by Annette Kellow

There is nothing more exquisite than entering the prestigious Fortnum and Mason store. From the two suited footmen holding candlesticks as you arrive, to the freshly made confectionary and the rows upon rows of deliciously boxed champagne- I always say nothing bad can ever happen there!

This week I was cordially invited to the launch of Xerjoff's Alexandria Imperiale perfume exclusively made for Fortnum and Mason (very tempting to say Fortnum's and Mason's but apparently that is rather frowned upon!)

Arriving at the prompt hour of 8am I was immediately ushered in by a very regal looking red suited doorman. The best part of this was that no one else was in the store and I had a clear view of the wonderland. You could hear a pin drop whilst there was a sense of magic in the stillness (and also the temptation to run around and go on a massive shopping spree).

I went up to the perfume floor to be greeted by the brand ambassador Costas, who looked and notably, smelt divine. He instantly took me on a mini-tour of the Xerjoff brand.
Alexandria Imperiale is a couture perfume created by Sergio Momo which has beautiful hints of rose, lavander and cardamom. It comes from the Xerjoff brand which Sergio founded 10 years ago.

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Alexandra Imperiale comes from the Oud Stars collection which is created with distinguished distillations and pure Oud from the plantations of Laos.

The extensive research and limited production of Oud Stars has been developed with the firm intention of creating a special luxurious creative collection, of this perfume emulates in abundance.

I also love that is quite a glamorous scent and Costa informed me the layering technique is often used with Xerjoff to create a profound long lasting essence.
Otherwise known as 'Fragrance cocktailing' it doesn't mean to start spritzing all your leftover perfumes on (as I imagined a new use for all my old ones that I'd chucked in the bottom of my drawer!) but creating a balanced fresh scent, which Costa is highly trained in.

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And please can we just talk about the bottle! Encasing a fusion of nature, passion and artistry, the gold leaf style sweeping lid and beautiful burgundy bottle give it the allure of a jewel amongst treasure.

After a little layering, it was time for some feasting. Fortnum and Mason laid out the most beautiful spread including fruit granola, pain au chocolate, hot cross buns, juices and coffee which of course I heartily indulged in. I can see why Fortnums food department has been raved about since 1738 and rumour has it even the Royal family are fans.

I couldn't resist trying it all and when Costa noticed me nibbling he said, 'Darling your having so much fun eating, if I ate that much I would have to wear two pairs of Spanx!'

I probably should have listened to him but at least I was wafting with delicious Xerjoff perfume- so I suppose all was not lost.