The Real Knightsbridge

The Atkinsons bear has finally come out of hibernation and is now taking centre-stage in an exclusive launch at Harrods. The famous Atkinsons bear has represented this 200-year-old perfume maker since their humble beginnings in 1799. And he certainly looks good for his age.

The story goes that James, an enterprising young man from Cumberland, set off on a journey to London with his pockets full of recipes for the most marvelous scents. With him he carried a sizable quantity of rose-scented bear balm, which quickly became in high demand at the store he opened on 44 Gerrard Street.

Brazen about their “perfume snobbery”, Atkinsons make no bones about their fragrance being peculiarly English scents for dandies and eccentrics. They have a long list of former devotees including Beau Brummel, Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, Admiral Nelson, Lady Hamilton, Price Tomasi Di Lampedusa, Queen Margherita di Savoia and the Tsarina of Russia — to name but a few.

The brand has re-launched this year with The Legendary Collection, The Emblematic Collection and The Home Collection, which are all available at Harrods in Knightsbridge. The collections include unconventionally powerful scents that pay homage to fragrances from the Atkinsons vault — like 24 Old Bond Street, named after the fabled address, with its heady mix of juniper, rose and black tea and notes of smoky, oak casked whisky (100ml, £80.00).

The Legendary Collection (100ml, £95.00) includes timeless classics like The British Bouquet, to be worn like the finest suit of bespoke tailoring; The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet, carrying the charm of Lawrence of Arabia and the comfort of a Chesterfield; The Nuptial Bouquet, a contemporary interpretation of Queen Victoria’s bridal boutique; and Fashion Decree, a luxurious fragrance that once seduced the most dazzling fashionistas of the late 19th century.

Atkinsons is a brand so old that you expect it to be shrouded in mystery. It doesn’t disappoint. “True style,” as Beau Brummel once said, “never goes out of fashion. You simply cannot keep a good bear down.”

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Atkinsons Bear

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