Perfume Reviews

Reviews of No. 89 by Floris

Total Reviews: 36
I'm having a little trouble characterising this as a cologne. I tend to find that Floris, as with Trumpers, Truefitt and the other prominent English requisite companies, make things in a house style with definite commonalities among the various lines. This, though, I see no real way of comparing with something like, say, Elite.

89 has a musky, dusty rose and nutmeg opening with very brief citrus. There is a progression of sorts but not a "wide" kind of transition, if that makes sense. It's more the kind of fragrance where it's good enough to move through the gears but where the envelope is rather narrow. For that reason, it comes over as rather quiet on my skin and without the performance benefits of something such as Pour Monsieur, which should be an obvious comparison via the nutmeg. Some woods join the mix later on but the rose and nutmeg never depart.

If that all makes it sound like I'm not keen - not a bit of it. 89 is very likeable, not to mention 007-approved, and masculine enough to deserve that designation although I don't see why women shouldn't also enjoy it. It's not full of colour but rather, in my experience, a staid and satisfying scent of good quality. And if you don't fancy paying retail, there are currently some great deals on Ebay and the like. I do wonder, though, how it would win a head-to-head against any of my existing wardrobe for most purposes.
17th April, 2018
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
I have been a pushover for Floris ever since I entered their premises for the first time, which was long, long ago (Jimmy had just handed the gavel to Maggie that very year….). They have some really good scents but more than that, they have character and stamina and charm. Well-made and… well, very British. Now, of course, Floris is pushing boundaries and making a new heritage for themselves; back then, they were just as pleased as Punch with the status quo. Squarely in the middle of that is No. 89. Launched in 1951, it is perfectly in sync with its time—a nod to the past, a hope for a better tomorrow and—hopefully, a return to business as usual (remember, there was still rationing in England as late as 1954). The fact that it became Ian Fleming’s favorite scent didn’t hurt….. One of the few scents that I could imagine both Anthony Eden and Anthony Armstrong-Jones wearing. And Quentin Crisp, for that matter.
Floris No. 89 has a soapy, eau de cologne/Neroli opening that smells as if you had just bathed with 4711 soap. How reassuring that must have seemed to a generation for whom simple things like soap and hot water were a luxury. Luxury? Do you want luxury? As if on cue, a luxurious note of roses and nutmeg enters the scene, reminding us that glamour is not just in the purview of the ladies. Before you can say ponce, the manly woods and grasses bring the whole thing home, safe as houses. Old school? Oh, yes. I feel a glass of port coming on even as we speak. For a younger man who wants to get his Jermyn Street rocks off, this would be just the thing. For the rest of us, this is a clean, discretely luxurious classic scent that speaks to the pinstriped spycatcher in all of us. And don’t fool yourself—he is there within us all. And he is wearing Floris No. 89.
27th September, 2016
N. 89 by Floris is a delightfully old-school “dandy” gem, quite a prototypical British soapy barbershop scent all about rose, lavender, mossy woods and citrus. It’s astonishingly uncreative, but truly impeccable to any extent. And surprisingly rich and good quality even in the current version, which smells absolutely great, round, not overly synthetic or flat as many current versions of old fragrances – or as other inferior, similarly-themed English products like Geo Trumper’s ones (Floris is quite better quality-wise for me). Bronnley’s Gentleman cologne does quite a similar job at a more affordable price, but No. 89 smells probably a bit deeper and more distinguished than that, also more rose-y and powdery. Very classy, very solid, very “gentlemanly”, a tad pedantic yet less boring than it may seem. More than pleasant all in all. British barbers’ soap at its finest.

18th February, 2016
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Love this scent. Citrus blast upfront followed by a woody/soapy lingering scent that has pretty powerful sillage but average longevity.

Really the perfect EdT to wear to the office for a well dressed gentleman who wants to make a discreet statement of elegance.

