* Developed by Crown Perfume House, a favorite of Queen Victoria I
* Still famed as the most expensive perfume in the world
* Nuanced, subtle and evocative scent
The legendary “Number 1 for Men” from Clive Christian was formulated at the Crown perfumery in England. Founded in 1872, the Crown Perfume House bears the stamp of approval of Queen Victoria herself. Clive Christian acquired the perfumery in 1999 and the famous No 1 for Men scent was launched in 2001.
To this day, its reputation as the world’s most expensive perfume precedes it. So does the scent itself live up to its sterling pedigree and its gilded price?
Formulated with the rarest and most authentic natural ingredients, this fragrance does have something truly special about it. The work of perfumer Patricia Choux, it has notes of cardamom oil invoking dusky tropical vistas, lily of the valley, cedar wood, vetiver and the slightest hint of vanilla. The world of perfumes is one of extreme subtlety, and the aesthetic of scent, so difficult to describe and so wired in to the subconscious and the field of memory, draws on the most rarefied hints to make its impressions.
It’s said that the mark of a great scent is that like certain pieces of music or poetry, it’s both surprising and familiar at the same time. That can definitely be said about the Number 1 from Clive Christian; it’s totally unique, with its mingling of bergamot and bright citrus-y mandarin orange top notes, its rich ylang ylang and heliotrope heart notes and warm, amber-y base notes of vetiver and cedarwood.
At the same time, the scent is like a memory you can’t pin down. It invokes places you’re sure you’d recognize in an instant even if you’ve never been there, because you’ve traveled to them in dreams. It conjures up the nostalgia of other people translated into those complete and perfect forms of memory we call art.
So, is it worth the price?
From this point of view, this is a finely-detailed, luxurious concoction that is both familiar and incomparable, unique and beautiful. In that sense, the Number 1 is worth every penny of its legendary price tag.
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