71/72: An Interview with Edward Bodenham
Bottling the romance of Jermyn Street, we recently collaborated with Floris perfumers on the reintroduction of our 71/72 Eau de Parfum. Named after our London flagship, the fragrance was created to evoke the emotion of a first visit to the 1903 store. To celebrate the release, we sat down with Floris’ Perfumery Director, Mr. Edward Bodenham, to discuss synergy, scents and sartorialism.
T&A: Floris is steeped in history. How does it feel to be part of such an illustrious family-run business? And does that come with a lot of pressure?
Edward Bodenham: I feel immensely proud to be part of the family business and to have the opportunity to help introduce our brand to the next generation. I have such fond memories of visiting the shop from a young age and it is very nostalgic for me to be around the fragrances that I have grown up with my whole life; they are really like old friends to me. It is important to look after those nostalgic scents, but is also very exciting to be able to add new fragrances to the collection, which will hopefully become future classics for many generations to come.
There is an element of pressure because we are building on the life’s work of my forefathers and adding to their repertoire but, with the passion and expertise gained from growing up within the company and learning from my relatives, as well as the wider perfumery industry, I am confident that we are evolving and I hope that they would be proud of our creations today.
T&A: Tell us more about Floris, for those that may not know.
EB: Our perfumery was established almost 300 years ago by my ancestor Juan Famenias Floris who, with his wife Elizabeth, lived above the shop and created perfumes in the sub-basement for the fashionable clientele of St. James’s in the 1800s.
When you’re smelling so many raw materials, they all have their own personal connection to each individual so it sparks many memories and stories.
His formulas and many others have been added to the range by subsequent generations of the family and have been handed down over the centuries. These formulas are still an endless source of inspiration for us when working on new fragrances.
T&A: You’re the Perfumery Director at Floris, what does that entail?
EB: My role entails working closely with our two in-house perfumers to create new fragrances to add to our collection. I also work with our marketing department and am involved in the communication that goes out to our customers.
T&A: You’ve worked with Turnbull & Asser on the reintroduction of 71/72. What did you enjoy about the process of making it?
EB: I enjoyed the energy and creativity in the room when we all sat down together and began working on the project. When you’re smelling so many raw materials, they all have their own personal connection to each individual so it sparks many memories and stories.
T&A: Describe the 71/72 scent in three words…
EB: Clean, woody, aromatic.
T&A: What inspired the bottle designs?
The bottle design was introduced in 2000. It is a design which is heavily inspired by a bottle that we used to use in the late 1800s until the 1930s.
T&A: How do you begin developing a new fragrance? What’s the first thing you’d usually do?
EB: Once I am inspired by something, I usually think of a main ingredient that I would like to be the heart of the perfume, and which I would like all the other raw materials to be built around and complement.
T&A: How much does Floris’ history come into play with each new fragrance?
EB: We are always evolving, so you have to be experimental and explorative when working on new fragrances in just the same way that my forefathers were in their day. That said, I do feel that somehow there is a certain Floris thread, whatever it may be, that runs through our entire collection.
T&A: When picking the right fragrance for you, what are the key points gentlemen need to consider?
EB: Fragrance is so personal to the individual that you really just need to look for something that connects with you emotionally and in a positive way. That way it will uplift you, make you feel more confident and bring an extra touch of joy to your day.
T&A: And finally, if you weren’t in the perfume industry, what would you be doing?
My other passion besides perfumery is music, so I would be probably be working in that field in some way. There are so many similarities between the world of perfumery and the world of music as we share the same language, both working with layers of ‘notes’. In perfumery we work with top notes, heart notes and base notes. The way a fragrance is composed is actually quite similar to the creation of a piece of music.
The 71/72 Eau de Parfum is available to order online now.
In-store from Thursday 7th September.