There was a time that I was enthusiastic about looking for some unique fragrance, something beyond my beloved French fragrance houses, and then one day, an elegant and Art-Deco like perfume bottle with its understated square label just caught my eyes, the more I find out about Grossmith London, one of the oldest perfume houses in England, the more I am intrigued about their fragrances and story.
Established in 1835, this prestigious perfume house is the only one to be awarded a medal at the Great exhibition in 1851 for perfumes and essential oils, as well as Royal Warrants by Queen Alexandra and the royal courts of Greece and Spain in the early 20th century. Their renowned ‘Hasu-no-Hana’, is one of the house’s pioneering floral oriental fragrances which launched in 1888, then, the beautiful ‘Phul-Nana’ comes to light, known as “a bouquet of India’s choicest flowers’, has become the iconic fragrance of the house. The creation of ‘Betrothal’ & ‘Victorian Bouquet’ as the celebration of the royal events followed, and finally, ‘Shem-el-Nessim’, a fragrance with Arabian fantasy, named after an Arabian springtime festival, came to light in 1906. This fragrance became another sensation for fragrance connoisseurs and the elite.
The house of Grossmith started to decline in 1920 after the death of the family members of this fragrance house, and the business eventually stopped trading in early 1980. The revival story of Grossmith begins with the great great grandson of the founder, Mr. Simon Brooke, who discovered his family connection with this perfume maker of high reputed from the past – his great great Grandfather founded the house. The pull of fate was irresistible and Simon along with his wife, Amanda, they both decided to leave their own career and focus their effort and dedication to bring their family glory back to life, despite coming from a completely different industry background from the family tradition of perfume making. Their incredible passion and tenacity finally brought them to some of the key experts of the perfume industry, and eventually after much research and hard work they relaunched the long-gone signature fragrances of the house which we see today. Appropriately they have focused on luxurious and elegant bottle and packaging design, and the use of exquisite premium ingredients for the fragrances.
With the delightful floral and oriental note, the Japanese-inspired ‘Hasu-no-Hana’ (Lotus Lily) would be an ideal fragrance for all year round, thanks to its sweet floral notes including Jasmine and Iris, combining with the bitter orange and Bergamot to lift and lighten the rich oriental aspect. This timeless sensuality leaves no doubt that it belong perfectly to their Classic Collection along with the other two legendary Classic fragrances.
For something with the connections to English royalty, ‘Diamond Jubilee Bouquet’ could possibly be the perfect choice, launched in 2012 to celebrate the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This opulent fragrance offers a floral and woody note that gives some depth to the Freshness and lightness of Narcissus and Lily-of-the-valley with a sensual base of Vetiver, Amber & Musk. For me this evokes the powerful Queen with both an authoritative side as well as a gracious and elegant aspect.
Just in case you are thinking of Christmas presents, a beautiful and sumptuous Grossmith fragrance is possibly a great option.