Perfumer to the stars

 

Clive Christian makes the world's priciest scent

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By Madeleine Marr

If you're low on cash this holiday sea- son, you'd better hope someone on your list doesn't ask for C, by U.K. perfumer Clive Christian. At $375, you'd have to assume it has a pretty rich nose -- and no worries, it does. C for Men (a hit with Elton John and David Beckham) is deep, woodsy, luxurious; C for Women is flirty yet super sophisticated.

But at least C doesn't cost nearly as much as Christian's classic No. 1, worn by Katie Holmes while marrying Tom Cruise. According to Guinness World Records, that's the world’s most expen- sive perfume -- at $250,000 for 50 milliliters. The limited-edition juice is the rarest in CC's entire collection -- only 1,000 bottles a year -- so if your loved one asks for that, tell her it's sold out.

We spoke to the inventor of all this ambrosial stuff, whose C marks his first new release in 10 years.

Why are your scents so pricey? "The cost is a direct rela- tion to the cost we put in. Pure perfume is timely and labor intensive to produce. Only the rar- est and most precious natural ingre- dients are used -- precious jasmines from India, Egypt and Arabia, and rare woods from India. The rose in our women's perfumes blooms for only three weeks each year and works out to almost 170 petals in every single drop."

Why should someone buy it? "One should not think about cost when choosing a perfume -- one should first decide on the smell on your skin and the story it tells about you, your life, your person ality. Is it a reflection of you? When you know you love it -- only then ask the cost."

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