This and Santal are my favorites in the Floris lineup.
17th February, 2016
Marais Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A staid woody rose. Not quite shorn of all frivolity (q.v. VC&A pour Homme), the mood is lightened a little by a touch of sweet powder. It makes me think of a dusty, dark wood-panelled office. Ergo, it suits a mature professional. The scent lasts all day with low projection, not quite a skin scent (from 6 sprays). Along with Eau de Santal, the best of a generally uninspiring line-up. Nice but unlikely to enrapture.
11th August, 2014
No. 89 opens on a potent, retro, barbershop accord of soapy lavender, bitter petitgrain and citrus that mellows as rose and geranium well up beneath it. The heart includes bergamot and nutmeg alongside the aromatics and rose, all displayed against a background of vetiver and sweetened woods. For a time the result smells rich, in a kind of staid, punctilious manner, but the olfactory experience peaks at about 30 minutes. From that point forward the petitgrain, bergamot, and allied citrus notes retreat to leave the composition feeling progressively flatter as it goes.

Warm musk, a touch of moss, and powdery amber decorate the vetiver and sandalwood base notes. The musk interacts with labdanum in the amber blend to cast an interesting animalic shadow over the drydown, while the very last stage sees the sandalwood and vetiver lingering as a quiet, semi-sweet skin scent. Though No. 89 comes on strong, it spends most of its development in a more reserved mode. After an hour of wear the sillage and projection, while hardly weak, do not display the power hinted at in the opening. As a result, No. 89 is actually more wearable and versatile than it might otherwise have been. Versatile, wearable, and dignified, but with its staunch reserve, it doesn’t quite capture my imagination or inspire love.
21st June, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Traditional orange with bergamot and nutmeg with a geranium-flower note added in.
Top: Bergamot, Orange, Geranium, Nutmeg. Later on the nutmeg takes centre
stage in a pleasant way, to be followed by classic soapy English barbershop scent. A great classic English Gentleman's scent. Good longevity of about four to five hours.
03rd August, 2012
How I would have loved to still like it!

As someone wrote so nicely, this used to be "a continuation of soap by other means", not spectacular, but very discreet and classy. The air of subdued, refined cleanliness was perfect for my line of work.

Upon revisiting the obviously reformulated eau de toilette after a few years with high hopes all I get now is cheap hairspray, just as the_good_life commented a while ago. Luckily it has little longevity on my skin, all that is left after a few hours are some nondescript, vaguely powdery remnants. If it is the IFRA or just economy: Another one bites the dust.

08th July, 2012
Perfect daytime fragrance! Orange perks me up in the morning, nutmeg adds an edge, lavender sets stressfree mood, and already in the bus there is this soothing rosy scent which dies down with sandalwood, vetiver and cedar. In the afternoon these earthy scents ground me from days hustle and bustle.

