How to evoke the olfactory spirit of Jermyn Street? A mix of plush leather upholstery, gin and tonics, leafy London pavements and crisp cotton shirts?
It was at this sartorial hub of gentlemen’s clubland that in 1730 Juan Famenias Floris and his wife Elizabeth began selling shaving accoutrements and colognes to the elegant set, from No 89. Reassuringly, little has changed since then. Edward Bodenham, ninth generation family descendent and head perfumer at Floris, makes fragrances that bear the warrants of both the Queen and the Prince of Wales. But two or three times each year, he also makes a limited number of scents for By Request – a “semi-bespoke” service inspired by clients who leave their olfactory wishes in a dedicated message book.
Jermyn Street (£160 for 100ml EDP) is the fifth By Request scent to date. Its genesis was a happy accident. Last year, when a consignment of fragrance was dropped and spilt outside the shop, it seemed to perfume the entire street – and staff remarked how sweet the urban air had become. Bodenham himself was reminded of his childhood, when scents were still made in the “mine” below the shop and permeated beyond the front door.
With its rush of green citrus softening to leathery vetiver, suave cedarwood and the clean-skin intimacy of musk, Jermyn Street is an homage to a tradition that spans 284 years. Yet spicy nuances of coriander and honeyed amber make this a contemporary gentleman’s classic. As of October 1, just 100 bottles started to be hand-poured in Floris shops.
Here too, should the muse move you, you could leave your own By Request message in the book…