Mumbai: Clive Christian, which claims to be world’s most expensive perfume and has been recognized as such by the Guinness Book of World Records, is looking for a toe hold in emerging markets such as India. Victoria Christian, daughter of the founder and the brand ambassador of the firm, touches upon the brand’s heritage and its niche positioning and the power of fragrance on the side lines of Mint Luxury Conference. The fragrance from the firm typically retails for £450. Edited excerpts:

Could you take us through the journey of Clive Christian and what makes it so unique?

Clive Christian is a British perfume house and has been under the guidance of Clive, who is a designer, for 15 years. We celebrated the 15th anniversary this year, but the history of the house dates back to 1872. I suppose the original special gift was from Queen Victoria herself. She gave the image of the crown to each bottle of perfume, which was a stamp of British craftsmanship. When Clive, took ownership of the house in 1999, it was his vision, his duty to revive the principle of the house that Queen Victoria patronized and to do it with no limits. And he did it without his desire to what was to become world’s most expensive perfume.

You are one of the three sisters to have joined the family business. What seduced you to fragrances?

Perfume is a very seductive tool. Such a small bottle, so invisible, yet it makes us fall in love—day by day, every time, every drop. From childhood, I had a father who was very passionate about fragrances, about luxury. As a child, I became mesmerized by the bottles in my mother’s bathroom, by the fragrances on the shelves of the stores. They were like calorie-free sweeties, I was gathering so many of them. When my father took ownership of the house, for me the seduction was already in place. It was an opportunity for me to release my passion for perfume. I am glad he allowed me to join him on the journey.

It’s a very premium brand selling in many countries. Do you plan to bring it to India?

Any opportunity for me to come back to India would be pleasurable—professionally as well as personally. This is our first step into the market and hopefully, we would find in India—the way we have found in America, Italy, Russia and Middle East—like minded partners who wish to join us in our journey to Introduce this level of luxury. I can see through the colours of the clothes of people I am meeting in the conference there’s an appetite for luxury, for celebration of life. I hope the next step into the future will be in India.

India has been an important source for perfume extracts for several fragrance companies. How does it fit into your scheme of things?

The foundation of No. 1 for Men and No. 2 for Women, world’s most expensive perfume encompassed the Indian sandalwood. This is second to none. The depth of the sandalwood’s fragrance really shaped Clive’s understanding of what really makes a very fine scent. At the heart of all the perfumes are roses and Jasmines from France, Bulgaria and Turkey. I just had a conversation with someone today who is growing jasmine in 400 acres. I think it would be nice to engage in a conversation about perhaps, this new perfume that is taking this really artisan product direct from south India. I am looking forward to continuing the conversation.

How important are the emerging markets for the company?

Countries such as China, Korea, Japan and Russia are emerging and recognizing jewellery, hand bags, watches, etc. But the world of fragrance is not really part of their accessories. It’s reserved for the their royalty and emperors and not for their personal use. These are definitely emerging markets for us and our first toe in water is in Hong Kong. It’s still very small but drop by drop it becomes irresistible.

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