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The crown perfumery
It was at their engagement in 1839 Albert gifted Victoria a brooch, cast in gold and porcelain, wrought in the shape of Orange Blossom, an unending symbol of true love. This innocent flower became a symbol for the royal couple which would go on to play a key role in the brand’s origins.
"How is it that I have deserved so much love, so much affection? I cannot get used to the reality of all that I see and hear, and have to believe that Heaven has sent me an angel whose brightness shall illumine my life"
A corsetier by trade, William Sparks Thomson, founder of the Crown Perfumery Company catered to London’s high society first with his patented corsets and then with his range of opulent perfumes, lotions and crown lavender salts. His most infamous customer was none other than Queen Victoria. Whose bodices Thomson would soak in orange blossom.
Famous for corsets and crinoline skirts Thomson had been a cosmetics manufacturer in his native United States of America
In 1872 the Crown Perfumery Company was officially coronated with this symbol on top of every bottle; a crown which became part of the iconic image of Queen Victoria as well as this emerging perfume house. A crown that is still seen to this day on top of every bottle of Clive Christian.
Queen Victoria’s small diamond tiara- an openwork silver frame set with 1,187 brilliant-cut and rose-cut diamonds was created for the Queen in mourning.
Thomson created his iconic Crown Lavender Salts, using the finest natural lavender, to revive women who were prone to fainting due to the sheer tightness of their corsets. A mere five years later this luxurious necessity was selling 300,000 units a year. Crown Lavenders Salts were placed in round, emerald green glass bottles with the famous crown shaped stopper.
For a beautiful presentation in the boudoir or drawing room, the bottle was placed in a silver holder that was monogrammed, filigreed or embossed. Travel size bottles in kid leather pouches or silver became popular for the touring worldly elite.
The most iconic of Thomson’s perfumes was born, Crab Apple Blossom, whose delectable scent was inspired by the blossoming tree outside his home in London’s Kensington. By 1894 half a million bottles are selling worldwide.
Matsukita launches and William Sparks Thomson’s son draws the illsutratons for the advert sin 1894
The house had won sixteen medals at international world’s shows and could be found on the boulevards of Paris; in the pinnacled city of Constantinople; at the Viennese Court; among the great cities of North and South America, within the walled cities of the Orient; across the deserts of Africa; around the Indian Empire; and throughout the lands “down under” — Australia and New Zealand. Constant adoration in newspapers records the infamous rise of the Crown Perfumery Company with fans in the worldwide royal courts, Hollywood studios, artist studios and politicians halls.
“...So the Perfumes came from everywhere, and each one wore a crown, And cut-glass facets sparkled till they dazzled all the town”
The bottles were recorded in the first class cabins of the Titanic on its fateful voyage across the Atlantic.
Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic, chose the lavender salts to accompany her on her voyage to aid her focus concentration
Whilst restoring his beloved Queen Anne home a bottle of lavender salts was discovered beneath the floorboards; this small bottle started Clive on a journey to unearth the secrets of the Crown Perfumery Company
In 1999, Clive Christian OBE, famous for his luxury interior designs and known as a connoisseur of impeccable design took the reins of the Crown Perfumery Company and reimagined it as Clive Christian perfume…
Inspired the beautiful love story of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert; the founding qualities of Thomson’s perfumery
The Original Collection was launched in cart bottles and hand carved boxes for the princely sum of £2000, society took notice, Clive Christian became synonymous with luxury and a lavish style of perfume with avant guarde complex scents celebrating the finest ingredients in a concentration unique to the world of perfumery. Becoming a leader of the niche perfumery movement.
Shortly afterwards an honour was bestowed upon Clive Christian perfume in 2001 with the granting of a coat of arms form the royal college of arms, intricately and uniquely crafted for the house in recognition as leaders of British luxury craftsmanship on a global scale.
The jubilee tiara to celebrate the queen’s golden jubilee in 2012
In 2005 a true masterpiece was created, the Passant Guardant. A crystal bottle with 24 carat gold lattice work, over 2000 individually set diamonds, two yellow diamonds and a pink diamond. This bottle, designed to hold a single ounce of the houses magnum opus No1 Masculine in a pure perfume form was recognised by the Guinness book of world records as the world’s most expensive perfume, a title the house still holds today.
Other perfectly crafted symbols of excellence were created such as the 500ml baccarat crystal Imperial Majesty, with only five bottles ever created;
The brand celebrate 15 year of the perfume house with a celebration at the Victoria & Albert Museum displaying the most rare and precious pieces together for the first time
A tribute to the house’s unique heritage- the Crown Collection launches starting with the eponymous Crab Apple Blossom in September 2020 and joined by Matsukita in March 2021
Celebrating 150 years of The Crown Perfumery Company perfume prestige a new pair celebrate all that has been, and all that is to come in the forms of Timeless and Contemporary.