London’s Café Royal has a history of decadence; it was where Oscar Wilde held court, the scene of intense dates between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and where David Bowie retired Ziggy Stardust in 1973, throwing a star-studded party dubbed “The Last Supper” that never seemed to end.
And now fashion and fragrance are the inspiration for the new Atelier Cocktails (£13 each) being served at The Green Bar at Hotel Café Royal from Sunday February 1 to Tuesday March 31. Inspired by the L’Atelier de Givenchy fragrance collection (£140 for 100ml EDP), each of the seven cocktails has been designed to interpret the vibrant notes of a scent.
The cocktails all share names with Givenchy perfumes. Chypre Caresse, a woody jasmine scent, has inspired a drink made of gin with notes of jasmine, lemon citrus and honey. Ylang Austral has its woody floral elements reflected in a rum, sour-apple sherbet, orange curaçao and mandarin oil concoction. Néroli Originel is a scent inspired by a dress worn by Audrey Hepburn, the first muse of the designer Hubert de Givenchy, and from frock to perfume to glass, in liquid form it is a mix of cognac, vanilla, lemon and bitter-orange essential oils.
A martini-style drink, Cuir Blanc’s leathery notes take inspiration from perfumed Siberian pine-needle extract, while Bois Martial echoes the cedar and fruit notes of the scent in a Jamaican rum, pineapple and sage-leaf fusion. Ambre Tigré is a feline amber perfume, and in cocktail form it features American rye vodka, Dutch honey whisky and English amber beer. Finally, the statement scent, Oud Flamboyant, is reinterpreted using a combination of flavours including Japanese whisky and mandarin juice.
Oscar Wilde would have been first to the bar.