(Written by Toby Rose)
Before Harry Potter there was Bond. While the young wizard may be giving 007 a run for his money at the box office, in comparison he is most certainly wet behind the ears.
For this year, the man with the Golden Gun celebrates his 50th year on the big screen and almost as long as a movie legend.
This milestone in cinema history is being celebrated in Jermyn Street, the stamping ground of Bond creator, Ian Fleming. This Up Town corner of St James`s, which inspired this most British of movie icons, can be seen worn or splashed on by countless Bonds striding the screen.
Now the purveyors on this most sophisticated of streets are coming together to mark a very special 50th birthday.
Names steeped in Bond mythology join forces to celebrate their part in the Bond story. Visitors will get a chance to share in the Bond backstory. Jermyn Street is at the ready to bring to the fore its Bond heritage from shirts to eau de cologne.
Fleming had his office off Jermyn Street, home to outfitters which just ooze the style of the British gentleman. The only thing missing is an Aston Martin showroom. This is the home of the wardrobe that supplied the world`s most sophisticated spy. From this smartest of streets came cologne from Floris and shirts from Turnball and Asser, to name just a pair of high-class names with a Bond link.
And the Bond connection lives on. Though much has been made of the makeover provided by Daniel Craig the current Bond joins Bonds from Connery onwards by having his shirts crafted by Turnball and Asser. Here there are men of quality and style adorning the walls.
This Hall of Fame is a truly eye-opening insight into a world of the dapper. Many of the photos of past clients are not only signed, but also inscribed with a kind thought from a satisfied customer. And what a customer list! The famous faces looking out are testimony to the quality and discretion of this quintessentially English Jermyn Street. Quintessentially Bond. Indeed big names, which figure large on the wall of fame, include many legends of the big screen.
After looking at the gallery of the great on the walls, there is something very special in seeing the envelopes bearing the names of Bonds past and present, this is an extra special moment. It is an insight accorded to only the most trusted clients. So it was a great honour to see at first hand the vital statistics of a man with a license to kill.
The signature of Liberace at Turnball & Asser
The names linked with the Bond legend are joining forces to mark the fifty years since the smartest of spies. Also closely linked to the mystique of Bond are Floris, who provided the great smell of OO7 with their blend, No 89. And the creation comes from their historic shop, which has the air of a film set. So quaint and you sense the craftsmanship at work.
But the true magic is revealed to a chosen few who get to enter the back room where bespoke fragrances are created. In this room you get to sniff tapers of ingredients, which are mixed to create a personal scent. A sanctum sanctorum for the discerning and might be better known as the scented sanctorum.
The glass cases lined with bottles of the most exotic and rarefied smells are all tools for the alchemy that goes into the creation of each special scent. This most fashionable of chemistry sets could almost mark the cross over point with young Harry Potter. Though, needless to say, Floris would never consider waving a crow`s foot or snake`s tongue under a client`s nose. At the same time you know you are in the presence of magic.
So Bond is definitely fifty years young. A symbol of never outmoded style.
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