With Indigo Perfumery’s recent post on Floris and a bit of its illustrious history, it is obvious that Floris’ pedigree is both timeless and impeccable. But a company cannot rest on its laurels in today’s always changing, scented world.
It is evident that this ninth generation of the Floris family is passionate about perfume and is dedicated to craftsmanship and quality. Their understated and sophisticated style will continue to be reflected in the evolution of their 2015 launches. Stay tuned…
Indigo recently had the opportunity to chat with the new Managing Director of Floris, Jon Graham, one of the key members of the management team working directly with Edward Bodenham, the Floris Chairman.
Would you please tell us a little about your background – what did you study and what path led you to what you’re doing now?
I have worked in retail and wholesale for over 25 years working primarily with British Heritage brands and over 10 years in the Beauty industry. I have worked in all the major overseas markets and have very little interest in working for the cookie-cutter brands and retailers we see populating the global high street. I have always had a keen interest in brands with soul and personality – brands like Floris – steeped in history and romance – hold particular interest for me.
Why did you agree to take on your new role at Floris?
The lure of fragrance and scent has always had great appeal. Dealing in emotion – sparking memories. It’s an incredibly powerful and exciting medium. The challenge of working in a Family business (this business is owned by the founding family who created Floris over 285 years ago) is also a great attraction and having spoken to the Chairman and the family we all shared the same vision for the brand. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with a brand with an authentic heritage, a truly proud London brand, only perfumers to HRH The Queen, a library of fragrances and history that is second-to-none. Being entrusted to manage the business is a great honour. It was an easy decision to make!
How do you plan to strike a balance between the success Floris has had for generations and innovations for today’s market?
It’s a very careful balance. We will never be a “path-finder brand” it’s not part of our DNA. We have a very loyal following – the brand is held in very high regard and with great affection and we recognize this – but we also have to generate the new Floris history – being mindful of the past – but looking to the future. Seduce, excite and delight the Floris customer of the future.
Everything we do will be sympathetically considered, from our products, our packaging, to the tone of voice we use, the social media we generate. To stand still and rely on former glories in todays’ fierce market-place would be fool-hardy. I am working with the 8th & 9th generation family members to impart centuries of fragrance knowledge and craftsmanship, through our passion and excitement for fragrance and perfumes, to the new generations of Floris devotees.
What is your favorite fragrance in the line?
Too difficult to choose just the one! I wear fragrance dependent on my mood, the season, the occasion, who I want to impress!
My top 3; Elite, Special 127, Leather Oud – but I honestly wear our whole collection at various times.
How do you feel about the pressure to release new fragrances often?
Newness brings excitement and brand exposure but there shouldn’t be newness for the sake of newness. If it’s trend driven (Saffron or Oud) then we should consider it. The market is moving constantly and though we shouldn’t be led by this blindly, we should be aware of it. We need to provide the customer with the fragrances that they want – this is what ultimately drives our new fragrance development. We have a relatively small number of fragrances in our collection but a huge library of historical fragrances housed in our archives – we need to mine these and blend in the new developments in the fragrance market to create collections that inspire and excite.
What are your plans for the future of Floris?
First and foremost our legacy must be to secure the brand and the business for the next generation of family members. The brand has been around for 285 years which is testament to its strength and an indication of how highly regarded it is by the customer. We will steer the business carefully through the sea of brands and retailers we see through our London window and introduce the brand to the new Floris customer. We want to share our secrets and our passion for fragrance. We’re a hidden gem. A secret. We will start to whisper our secret just a little bit louder.