You are in London. You are walking by Harrods. You see a sign that says: The World’s Most Expensive Perfume. Of course, you are going to pop in and have a look. Even if it’s clearly reserved for the 1%. Even if you have no hope at any point at least in this lifetime for bringing it home to your vanity and dashing off a quick spritz before setting out for dinner. Even if there’s only one single bottle in existence and the waiting list is already a mile long, populated by the Kim Kardashians and Paris Hiltons of the world.
Unfortunately, Harrods’ brand new No. 1 Passant Guardant doesn’t tick off on most of these fronts.
First, at a cool $228,580 for 30ml, it’s too wallet-unfriendly even for the 1%. Try the .0000000001% instead, a world I imagine populated by Arab sheikhs and Russian oligarchs. Nobody in my immediate circle, then.
Then, there is the whole Emperor’s new robes situation – because when Harrods commissioned British perfumer Clive Christian to create a new fragrance bottle for the opening of its Salon du Parfum, they forgot about the “fragrance” part of the equation. The bottle is indeed glorious (though a bit too flashy for my taste): sparkling crystal wrapped in 24 carat gold lattice work and decked with 2,000 handset diamonds. But somewhere in the whole decorative homage to Queen Victoria, complete with the signature crown shaped top and a lion logo that includes two yellow and a rare pink diamond, the fragrance has fallen by the wayside.
Because… wait for it… this is just the same old Clive Christian No. 1 poured into the sparkly bottle. There are no especially rare ingredients here. No powdered unicorn wings, no fairy dust, no panther poop. Just the oriental-ambery mix of Egyptian Jasmine, Tahitian Vanilla, Rose de Mai and Indian sandalwood blended with citrus notes and amber woods that has been around for 15 years.
Not a bad blend if you like that kind of heavy, Victorian era aesthetic but nothing exceptional either. I wouldn’t buy this juice for the “normal” selling price of $2,350. Or even $450 for the non-limited-edition, non-sparkly, non-“special” version. And I am definitely NOT shelling out $228,580 for one bling-y bottle.