A tribute to Oscar Wilde: Edward Bodenham's take on the latest Floris fragrance

A tribute to Oscar Wilde: Edward Bodenham's take on the latest Floris fragrance

Floris's latest fragrance pays homage to Oscar Wilde

Edward Bodenham

Edward Bodenham; 9th generation family member, explains the inspiration behind the latest fragrance, Wilde.

‘It was wonderful to revisit the original Malmaison scent from our archives, a scent close to my father’s heart and one that has gained many followers over the years since its release in the 1800s’

Edward Bodenham

A perfume bottle

How does 'Wilde' play to Floris's original notes, and what makes 'Wilde' a contemporary scent, whilst playing tribute to the original Malmaison scent?

For the top notes, we used bergamot – one of the traditional signature notes dating back to the early days of Floris, to evoke the elegance of the time. While reading Oscar Wilde’s collection of poems, the Perfumery team was captivated by the poem “Impression de Voyage”, with the powerful Mediterranean imagery, which resonated with the Floris heritage. This is when we decided we wanted to include this note, which would not have existed in Oscar Wilde’s days. Being an ingredient of modern perfumery, it brings a contemporary interpretation to the fragrance.

The heart note of Carnation is where the main inspiration comes from. It nods to the original Malmaison fragrance from the 1800s that Oscar Wilde used to wear. He used to spray the fragrance to scent match the green carnation he was wearing in his lapel. Whilst we still hold a version of the original fragrance in our Ledger series, the purpose of ‘Wilde’ was to modernise the note by adding a twist of earthy, spicy, ginger.

The smooth base of the fragrance is delicately supporting the heart & top notes. We have chosen soft sandalwood to hint at the elegance and tension of the wooden stage of St James’s Theatre, where Oscar Wilde plays were performed for decades. Olibanum & benzoin bring warmth, reflecting the passion that Oscar Wilde was investing in the many different facets of his life.

How would you suggest 'Wilde' be worn, is it for an evening of drinks and the theatre in London, or a Summer holiday in the Mediterranean ?

'Wilde' is a versatile fragrance. Whilst it can be used as a sophisticated, everyday scent, it would also be very fitting for special occasions. The refreshing citrus and marine top notes make it perfect to wear in the summer, whilst the addition of spicy facets in the heart and rich, warm base notes means that the fragrance is ideal for the colder months.

'Wilde' takes inspiration from the love affair between Oscar Wilde and Sir Alfred Douglas, how is this manifested in this fragrance creation?

The fragrance is inspired by the man himself, Oscar Wilde. His heritage spans across different art forms, including literature, poetry and theatre.

Oscar Wilde was also an icon of British style who remained informed about current affairs and was a key figure in the local community. 'Wilde' is a complex fragrance that takes inspiration from the complexity of the man himself, whilst offering a modern perspective on traditional notes of the past. We would like to imagine that Oscar Wilde’s love story would have been celebrated in today’s age.

Wilde is formulated as an Eau de Parfum. What was your thought process behind the concentration?

'Wilde' was thought of as an addition to our Private Series. We take pride in artfully composing each of these eau de parfums inspired by different personalities, emotions, and places. This collection allows us to experiment with innovative ideas, with the highest levels and quality of fragrance ingredients, as contained within an eau de parfum.

Citrus, Amber



Bergamot | Marine | Citrus Blossom


Dianthus | Ginger | White Jasmine


Sandalwood | Olibanum | Benzoin