Proper gentleman cologne without being stuffy old guys scent. Pure class!
15th June, 2012
This is the only scent I wear apart from Acqua di Parma on occasion - not that I don't love other scents, it's just that I haven't found anything else that comes close to the unique freshness of it! Quite powdery, which won't appeal to all, but I love it!
05th April, 2012
Here's a traditional man's scent: a spicy, slightly floral fougere, with some wood already evident in the opening. Santos meets Azzaro, with a little bit of Trumper's Marlborough. It has the usual anise, but it's well-buried among the other bracing aromatic herbs. Possibly a little violet as well. It hints at heavy floral darkness, as seen in Van Cleef and Arpels, but never fully heads in that direction. What's strange to me about this scent is that I recognize so many parts of it, but I'm not quite sure where to file it away mentally: with the green scents, the barbershop spice, the masculine florals, or even the sweet orientals because a bit of vanilla pokes its head out during the base notes. Breathing warm air over my test spot brings out an amazing orange-blossomy vanilla, which if it were stronger would be as interesting as Endymion, or as Caron PUH's vanilla, minus the powder. The final base notes are mostly just expensive soap, but very convincing and not feminine at all, like a hint of Richard James. Even though I don't like the middle phase so much, I'll give it a thumbs-up for its boggling, chameleon complexity, and for hiding feminine notes so harmoniously in certain places in the base. Intriguing.
15th December, 2011
drseid Show all reviews
United States
If indeed this scent has been reformulated, I can't comment on its latest iteration (as my bottle is vintage) but that said no. 89 is one of my favorites. It has an invigorating citrus opening that wakes you up and gets you ready to take on the world, and then it transitions to a fabulous masculine rose with musk and lavender notes mixed in for good measure at its base. I always wear this scent when I need a confidence boost as it just exudes class and does not smell dated despite its age. Great stuff and highly recommended. 4.5 stars out of 5 for the vintage version.
22nd August, 2011 (last edited: 28th December, 2012)
very very traditional woody aromatic scent.
very english, very conservative, old school, and a bit dated- nevertheless this is a classic fragrance for an older man.
It stands in a line with fragrances of a time where a man smelled a bit of a barbershop : soapy-sandalwood, lavender,musk , citrus etc were allowed as ingredients .If you like the older scents by Creed, Penhaligon´s,etc. you will appreciate this understated, discreet and unspectacular well done fragrance too.
I personally dislike this kind of empty and uninteresting fragrances- they are in a way unique but I miss the vital spark, the glimmer that infects me- this fragrances does not captivate my senses.By way of apology it has to be said that this fragrance does not claim to be captivating , innovative etc.- it´s a classic scent of another time but definitely outstanding in comparison to all the mud which is produced nowadays e.g. the non ending aquatic theme and cheap copies of cool water etc.
25th May, 2011
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Stocked up on this when John Lewis had a big bowlful of samples for like a month and i knew it was the aftershave of choice for 007

Even from the first drops on ur neck or wrist, you can feel and smell that 89 is Suave and sophisticated yet totally understated. Bergamot and flower flavours, the early notes are mostly dominated by the lavender and citrus smell, while moving to rose and ylang ylang.

sophisticated bottle, this defo not for daytime wear, but for a nice black-tie event or date in the evening time, wear your tux and spray this on to take on the world.

El classico
11th February, 2011
JonB Show all reviews
United States
Nice citrus on top that actually lasts quite a while on me. Once dried down, it's a nice soapy masculine rose. The rose it not so prominent that men should be deterred. More of a nice clean everyday scent. 89 seems quite versatile. Longevity is quite good. Sillage is moderate. Definite thumbs up.
18th September, 2010
This has a lovely opening of orange blossom. It develops soapy-clean and gentle spice notes. The floral notes are not heavy or too sweet; but they are also intermittent. Light musk, mossy notes, and a nutty vetiver appear. The whole thing is very genteel and civilized. In the latter stages of its dry-down it develops an unfortunate powdery aspect which doesn’t appeal to me. At times, it smells like an old make-up case (foundation powder). A bit fusty, in my opinion.
09th August, 2010
Esquire Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This may seem a bit powdery to the wearer at first but I can assure you that it is not. I may not be an expert in Fragrances but No. 89 is a rare delight, it has been rumored that Prince Charles uses No. 89 from time to time. Your female companion may love or like it but I think it is impossible to hate this fragrance.
14th May, 2010
A chalky, floral, with soft feminine flair, that smells eerily similar to vintage, powdered cosmetics.
18th April, 2010 (last edited: 18th January, 2011)
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Floris is one of the oldest extant perfume houses and they have an extensive range of fragrances for both sexes -- none of which are much good. Their main store is in Jermyn Street in London -- just walking in and out of the shops in the street is a pleasant but rather strange experience -- like being stuck in a time warp, all suede loafers, cravats and gentlemen's barbers. No. 89 is a dry manly rose and pretty much a soliflore. Floris have pretty much thrown their lot in with synthetics nowadays, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was some rose oil or absolute in here. It's cheap and very nice indeed.
04th March, 2010 (last edited: 10th March, 2010)
Very refined, classical citrus based fragrance. Very rich and flawlessly engineered.

