Floris of London

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Floris of London
Floris order of Eau de Cologne to Farina in Cologne, 1887

Floris is the oldest English retailer of toiletries and accessories and second oldest in the world after Farina gegenüber of Cologne, Germany.

Floris was founded in 1730 by Juan Famenias Floris, who arrived in England from his native island of Menorca to seek his fortune. Shortly after his arrival, in 1730, he secured premises in Jermyn Street, in the elegant quarter of London's St. James's. Juan Famenias Floris initially set up business as a barber and comb-maker, however, he soon missed the aromas and sensations of his Mediterranean youth.

The first Royal Warrant granted to J. Floris Ltd was in 1820 as 'Smooth Pointed Comb-makers' to the then King George IV soon after his accession. Today this first Royal warrant is still on display at 89 Jermyn Street together with no less than sixteen others. Floris holds two today: Perfumers to HM The Queen Elizabeth II and Manufacturers of Toilet Preparations to HRH The Prince of Wales.

The Floris archives hold letters from famous customers detailing their preferences and their thanks, examples include:

  • Florence Nightingale: 25 July 1863 - thanking Mr Floris for his 'sweet-smelling nosegay' and giving news of the Army's sickness record in India.
  • Mary Shelley, who whilst abroad sent friends clear instructions on where to purchase her favourite combs: Floris.
  • Beau Brummell, the dandy of his day in the early 19th century, would discuss his current fragrances at length with Mr Floris.
  • Floris is even a fictional character's choice. Ian Fleming's James Bond always wore Floris No.89[citation needed] while Al Pacino's character in Scent of a Woman famously declared he knew the 'woman in his sights' was wearing Floris fragrance.

In addition to the Floris Jermyn Street shop, Floris used to have a shop in exclusive Madison Avenue, New York. Similar in style to the Jermyn Street shop, Floris Madison Avenue was the focus for all Floris sales across the USA. All product is now sold through London's Apothecary in the United States.

The London store is in Jermyn Street, London, in the same building Juan Floris created the business in the 18th century. The mahogany counter still used in the store was purchased directly from the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in 1851. Many traditional customs still endure today, an example of which is the passing of cash change to customers on a velvet pad; it was considered vulgar in the 18th century to touch another's hand.

In 2012 Floris opened a second London shop, at 147 Ebury Street, Belgravia, offering the full Floris range, together with a Bespoke Perfumery service. To celebrate the opening, Floris created a new Eau de Parfum “Ebury Street”, a sheer oriental floral fragrance with fruity notes and twist of anise and pink peppercorn.

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Coordinates: 51°30′30″N 0°08′14″W / 51.50821°N 0.13727°W / 51.50821; -0.13727