Last week, I had the privilege of meeting and inteviewing Victoria Christian of Clive Christian at Neiman Marcus Fashion Island. As the eldest daughter of British designer Clive Christian, the ebullient Victoria travels the world as the ambassador of the venerable Clive Christian fragrance line, which is noted to have created The World’s Most Expensive Perfume.
Kindly scroll on for our interview and an introduction to the stunning Clive Christian brand…
Meeting Victoria Christian…she is warm, knowledgable and a highly enjoyable conversationalist. Photo courtesy of Laura Lynn.
The origin of the Clive Christian line is a fairytale in and of itself. Discovered in the floorboards of their English Manor, Victoria and her father unearthed an original bottle of perfume from a perfumery that had been crowned by Queen Victoria in 1872. Inspired by this kismet, Mr. Christian began working with the fine art of perfume and in 1999, Victoria joined her father to officially launch the opulent Clive Christian Perfume Collection.
Since I already understood the fascinating history of the collection, I used our interview to focus on the present and future of the line:
Beauty Professor: Which distinct qualities make Clive Christian vastly different from its contemporaries?
Victoria Christian: “The heritage of the Clive Christian Perfume house dates back to the 1800s in England when Queen Victoria herself granted he unique honour of the image of her royal crown as a mark of excellence and this really signifies the level of luxury, quality and exquisite craftsmanship that goes in to every drop of each of our perfumes. When Clive took ownership of the perfumery almost 20 years ago he restored the original concentrations of absolute essence – the purest and truest form of Mother Nature, best visualised by a drop of May Rose which sits at the heart of the 1872 for Women and in the absolute concentration brings 170 rose heads in a single drop – and Clive also brought unparalleled complexity to his perfume formulas – in every drop there are a minimum of over 100 different ingredients all in their absolute form. This level of luxury results in an extraordinary complex drop of perfume; one that takes on and enhances the personality of the wearer and their individual skin and has great subtlety and longevity. After all…when you fall in love with something you really do want it to last!”
BP: What is your favorite Clive Christian fragrance and why?
VC: “What a difficult question! At home I always keep a full Ouse of all twelve of our perfumes and I select a perfume or two by day and by occasion to accessorise my look invisibly and to enhance my particular mood or the way that I wish to feel as each perfume had such a distinct character. On this journey to California I have chosen to bring X for Women (a sensual, sexy perfume with an intoxicating Egyptian Jasmine at the heart) V for Women (a sophisticated complexity with a spirited body of bright orange blossom) and No.1 for Men ( an Oriental perfume with rare Indian Sandalwood, orris butter and nutmeg with a distinguished, confident finish) and I wear them individually or combine them to complement my look and mood.”
BP: Do you have any tips to help one find their “signature scent?”
VC: “First stop would be to visit the Clive Christian Perfume counter at NM, wear no fragrance so that your palette is clear and set aside 20 minutes or so. Allow our Perfume Specialist to introduce you to the heritage of the perfumery and this level of concentration and complexity of perfume. Whilst sampling the perfumes on a card one or two will bring a delightful first impression and speak to your heart – for this is our natural reaction to a scent that we love. The next step would be to try a drop on to your skin and allow the perfume to settle and begin its journey of unraveling and revealing its many facets from the heart notes right trough to the finish on your skin. A signature scent should captivate you from beginning to end and will enhance your own personality and bring with it many compliments in your wake!”
BP: Which trends are you loving in the world of fragrance? Conversely, which fragrance trends are you less-than-enchanted with?
VC: “My father’s daughter, I am not really enamoured by trends in a positive or negative way – Clive Christian carefully curated his perfume releases so that when they are released they are timeless and will not date.”
BP: What will you be mentioning at your Neiman Marcus FI meet and greet in terms of what is on the horizon for Clive Christian?
VC: “I am very excited to present a preview of an exclusive new launch with Neiman Marcus this June of a limited edition ‘Twist’ on our classic pair of 1872 perfumes. Their invigorating complexity has been given a new dimension with the introduction of 1872 with a Twist of Mandarin for vitality and 1872 with a Twist of Vetiver for a subtle, warm glow.”
Simultaneously modern and classic, Clive Christian has a luxuriously timeless appeal.
In celebration of the 15 year anniversary of Clive Christian, I was gifted a commemorative keepsake book.
I also went home with a minature version of the breathtakingly beautiful *No.1 for women, lilting with rare notes of pineapple, plum, rose, jasmine and vanilla.
Nestled in a bed of silk.
Regal and timeless.
Photogenic exterior, transcendent interior.
Last look…while at Neiman Marcus, I also picked up a couple of Tom Ford Gems (to be featured in my next post) including a backup of Golden Peach (back in stock and well worth it) and the Matte Lip Color in Pussycat.
–Shop the Post–
Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this fragrance focus as much as I enjoyed learning about Clive Christian; Victoria was an utter delight and I am completely smitten with my bottle of No.1 as it smells unlike anything else in my current fragrance wardrobe.
If you are looking for a foray into the Clive Christian line, I highly recommend the Women’s Traveler Set, which features the resplendent No.1 (pictured above), 1872 Pure Perfume and X Pure Perfume in lavish .3-ounce spray bottles. This is a gift (for yourself or someone you love) of unequivoally epic proportions!
Have YOU tried Clive Christian? Thoughts? Do tell!
Good things ahead, including the aforementioned Tom Ford post (with a host of new products I’m currently loving) and a skincare intensive…cannot wait to share ; )
Whoa! That sounds awesome!!!!
Funny you bring this brand up. There used to be a show called "Planet Luxury" on a network formerly known as "Wealth TV" that is now known as AWE (A Wealth of Entertainment.) That show was basically about all this absurdly pricey stuff, that only the ridiculously wealthy could afford. One episode actually covered Clive Christian and one of his exclusives that is reserved for the "elite." I have always thought about that brand and this show, and I have always wondered if it would end up anywhere stateside because of that show.
I don't think they make that show at all anymore, but that episode was in Season 1 and I can't find the Season 1 eps anywhere, but almost all the Season 2 ones are online (including the bling ones!)
That's wild, Ame…thanks so much for sharing!! As luxurious as this line is, I am glad there are options for those of us without millions of dollars as well ; )
–The Beauty Professor
Great post! I have enjoyed reading this. I am so interested on that Women's Traveler Set. I think its a perfect gift idea too especially that Mother's day is nearing.
Thanks so much, Patricia! The Traveler's Set is such a marvelous way to try the Clive Christian line!
Hope your weekend is going well…xx,
–The Beauty Professor