Clive Christian, creator of the world’s finest perfume, unveils its latest fragrance.

In an exclusive conversation with Emirates Woman Victoria Christian, global brand ambassador of the luxury British perfume house unpacks the history behind the brand and discusses all things fragrances – including its olfactory wonder, Town & Country.

From the bottle to the scent, this splurge-worthy, spicy and woody amber fragrance with a herbaceous blend is the definition of luxury. A 50ml bottle will set you back Dhs,1800 – which also buys you exclusivity, as each year, the house only produces limited pieces. Scroll through to know all about the unique history and complex creative process that went into the makings of Town & Country.

Having started a career in theatre, what kickstarted the idea to jump into the fragrance business?

Since I was little, I coveted my mom’s endless perfume bottles. I used to think she won’t notice if I took the small ones and just emptied those ones out. I just really love them. There’s something so magical about a bottle of perfume. But I never really thought I would join this world. I just thought I would be a consumer, an endless consumer. Then my father decided that he would take guardianship of this beautiful crown perfumery and put a spotlight back on it. I was drawn, so I hung my pointe shoes up and he said that there would be a place for me if I wanted to come and learn.

​​Town & Country is the third perfume to be launched in the Crown Collection. How were the scent and flacon created?

So it’s the sixth collection from Clive Christian over a period of 25 years. This is a British heritage house with a unique story – it’s the only house in the world that was given the seal of approval by Queen Victoria to use the crown on its bottles. It sat at the heart of the Royal Victorian court, creating perfumes for Victoria and for Albert, aristocrats, Hollywood celebrities, and musical stars. Winston Churchill in fact, one of his favorite perfumes was Town & Country, which was originally released in 1925 and was a very dapper time. Of course, the way that we enjoy fragrances today is different in those times. We’ve taken the essence of that and re-energised it for modern times.

Clive Christian Town & Country

The perfume is crafted for self-expression. To you, how should it be worn?

Well, that’s very personal and different for each person. This spraying out and walking through? For me, that’s a no-no. I think that has come from alcohol-heavy fragrances – don’t do it with Clive Christian because you’re wasting your drops. My father always says your perfume should be no more than an extension of your handshake.

The scent is quintessentially British. What personal memory do you associate the scent with?

You can feel that there is a two-sided tale within the same perfume: that relaxing country freshness and serenity of white tea, sage, juniper, and then the elegance and gravitas, of the city, you know, there’s nothing more delightful when you think of walking through Mayfair London streets. I mean, it’s solid, there’s history screaming out at you, an unapologetic suave that comes with London.

Clive Christian is the pinnacle of luxury perfume. What is your definition of luxury?

I mean, it’s such a big question. If it’s something truly luxury, I would say by its very definition that it can’t be very accessible, something rarefied and special. Time can be a luxury for someone, I’m a mom of a little boy, a wife – my life and work and passions… And I had time yesterday on my flight to Dubai to actually sit in and be still. But in terms of perfumes, what makes them luxury? No compromises on the levels of complexity of concentration of each individual ingredient. For example, you have sandalwood in the perfumes but you can have synthetic sandalwood or a three-year-old or have 50-year-old Sandalwood – this is what we’re having because the depth of intensity of it is so much more luxurious.

Who is the Clive Christian woman?

We are not in the habit of creating new fragrances very often. Everything we make is built to stand the test of time. These bottles were on the first-class cabins of the Titanic, they were in the first transatlantic solo flights. I mean, this was amazing. The pinnacle of British grand perfumery – and it had really just gone to sleep.

All of our perfumes contain mostly a minimum of 150 to over 300 ingredients in a drop of perfume. They’re incredibly complex. So who’s the Clive Christian woman? You and I can be wearing the same perfume, but it would unravel a unique individual story on your skin. It tailors itself to you from a single drop. We have such different skin and diets play a part in how the perfume speaks out.

As a brand ambassador, you spend your days travelling across the globe. In all of your travels, which city is the most ‘fragrant’ of all?

Yeah, a lot. I have a little boy now so I don’t travel as much as I used to. I’d have to say I love New York, but my favorite city has to be Dubai.

Images: Supplied