Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The Royal Family's favourite perfumes

royal-perfumes.jpg
kate-middleton.jpg
diana.jpg
table.jpg

Nothing reveals more about a woman than her choice of scent. Following an immense amount of detective work – four full days of research and numerous clandestine conversations – Stylist presents the favourite scents of five of the most revered British royals, past and present.

QUEEN ELIZABETH I, reigning queen from 1558 to 1603

Formidable, eccentric and never without a pile of pearls, Elizabeth I doused herself in perfume to mask the scent of sweat caused by her chronic panic attacks. Her chosen blend was musk, damaskwater, rose-water and sugar which had to be boiled for five hours and strained to create a perfume. The recipe was recently discovered in a book at London’s Royal Horticultural Society by garden designers Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins, who then spent a year growing the ingredients to recreate the scent. They released the unique, delicate scent as an eau de toilette in 2009, called Elizabeth I, in a bottle bearing the Queen’s signature.

QUEEN VICTORIA, reigning queen from 1837 to 1901

The only other british Queen to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee, Victoria quickly became a devotee of British perfume house Creed, founded in 1760, after being introduced to it by Empress Eugénie of France. Creed responded by presenting Victoria with Fleurs de Bulgarie in 1845, a heady scent which she wore throughout her illustrious reign. Youthful and classic, it’s made from the rarest Bulgarian roses with notes of musk, ambergris and bergamot, an updated version of which is still a top seller today. In 1885, she granted Creed with the royal warrant – the letter from the palace to Henry Creed is still on show at the perfumery’s Conduit street store in London.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, reigning queen from 1952 to present

Carnations are reported to be our Queen’s favourite flower so while Floris – the perfume house with the royal warrant – is unable to confirm her favourite scent in their selection, evidence points to White Rose, a floral fragrance with spicy notes of carnation. It speaks of Elizabeth as soft and delicate, rather than the staunch character often perceived. In honour of her Jubilee, Floris later released the Royal Arms Diamond Edition with a regal bouquet of rose, jasmine and sweet violet – an updated version of the fragrance created to celebrate her birth in 1926. Six vintage crystal and diamond bottles have been made, on sale for the royal price of £15,000.

PRINCESS DIANA, Princess of wales from 1981 to 1996

Ever the devoted perfume aficionado, Diana loved 24 Faubourg by Hermès – a powerful white floral with top notes of peach – later in her life, as her former butler Paul Burrell noted in his memoirs. For her wedding day she chose Quelques Fleurs, a floral creation of tuberose, jasmine and rose, launched in 1912 by classic Parisian perfume house, Houbigant. Diana famously spilt a little on her Emanuel wedding dress just before stepping out of the carriage. Seeing her embarrassment, her make-up artist Barbara Daly suggested she gather the fabric around the blot in her hands to walk up the aisle, a gesture watched by 750 million people.

DUCHESS CATHERINE duchess of cambridge from 2011 to present

Having taken on the mantle as the nation’s sweetheart, every dress she wears, every curl of her hair and, of course, her fragrance selection is meticulously scrutinised. In a surprise move, Kate eschewed long-standing royal perfumeries and chose White Gardenia Petals, a floral bouquet of lily, jasmine and gardenia by nascent British brand Illuminum for her wedding, to complement her floral bouquet (which included lily of the valley). It’s the mark of a woman who knows her stuff; in contemporary style, each Illuminum fragrance is made with only eight ingredients and the house has already won wide critical acclaim.

Related

queen-style-icon.jpg

Her Majesty: The Style Icon

the-queen-hero.jpg

The Queen by Cecil Beaton

street-party-rob-ryan.jpg

How to throw the ultimate Jubilee street party

Comments

More

23 ultimate Love Island hairstyles for summer

Looking for some hair inspiration? Right this way...

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Jul 2017

This is the £4.49 highlighter that's been selling out all summer long

Say hello to the latest must-have beauty product...

by Megan Murray
20 Jul 2017

Ask the experts: golden skincare rules to follow in summer

Head this way for the ultimate guide

by Sarah Biddlecombe
19 Jul 2017

Emily Ratajkowski: we need to stop oversexualising breasts

“They aren't vulgar or offensive”

by Anna Brech
19 Jul 2017

The secret beauty detail we’ve all been missing in Game of Thrones

There’s more to Sansa Stark’s hair than meets the eye…

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jul 2017

Three easy ways to work hot holiday hair for cocktail nights out

Chic styles for glamour and presence

17 Jul 2017

Act of dignity: US beautician gives free haircuts to the homeless

“I just figured I'd lift people up a little bit”

by Anna Brech
13 Jul 2017

This is the most popular nude lipstick on Pinterest

And it costs less than £4

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Jul 2017

Why we should all be cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising our hair

Your classic facial routine now applies above the hairline

11 Jul 2017

A-list hair makeovers: the best hair colour transformations

From Cheryl Cole’s new look to Chrissy Teigen’s strawberry-blonde makeover

10 Jul 2017