Wild about London: A Tour of Oscar Wilde's London

Wild about London: A tour of Oscar Wilde's London

Oscar Wilde's favourite haunts in London

Oscar Wilde is synonymous with London, he may have been born in Ireland, but his spiritual home was London, culturally the epicenter of the world, this is where Oscar Wilde’s identity was born and came to life in full force. In an era of Victorian repression, Oscar Wilde was at odds with some of the now outdated social norms of the day and eventually this would lead to his eventual downfall and exile from the very place that elevated him to societal stardom.

Flamboyance personified, his larger-than-life character, a towering dandy, at once witty and profound, dapper and elegant, he lived in the once bohemian artistic quarter of Chelsea, on Tite Street. Dressing in the finest tailored clothing, leaving the house in immaculate attire, a green carnation firmly placed in his lapel and a top hat adding extra dimension to his grand figure.

London was Oscar Wilde’s playground and one of his favourite haunts was Floris, stopping by the boutique to discuss current events. His favourite scent was Malmaison Encore, highlighting the spicy green carnation that Oscar Wilde was so fond of.

Making his way from his bohemian abode in Chelsea, now a very wealthy part of London, Chelsea in the 19 th century was a more varied affair, home to an array of artists, writers and politicians.

34 Tite Street, Chelsea

His residential home in London, Oscar Wilde lived here while he wrote his arguably most famous works, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ and ‘An Ideal Husband’.


‘Liberty is the chosen resort of the artistic shopper,’ Wilde once said of his favourite department store. The ultimate dandy was such a fan that he promoted it on his 18-month tour of America.

Hatchards, Piccadilly

Hatchards is the Queen’s official book supplier, and it’s served all manner of bookworms, including Wilde, since 1797.

Café Royal

He held court in the opulent Grill Room of the Café Royal (now the Oscar Wilde Lounge within the modern Café Royal Hotel that wraps around it). The extravagant décor matching his eccentric personality. A renowned hub for intellectuals and artists of the time. He was a firm fixture here at one of London’s most vibrant social scenes during the late 19 th century.

Savoy Hotel

His literary prowess often drew him to the Savoy Hotel, where he would spend hours in animated discussions, surrounded by fellow literati. The Savoy became a symbol of his sophistication and love for the finer things in life.

Theatre Royal, Haymarket

‘An Ideal Husband’ premiered here the year that Wilde was arrested. It was a rip-roaring success, but with the ensuing scandal, Wilde’s name was removed from the play.

Berkeley Hotel

On the east corner of Piccadilly, once upon a time stood the Berkeley Hotel that Oscar and Bosie would regularly visit.

Old Bond Street

Oscar’s hat shop ‘Scott’s the hatter’ was situated here, alongside a confectionery shop, Stewart’s that he would regularly visit.

Hyde Park

Wilde's wanderings would sometimes lead him to the picturesque Hyde Park, where he found solace amidst nature's beauty. Here, he would reflect on life's complexities, drawing inspiration for his works.

As Wilde navigated the cobblestone streets and embraced the city's pulse, he left an indelible mark on London. His regular haunts not only bore witness to his extravagant lifestyle but also served as stages for the unfolding drama of his life – a life that continues to captivate and inspire to this day.

To celebrate this literary marvel, Floris have created a scent that distils Wilde’s character into a fragrance that imitates his magnetic aura. Fiery notes of ginger, are balanced with a carnation heart, anchored by a frankincense and sandalwood base.

Citrus, Amber



Bergamot | Marine | Citrus Blossom


Dianthus | Ginger | White Jasmine


Sandalwood | Olibanum | Benzoin

Wilde’s personal affection, fascination and knowledge of fragrance is illustrated in the excerpt from his famous novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

“And so he would now study perfumes, and the secrets of their manufacture, distilling heavily-scented oils, and burning odorous gums from the East. He saw that there was no mood of the mind that had not its counterpart in the sensuous life, and set himself to discover their true relations, wondering what there was in frankincense that made one mystical, and in ambergris that stirred one’s passions, and in violets that woke the memory of dead romances, and in musk that troubled the brain, and in champak that stained the imagination;

and seeking often to elaborate a real psychology of perfumes, and to estimate the several influences of sweet-smelling roots, and scented pollen-laden flower, of aromatic balms, and of dark and fragrant woods, of spikenard that sickens, of hovenia that makes men mad, and of aloes that are said to be able to expel melancholy from the soul.”

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

For over 290 years, Floris, a distinguished British family of perfumers, has been an enduring presence at the heart of Jermyn Street. As custodians of perfumery expertise in London, we take pride in our heritage and commitment to excellence. Step into the enchanting world that unfolds within the walls of 89 Jermyn Street, where the artistry of fragrance comes alive. We welcome you to explore the timeless allure of our creations.

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