Quite gentle, although it is able to put out some sillage – for hours and hours.

Sandalwood and slightly animalic musk are taking the lead role soon after drydown starts to shine.

This is a fragrance for those who like refined, a bit dry, festive and also distinguished casual British style. This is also for those who, for example, find Eau Savage too common or stuff like Ungaro II too hard to handle.

No. 89 is a classy, very easy to wear anywhere anytime. It’s pleasant, fairly masculine and I suppose it would make an excellent companion especially with some nice suit.
One fragrance I cannot easily be seen to be worn on some rags.

Personally I get my clothes mainly from flea-markets and down sales.
03rd March, 2009
This is a beautifully subtle production from Floris, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole journey from application ,to it's termination some ten hours later.Normally I bemoan a fragrance that has little or no evolution, but when the opening is as refined as this, I will make an exception.The drydown had the blended sharpness of the rose and ylang ylang to ensure that this never strayed into the sentimental. My initial feeling was that this might be a little stiff and formal for varied use, but I think when something has this much class, you can wear it anywhere.
11th February, 2009
Per the Floris website, the notes are different than previously listed, so I give them here:

Top notes: bergamot, lavender, neroli, nutmeg, orange, petitgrain
Heart notes: geranium, rose, ylang ylang
Base notes: cedarwood, musk, oakmoss, sandalwood, vetiver

To me, No. 89 is a gentleman’s scent with a gentle floral heart. A slight bit of spice (nutmeg), a bit of powderiness and a clean floral character. I get a fruitiness that vaguely suggests peach. A delicate woody base that I adore. I think this is very well constructed. It takes a few wearings to fully appreciate this gem, so do give it a chance to grow on you. I am glad I did!
22nd December, 2008
bokaba Show all reviews
United States
No. 89 is truly one of the best midcentury scents available. It does have that Georgian-Victorian flair of musty citrus, white flowers, rose, sandalwood, and musk. No. 89 certainly carries Floris's house citrus note in the opening, but that dries down to a beautiful rose that is enriched by spice, musk, and moss. Overall, very nice and I suggest you try it. It will not of course wow anyone because that's not what is was meant to do--it was meant to be dry, conservative, lightly floral, and lightly musky.
12th December, 2008 (last edited: 15th November, 2009)
If anyone wonders what the Floris house note is, smell no. 89. This is THE citrus house note. Nice eau de cologne. Kinda just there.
12th October, 2008
This is not a fragrance to write home about. The type of gentleman this was intended for would consider that vulgar. He's one who expects this fragrance to serve a clearly defined purpose: smell unobtrusively decent, as an English gentleman should. Fresh citrus on top for a morning perk up, settled before the Georgian door of his home snaps shut behind him. Subtle rose and soft spices for the office. Quietly stated quality, no surprises. Like the crisp white Sea Island cotton shirt by Turnbull & Asser and the pinstripe suit by Anderson & Shepherd he's wearing. From a bygone era, but nice to have around (18 September 2008)

