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‘V’ Perfume Launch, An Interview with Victoria Christian

Clive Christian, creator of No . 1, the most expensive perfume in the world, launches his most recent luxurious perfume in Harrod’s and Fortnum & Mason this week. To co-incide with the launch of ‘V’, High Life spoke to Victoria Christian, Clive’s daughter and brand ambassador for the company.

How has the Clive Christian brand grown over the years?

My father, Clive Christian, had originally established his classical fitted furniture company in 1978 with the launch of the first Chandelier kitchen – the company is built under the philosophy of ‘Design first – cost later’ to ensure that everything that is created under the Clive Christian name is designed and created to be the absolute best it can be, without reference to cost. This results in a product that stands the test of time in terms of quality and does not date as the designs are based upon the classical orders of architecture.

The same philosophy was in place when Clive acquired the reigns to The Crown Perfumery – originally established in 1872 in England and uniquely granted the image of the crown by Queen Victoria as a symbol of British excellence. The perfumery was going out of business and Clive decided to revive the original principles as observed in the luxury perfume world in the 1800s – natural ingredients in their most concentrated form – again, Design and Create to the best it can possibly be – and then cost it.

The result here was that Clive had unwittingly created the most expensive perfume in the world – No.1 – as recognised by the Guinness World Records.

Along with No. 1, two further Perfumes were introduced which culminated in the creation of the world renowned Definitive Collection: 1872, inspired and named as a tribute to the origins of the perfumery, and X, brimming with natures most powerful aphrodisiacs. After over ten years at the pinnacle of the luxury perfume world, Clive was finally persuaded by loyal clients to release two of his favourite perfumes from his Private Collection – C for Men and C for Women – which officially joined Clive Christian Perfumes in 2011.

2012 sees the launch of the next chapter in the ‘Private Collection: V for Men and V for Women – which I am honoured to say my father has chosen to name after me.

Can you tell me about the No.1 Imperial Jubilee and the No.1 Imperial Majesty? The development of the perfumes and the response they received?

In 2006 my father created and released ten limited edition bottles of No. 1 The World’s Most Expensive Perfume as a marker of the return of luxury perfume to the world stage. The record breaking No.1 Imperial Majesty, cut in Baccarat crystal, was valued at £115,000 and celebrated every aspect of Clive Christian No. 1, The World’s Most Expensive Perfume.

Presented in the finest polished crystal bottle, bearing a five carat white diamond nestled in an 18 carat gold collar, Clive
ensured that the 16 ounces of No. 1 Perfume was housed in a vessel which truly epitomized absolute luxury in the world of Perfume.

Seven were secured by private collectors, whilst the final three were retained by Clive Christian Perfumes, ultimately ending its public availability and elevating the presentation to a priceless status. Two pieces will remain on display at the two most prestigious perfumeries in the world; Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie and Bergdorf Goodman. The elusive final
Imperial Majesty will travel the world as an exhibition piece.

To mark sixty remarkable years of our Queen’s reign and to pay tribute to her Diamond Jubilee year, Clive has created a
special presentation of No. 1 with a concentration reminiscent of that used in the Imperial Majesty. No. 1 Imperial Jubilee will be limited to 500 pieces (250 for Men and 250 for Women).

Like all Clive Christian Perfumes, the bottles bears the image of Queen Victoria’s crown (who granted the original perfume house its use in 1872 as a symbol of excellence and utmost quality) – the only other British monarch to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee. No. 1 Imperial Jubilee is a timeless reminder and lasting link to its predecessor.

The new ‘V’ perfume is based on yourself. How would you describe it?

‘V’ Perfumes are the second release from the Private Collection and Clive named them V for Victoria for me, as his eldest
daughter. I am of course named after Queen Victoria which is a fitting tribute to the origins of the perfumery.

‘V’ for Men is a Woody-Oriental in which Frankincense, the most important aromatic incense since antiquity, leads the
hallmark intensity of precious Woods and Resins. The Pink, White and Black Pepper is interlocked at the core to evoke the ardent vitality of a brave Perfume that brims with absolute masculinity.

‘V’ for Women is a White Floral Chypre where Orange Blossom, traditionally associated with joy and betrothal, is embraced by Rose and Jasmine. Entwined with soothing Chamomile and sensual Lavender, the spirit of this romantic Perfume brims with utter femininity.

Who are you targeting with ‘V’ for men and ‘V’ for women?

As with all the perfumes in the Clive Christian House, we do not target any individual specifically – in fact the common
denominator of all our clients around the world is that they are self-confident and know exactly what they want when they find it, never settling for anything less than the best. We do not advertise or put a face on to the imagery of the
perfumes – we simply let the complexity and concentration of ingredients speak for themselves.

‘V’ for Men and ‘V’ for Women are perfumes fit for Kings and Queens throughout history, and upon smelling them, wearing them, it becomes clear exactly why the Clive Christian House still deserves to wear its golden crown, granted in 1872 by Queen Victoria.

Finally, can you tell me about the OBE and when it will be awarded? How does Clive feel about being honoured by the Queen?

Since the establishment of the Clive Christian company, my father has designed and created luxury goods with a view to
becoming a generic for British luxury. To be acknowledged by Her Majesty as OBE for his services as a designer in her Diamond Jubilee Year is a great honour of which he and all at Clive Christian are tremendously proud and is a most definitely a stamp of approval from Queen Elizabeth II to say that his vision for an enduring British Luxury Brand is on the right track.

‘V’ is available now from Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.


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