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British Family Perfumers Since 1730

A Ligurian Voyage

May 1, 2019


The Floris family have for generations been in the possession of journals written by Robert Floris while on his travels in Europe in the early 19th century. Edward Bodenham, ancestor of Robert Floris and Perfumery Director of Floris, wanted to re-trace his steps in search of inspiration. Read on to find out more about his experience and how he was inspired to start creating the scent that soon came to be Neroli Voyage Eau de Parfum.


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"Following a family holiday a few years ago, I found myself driving through an orange blossom field and being captured by the scent. It's an ingredient I know well and when I came home we began the process of sourcing a neroli for our bespoke service at Jermyn Street. I knew that neroli has been used in a great many of our fragrances over the years, but has never actually been the main hero of one of our scents.

Extracted from the bitter orange tree, neroli is predominately a citrus fragrance

I started to focus my attention on the Ligurian coastline and sea around south east France and north west Italy. It’s an area known for orange blossom trees but I had a more interesting reason for focusing on this area.

For centuries my family has been in possession of letters and journals written by my ancestor Robert Floris written home in the early 1800’s while he extensively travelled across the Mediterranean in in the early 1800s, sourcing ingredients and meeting with suppliers. One journey saw him travel around the Ligurian Sea coastline from France to Italy, from Grasse, via Nice to Antibes, by foot, and then across the sea to the Italian coast passing Corsica.

He was often away for months at a time and the letters home to his family are moving anecdotes of the beauty of the journey he took. What I find fascinating about the letters is that his writing is often very English and formal. Very factual, prompt and polite but rarely personal when he recounts the daily journey. However, when he starts to describe the people he meets and the landscape, his language becomes much more poetic. It was these themes of journey, voyage and human connections that became a huge inspiration for this fragrance."


"Wednesday morn 3rd November at half past 6 I was awoke by the servant who told me that the vessel waited for me. We sailed with a fair wind but as soon as we put our noses towards land we found that there was a strong Tramontana. The Mediterranean sailors never speak of a north, south, east or west wind, but a Tramontana, del Mediodia, or Migiorna, levante and Ponienta. Later as we approach Genoa…. the vessel creaks, Corsica became a speck, and the higher landscape melted into the clear blue ocean." - Robert Floris


"I was very fortunate to have the amazing opportunity to actually retrace some of places and see the very landscape that he visited as he journeyed along the French and Italian coastline over 200 years ago.

When you travel in that area, the landscape around the mainlined and indeed Corsica, is heavily populated with a marquis shrub land. A mixture of low level shrubs, generally on the coastline, condensely packed. It’s an aromatic, woody smell, often because of the oak wood generally found growing within.  When taking the boat across to the island, you become very aware of this aromatic scent and I’m told that those local to Corsica associate it with the smell of coming home. We were really keen to capture this in the fragrance.

This note is complemented in the base with musk and amber and creates a really smooth, warm and long lasting scent. Neroli Voyage Eau de Parfum is a fresh, light and bright fragrance with depth and character that  forms a really strong ‘skin’ fragrance throughout the day.

Travel can also be hugely relevant when creating fragrances. We know the importance of scent and memories. How a smell can transport you. When we travel, visiting new places, creating new memories, scent can often play a pivotal role. We speak to customers now, many who we know create or buy new fragrances specifically for when they travels so they can have a smell that they associate with that place. We hope that Neroli Voyage can become part of your travel memories this summer."


"I hope all in Jermyn St. and the Square are well, remember me to all friends and believe me your affectionate son, Robert Floris.”


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