Note: This is the kind if fragrance that lives or dies with the quality of the ingredients. Upon the last reformulation this powdery wonder has turned into oversprayed cheap deodorant or something like hairspray wars at the salon.
After the demise of Floris Sandalwood the flagship now follows and I can safely say for myself that Floris, as concerns the English fragrance tradition, is dead. Juan, your armada has sunk at last.
18th September, 2008 (last edited: 30th January, 2010)
To say that "No. 89" "reeks" of funeral parlors is unfair; it is a quiet, dignified fragrance that doesn't reek in any way. But evocative of those unhappy places? Yes, maybe. Firstly it is a quintessential 1950s scent: although I typically hate the shorthand of the decade attribution as imprecise and overly impressionistic, I find it apt here. It very much reminds me of one of my mother's perfumes of years ago. As for the embalming vibe, maybe it's on account of the scent's passive quality: this is not a sporty fragrance. Indeed, it's hard imagining anyone having the energy to pilot a nuclear speed boat or dodge bullets or fight off Russian temptresses while wearing "No. 89." The floral notes are just too quiet, and too pretty--like a spray of pink roses on a simple pine box.
17th September, 2008
To my taste this is a slightly dated scent, one that does not appeal to my taste. Not too strong but with an odd lingering note. Definitely wearable but I would agree with some of the other comments in the sense that it is more likely to suit an older clientele. I heard that Floris was going to discontinue it before long.
07th August, 2008
I can appreciate its English sensibilities overall but the nutmeg note is too off-putting for me to wear. Its strongest asset is the unfortunately, short-lived but wonderful, citrus/floral melange. The nutmeg/orris/sandalwood connection is prominent throughout the entire course.

The clearly evident, earthy-dry, floral orris note definitely conjures up images of some kind of institutional stuffiness. No. 89 seems more likely a purchase for a mature person.
21st May, 2008
zztopp Show all reviews
United States


Top: Bergamot, Orange, Geranium, Nutmeg
Middle: Orange Blossom, Rose, Jasmine, herbal notes
Base: Sandalwood, cedar, vetiver

No. 89 is Floris' flagship fragrance and the favorite of Ian Fleming, James Bond, Inspector Gadget, Kim Jong Yil and few other high profile celebrities and fictional characters. It also shares a few properties with No. (89 - 1).

No. 89 is based on a formula which is intended to represent what an english gentleman is smells like. Some say it also "reeks" of funeral parlors. I haven't been to a lot of funeral parlors, but I don't think that they would smell like No. 89, which is a grand yet understated aromatic woody floral. This is no "old man"/"dead" smell, nor is it a sombre scent. No. 89 opens with a complex citrus-floral-spicy accord which then gives way to a prominent flowery middle notes phase. However No.89 is never overly floral because of a well assimilated nutmeg note which provides a spicy kick to the mix...yes, the overall impression is still of a gentleman's rich aromatic floral fragrance, but its never overbearingly like Enya's garden.

Comparisons to Czech & Speake no. 88: No. 88 and 89 share some similarities. Infact the notes pyramid share a lot of notes. Both open with a burst of bergamot; No. 89's opening is more elaborate, but the heart notes are what sets the two apart. No. 88's luxurious and powerhouse notes of rose otto, cassie and frangipani in concert with sandalwood introduce a distinctively full-bodied accord which is missing in No. 89. Instead, no. 89 has a less potent rose note, and features an equally dynamic if less ravaging spicy-floral mix as its distinctive accord. No. 88 also has a longer march to its drydown, which richer and fuller than in No. 89 due to its richer concentration of oils (its an EDP). No. 89 has a soft woody floral drydown - I don't get a lot of vetiver or cedar, but instead there is an outlier of a sweet floral note which is kind of interesting and lends a certain powderiness to the drydown.

No. 88 and 89 do share some similarities and No. 88 was probably inspired by No. 89. If you find the rich composition of no. 88 too much to handle, try the floral-spicy concoction of no. 89; the reduced potency and the diluted rose notes alongwith the nutmeg might feel fresher and less daunting. Eitherways, No. 89 is a fine fragrance in its own right, and a true classic. I can't picture the grim reaper handing it out at anyone's "going away" party.

Rating: 8.6/10
04th November, 2007
Hmmm! I tend to agree with some reviewers that this stuff reeks of funeral parlour. The opening is nice and flowery, but then it takes on a musty, powdery "death" scent, almost like crusty gym socks or week-old underwear. Maybe that's why James Bond wears it: he's constantly involved with death and deception. So why not name it Floris No. 007?? Certainly this was Floris's biggest lapse in judgement.
25th April, 2007