One of my favorite London stores is Floris (89 Jermyn Street). The firm has been at the same premises since it was founded by Juan Famenias Floris in 1730. Today, it is the world’s second-oldest retailer of toiletries (after Johann Maria Farina in Cologne). The interior is redolent of a vanished age, with its mahogany counter and gleaming vitrines.
In the lead-up to the holidays, Floris is an invaluable source of presents. The woman does not exist who is indifferent to a gift of the 18th-century eau de toilette “Lily of the Valley,” or “Bouquet de la Reine,” created for Queen Victoria’s wedding. Sometimes I indulge in the “No.89” aftershave, the preferred fragrance of James Bond.
This article appeared in the October 2014 print edition of Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report under the headline “Gifts for the Holidays."