FLORIS, LONDON

#floris #mystjames #london #stelleruk #perfume #5ftinf

THE VISIT...

As part of the #mystjames project I’m working on, I had an appointment at Floris in Jermyn St in St James’s...I was expecting a perfume shop with old fashioned interiors & old fashioned perfumes...I wasn’t expecting how incredibly affected I was by their scents and how I felt like I was almost time travelling via my olfactory system...

The scent...

I have realised what a meditation it is to focus on what a smell is, but when I’m painting I focus on what it all looks like, not how it makes me feel. And so for the first time in ages, I was smelling and feeling, rather than just concentrating on what it was, and I really hadn’t anticipated what an emotional experience that would be...

The history...

At the back of the shop where there's a collection of Floris's history. Floris was established in 1730 by Juan Famenias Floris & his wife Elizabeth There’s a wonderful display of old perfume bottles, hair combs ( for which they received their first Royal Warrant in 1820 ) photographs and letters from customers including one from Florence Nightingale in 1863.

The bespoke perfumer...

After my tour of the shop I was taken to the back room where I met bespoke perfumer Penny Ellis. I was so surprised at the delicacy of musk and the sweetness of amber. I hadn’t quite realised that blending is a work of art and in my opinion Penny is basically a scent artist creating individual fragrances...

...and these are the Floris ledgers, full of fragrance orders from John Profumo to Lady Olivier.

My photo illustrations...

I collected flowers from my garden & used one of their earliest fragrances ‘Limes’, first blended in the 1700’s & used by Florence Nightingale who also wore ‘White Rose’ along with Admiral Nelson. ‘Lily of the Valley’ was also first blended in the 1700’s and ‘Rose Geranium’ in 1890 ( famously worn by Marylin Monroe and Isabella Blow ).

‘Edwardian Bouquet’ is a Floris classic and was blended in 1901 and ‘Fleur’ is one of their more modern fragrances and they have a little wooden table at the back of the shop which I used to create the images

Rose Geranium as worn by Marylin Monroe and Isabella Blow...

The lasting scent...

I feel so artistically inspired by this visit which genuinely caught me by surprise...Floris doesn’t just feel like a shop, it feels more like an immersive experience and the staff are also brilliant and so committed to what a gem of a place they work in…and I certainly have a new art project in mind and many hours smelling ahead!

More at: www.5ftinf.com www.florislondon.com

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Share This Story
  • bertialia

    Very inspiring!

  • copperline

    Another beautiful story, and interesting that you were moved by these scents. We don't *generally* experience the world through scent. I realize this with Harris, who experiences everything through scent while I'm oblivious. So this must have been incredible, to experience scent as art!

  • 5ftinf

    @copperline thank you so much...I was really taken by surprise at how emotional I got...and I definitely think scent blending is art...have already got ideas as to what I'd love to do with that concept!

  • 5ftinf

    @bertialia 🙏👃🏻✨

  • hafiizh

    Great one

  • Peiper2007

    Having experenced Floris in 2011 has made me a life long lover

  • Anuya

    nice touch

  • Anuya

    I feel happy to know the story

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