'William Wolfe's Guide To Excellent Living in London' brings to fruition a long-cherished dream of Fitzdares' CEO William Woodhams. Told by William Wolfe it is this decade’s required reading for Londoners, newcomers and discerning tourists alike. Taking in top tailors, outfitters, shoe-makers, bars, hotels and restaurants, as well as stationers, florists, wine-dealers, grocers and dry cleaners - including many Walpole members - it is the ultimate survey of the best on offer in London today.
Over the next few months we will explore the bastions of London that keep craftsmanship and excellent service alive. Read on to discover the next stop on our journey: Floris.
There's something subtly but intrinsically luxurious about the wearing of a really good scent. It may be less obvious than a bespoke suit or a pair of handmade shoes, but it creates just as indelible an impression.
Operating out of the same premises on Jermyn Street since 1730, Floris has attained a stature equivalent to that of Huntsman or Tricker’s. Discreet, impeccable and very, very English, it’s both a bastion of tradition and an eternally fresh olfactory delight.
Only consider the clientele. Should you wonder what Oscar Wilde and Laurence Olivier, Horatio Nelson and Winston Churchill, have in common, you’ll find the answer is Floris. At one time or another, all of them shopped here, as did Florence Nightingale, Eva Peron and Marilyn Monroe. Of the diverse range of scents stocked on rich mahogany shelves purchased from the Great Exhibition of 1851, I oscillate between two tried-and-tested favourites: the debonair Elite, which was apparently worn by the late David Bowie, and the sophisticated Nº 89, beloved of Cary Grant and Ian Fleming. Recently, those allegiances have been called into question by Bergamotto di Positano, a new scent that, as its name implies, evokes seductive visions of la dolce vita on the sun-drenched Amalfi coast.
Floris’s triple-milled, hand-wrapped soaps make perfect hostess presents. Rose Geranium or Edwardian Bouquet have never been known to fail.