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British Family Perfumers Since 1730

Women Of Note

March 8, 2019


As we celebrate International Women's Day, we take a look back at the inspirational women who have worn Floris fragrances over the years.

In our Jermyn Street shop we display a treasured letter written by Florence Nightingale in 1863 to 'Mr Floris' (James) thanking him for his “beautiful sweet-smelling nosegays”.  Revered as the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale had just returned from the Crimean War, where through her work she had become known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’, and was busy setting up a training school for nurses at St. Thomas’ Hospital in Waterloo.

Photo: Floris Archives Photo: Floris Archives

Eva Perón, who was more widely known by her nickname, Evita, was a powerful and significant woman in history. Perón broke gender barriers in Argentina by campaigning with her husband, who went on to win Argentina’s 1946 presidential election. As First Lady, she unofficially took over the Ministries of Health and Labor, establishing the Eva Perón Foundation to fight poverty in Argentina. hospitals and orphanages, and founded the Female Perónist Party, a political party comprised of purely female voters. Evita was known to wear Special No.127 Eau De Toilette, which we sent regularly to Argentina for her, a citrus floral scent also a favourite of Sir Winston Churchill.

Evita Photo: Getty Images

As time went on, Floris’s reputation in style and fashion circles was such that Marilyn Monroe paid a visit to the shop when she was in London staying at Claridges. A receipt in our collection dated December 1959 shows a purchase of Rose Geranium Eau De Toilette made for Marilyn Monroe Miller under the alias of Miss Dorothy Blass, Monroe's personal secretary and sent to the Beverly Hills Hotel in Hollywood, California, where she stayed during the filming of one of her most celebrated films, Some Like it Hot.

Photo: Floris Archives Photo: Floris Archives

While no longer sold as an Eau De Toilette, the Rose Geranium scent does live on in our range as both a Bath Essence and a Luxury Soap. The characteristic notes of geranium are enhanced by fresh citrus nuances with just a hint of rose on a simple woody base, this would have been the scent of the Marilyn who was well read, intelligent and savvy, an incredibly charismatic woman who, to this day, still holds the fascination of the world.

Other aficionados of the scent include fashion editor, consultant and muse, Isabella Blow, the style maverick credited with discovering Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy.

Vogue Editor, Grace Coddington, wearer of our 1807 Red Rose scent, famously said, “my mother had a rose garden, and it just never occurred to me to smell like any other smell except rose.” A true and clear rose scent reflecting the many transcendent facets of the beautiful bloom, roses continue to be a key scent in many of our fragrances.

Photo: Interview Magazine Photo: Interview Magazine

Today our collection contains a variety of feminine, sophisticated and timeless fragrances for her, where each scent expresses a different element of the modern woman, at turns strong, elegant, charismatic and bold.

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