Tag Archives: Jermyn Street

Extraordinary gentleman of the Knight… White Rose by Floris for Sir John Gielgud The Perfumed Dandy’s Four Thespian Roses for St Valentine’s Day 

Perhaps Sir John was always more Green Carnation than White Rose.

A peculiarly British contradiction: feted peer of the realm, first among actors, arrested and prosecuted for ‘sexual offences’. Further enobled after his conviction.

His surface charm, that most say ran deep, and mellifluous tone that spoke of an equally honeyed, and giving, heart, never deserted him.

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I wonder if, like his great aunt, the every bit as legendary Ellen Terry he might have been tempted by the wares of Floris of Jermyn Street.

I’m sure he knew of the Turkish baths that once stood nearby, and proved inspiration for Penhaligon’s Hammam Bouquet.

The Floris shop still has the same wooden counters created for the Great Exhibition in 1851, from behind which Ellen, and John and now you are served.

Perhaps he might have chosen White Rose, a quintessentially theatrical scent.

Not large or grating you understand.

But subtle and insinuating like a fine actor’s performance.

It starts as a juvenile violet, sweet, innocent, slightly confectionery. Grows into a leading lady heart, more power and depth, jasmine providing elocution and projection.

The finish is pure dressing room: fading flowers, endless powder and slap, the spice of costumes worn tens of dozens of times.

Actor and theatre, person, place, perfume all one.

Gielgud, the performer personified is one of only eleven people, five actors, to have the rare distinction of an EGOT.

This inelegant acronym signifies their capturing of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony, and dominance of all performing arts.

Interestingly, Sir John received more Grammy nominations than for any of the purely acting awards… that voice…

… Wizardry!

Farewell then from the world of magic and theatre and roses.

Happy St Valentine’s Day.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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The Perfumed Dandy’s Coronation Festival Scent… 1953 Eau de Toilette by Pell Wall Perfumes

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This weekend in London, The Queen, or to use her official title…

Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith

… yes, that’s why we call her ‘The Queen’…

…celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of her Coronation in Westminster Abbey in 1953. Having marked the same milestone for her ascension to the throne in somewhat less glorious weather last year..

The streets of the most Royal parts of the capital are bedecked in imperial purple.

Huge Union Flags are flying along The Mall and a festival featuring displays from over 200 companies holding the ‘Royal Warrant’, the ultimate celebrity endorsement, and a series of all star concerts are taking place in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

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Pell Wall Perfumes may not be recipients of a Royal Warrant just yet, but their fragrances are of a suitably majestic quality.

I have particularly enjoyed their Green Carnation before, an ostensibly male-oriented emerald floral with a spectacular and austere beauty that renders it a splendid addition to the wardrobe of anyone with a penchant for fragrances of a grass-coloured hue.

However, for the present occasion only the specially released 1953 Eau de Toilette will do.

It seeks and succeeds in offering an olfactory imagining of not only the scent but also the sensation of the anointing oil applied privately to Elizabeth a near lifetime ago.

The perfume opens with a sharp, almost heart-stopping, even shocking neroli: a metaphor in aroma for the moment the young woman received the sacrament that confirmed her position in a line stretching over 800 years.

Slowly, just as realisation of her part in destiny and her acceptance of it grew within her, so the fragrance opens up into an expansive heart rich in cinnamon and orange flower but with a certain meaty animalic undertone that borders on the mediaeval.

There is rose here too of a very particular sort: a high note blossom in possession of an alluring astringent quality with elements of the neroli of the opening and a sugared lemon that can be found in older English varieties of the flower.

Development is appropriately stately: a gradual and satisfying drydown to a luxurious, sweetly resinous, spiced, yet still partly animal odour that encompasses the breadth and depth associated with the finest scented oils.

I can only imagine how encompassing the extremely limited edition parfum must be.

This is a fragrance of an uncommon near archaic grandeur of a type seen rarely today.

In that sense it is a cypher not only for the Coronation but for the institution of the Sovereign as a whole.

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Sincerest thanks to Pell Wall Perfumes for allowing me to sample their celebratory scent by sending The Dandy a sample.

Many happy Diamond Jubilee greetings to you all from London

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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