In the oversaturated fragrance market, it’s increasingly difficult to stand out. There’s the designer market, dominated by brands like Chanel and Dior, and of course the quickly growing celebrity market, where stars like Christina Aguilera and Kim Kardashian have found considerable success. And then there’s the unique specialty market—which is where Clive Christian comes in.
We recently visited the Clive Christian showroom to spend the morning with Victoria Christian (Clive’s daughter), who has become the brand’s ambassador. The raven-haired beauty with a penchant for alligator handbags ditched a career in theater to travel the world for her family’s brand, and you can see why. She spoke passionately about the perfume, but wasn’t afraid to crack a few jokes with us—particularly when it seemed like we lacked extensive knowledge of British history. The showroom, off of Fifth Avenue in New York City’s tony Upper East Side, is decorated entirely in bespoke furniture and looks more like Brooke Astor’s apartment than an office space, making it the perfect setting to learn about the world’s most expensive perfume brand.
How It All Began: Clive Christian got involved in the fragrance business entirely by accident. Hailing from Britain, Clive purchased a manor house in Cheshire back in 1978 and quickly fell in love with interior design. Subsequently he launched a line of bespoke furniture sold to this day at luxury retailers like Harrods. Rummaging about the estate one day Victoria and her father discovered an original bottle of perfume dating from the 1800s created by the Crown Perfumery, a favorite of Queen Victoria. Discovering that Crown Perfurmery had seen better days, Clive took the reins, looking to revive the brand—and in 1999, the world’s most expensive perfume was born.
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