bottles of 49 different scents to 47 different countries.

The salts were followed in 1886 by the creation of a highly concentrated perfume called Crab Apple Blossom, which marks the start of the company’s perfume history. Other scents soon followed, and quickly gained the attention of Victorian high society.

The Bottle

Every bottle of Clive Christian perfume wears the crown of Queen Victoria, a magnificent symbol of timeless British excellence and elegance.

 

For the house of Clive Christian, 1872 was a special year. It marks the year their predecessor The Crown Perfumery was established in London, and the year in which Queen Victoria graciously gave her permission to use the royal crown on its bottles, a signature feature ever since

 

This bestowment was the Queen’s way of letting the world know that these complex perfumes were amongst the most beautiful and precious in the world, favoured by the royal court and the Queen herself.

Why Orange Blossom?

 

Floriography, the language of flowers, was a popular practice in Victorian times. Every flower had a meaning, and a full range of emotions could be expressed in a carefully presented bouquet of flowers.

 

Orange Blossom is symbolic of a pure and true love, and Queen Victoria’s favourite scent – it is said to have reminded her of one of the happiest moments of her life.

 

Queen Victoria and the Crown Perfumery Company

 

This eminent queen is best known for her unending devotion to her beloved Prince Albert. This timeless love story is at the very heart of Clive Christian’s foundations, rooted in the Crown Perfumery Company.

 

William Sparks Thomson counted most of high society amongst his corsetry clientele, including the Queen herself.  Thomson would perfume the Queen’s corsets in her favourite scent, orange blossom.

 

In the Victorian era this luxury was only provided to the best clientele, and kept corsets fresh with floral waxes and waters.

 

Albert & Victoria

At her engagement in 1839, Albert presented Victoria with a brooch cast in gold and porcelain, in the shape of an orange blossom.

 

Henceforth, the flower became a symbol for the royal couple and their famous love story.

 

From the lace of Victoria’s wedding dress to her bridal bouquet and gifts from Albert throughout the years, orange blossom was ever-present.

 

The complementary pair of scents made by the Crown Perfumery Company of course included the vibrant and exhilarating scent of orange blossom.

 

Today Clive Christian pay tribute to this timeless love story by presenting certain perfumes in pairs, exquisite apart and extraordinary together.

 

A letter from Albert to Victoria on the day of their engagement reads:

 

“How is it that I have deserved so much love, so much affection? I cannot get used to the reality of all that I see and hear, and have to believe that Heaven has sent me an angel whose brightness shall illumine my life.”

 

The 18th century was in the era of arranged royal marriages, so the mutual interest and love between the young Queen Victoria and her Prince was both fortunate and highly romantic.

 

Introduced to each other by family members, Victoria was swept off her feet by Albert’s many attractive features, describing her love in her private diaries. Despite their distance, the two exchanged letters between England and Germany, fueling the blossoming romance.

 

 

A Timeless Love Story Lives On

Sadly Prince Albert died in 1861, and Victoria was desolate. She remained in mourning for the rest of her life as a final dedication to her one true love. Garrards of London were tasked with creating a small crown to sit on top of her widow’s lace cap.

 

The small diamond tiara comprised an openwork silver frame set with 1,187 brilliant-cut and rose-cut diamonds, and was first worn for the opening of parliament in 1871.

 

This crown became part of an iconic image of Queen Victoria as well as the emerging Crown Perfumery Company to whom she bestowed the honour of using the likeness of her crown in 1872. This crown is still seen to this day on top of every bottle of Clive Christian.

 

Queen Victoria’s Engagement

In 1839, the pair were reunited, and after a couple of days spent together at Windsor Castle, Victoria proposed to Albert. Whilst Albert deeply wished to ask the Queen for her hand himself, he knew that custom dictated otherwise, and accepted her proposal.

To celebrate their engagement, Albert gifted Victoria a brooch, cast in gold and porcelain, wrought in the shape of orange blossom as a symbol of his unending true love.

This innocent flower became a symbol for the royal couple, from its use to scent the corsets made for the Queen by William Sparks Thomson, to the complementary perfumes created for the royal couple by Clive Christian’s predecessor, The Crown Perfumery.

Perfume history reimagined

In 1999 the Crown Perfumery was resurrected as Clive Christian Perfume, restoring the craft and tradition of haute perfumery and bringing back to life scents that are fit to wear a crown.

Much like the unending love between Victoria and Albert, the historical perfumery lives on through Clive Christian.

In the same way that the Crown Perfumery did 150 years ago, today Clive Christian produces the highest quality perfumes featuring the rarest, most precious ingredients, and has become symbolic of true British luxury the world over.