A look into Henry Jacques, the perfume house befitting of royals
It is almost impossible to talk about niche, tailor-made fragrances without speaking of Henry Jacques. The renowned French perfume atelier is known for its discerning range of fragrances that is steeped in tradition and luxury—everything about this perfume house is the embodiment of that, from ingredients used in its perfumes to the intricate design of each flacon. First founded in 1975 by Henry Cremona, the atelier was established in Grasse (the home of French haute perfumery) and now based in Provence, south of France. For more than 40 years now, its list of clientele boasts many of the world's elite, including A-listers and members from royal families across the globe.
But behind every niche business is a team who is well-versed with the ever-changing demands of the current society. Three years ago, CEO and daughter of the founder Anne-Lise Cremona took over the reins of the business and launched a more commercially-driven range of perfumes, Les Classiques. Comprising of 50 fragrances in 15ml and 30ml, the range was made available in its atelier and Harrods Salon de Parfums. Most recently, Henry Jacques has expanded its parfum realm by opening its first ever standalone boutique in Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore. Perfume enthusiasts, you know where to head to this holiday season!
"Our inspiration is to recreate memories. You can't express those in words but you can with olfactory notes." – CEO of Henry Jacques, Anne-Lise Cremona
But here is a little back story on the Henry Jacques legacy—it is actually one of the few family-owned perfume houses left in the world. Priding itself on only using pure natural essences sourced from around the world, its perfumes have very little alcohol content, allowing it to last longer on the skin. The family's obsession in integrity and excellence shows in every aspect of its business, including semi- and total bespoke services where clients can have their fragrances created from scratch. “When you design something, it needs to be part of your life. So our concept is to get it right, and make it a part of our customer," says Cremona. "Perfume is the most intimate adornment—it is what people would remember of you. The art of perfume application and basking in its scent is almost like a ritual, just to find time and slow down in a fast-paced world.”
Rarity is only a norm for the atelier, evident with unique ingredients incorporated in its fragrances. Examples include Bulgarian rose, iris—commanding a price of approximately EUR155,000 per kg—and oud. The atelier uses about 35 roses from different countries, some of which can only be harvested at a specific hour of the day to retain its piquancy. "Agarwood is one of the types of ouds that we use, and it took us a good many years to find the right balance between rose and agarwood, just so that the oud would not overpower the floral notes," says Cremona.
Want to call a fragrance your own? Henry Jacques' bespoke services are your go-to. Opt to fill your choice of any 50 fragrances into your chosen crystal flacon, or create your very own exclusive scent. Each bottle of perfume is 100% handcrafted from its laboratory (from the droppers to the lids), and one bottle requires two to three hours to create, with up to 80 ingredients incorporated in the scent. After concoction, the fragrance requires a ‘sitting time’ to macerate and for its olfactory profile to build. Upon sharing your ideal fragrance base and notes with the perfumers, they will send you three samples after three months of formulation. The brand will build your perfume according to your needs, whether it requires further tweaking or the addition of other ingredients. "Some customers feel emotional when they smell something," says Cremona. "They get triggered from a particular memory—I had one costumer who was moved to tears when she had a whiff of the bespoke fragrance we created for her. And that is what we want to do. Our inspiration is to recreate memories. You can't express those in words but you can with olfactory notes."
Alongside the fragrance, you can personalize the size of your fragrance bottle and its design as well. If you prefer a range of scents instead of merely one, opt for a chest that you can store a myriad of perfumes in. In conjunction with the new store opening in Singapore, an exclusive Henry Jacques Voyage travel leather case was designed and is now available for purchase—you can store three or five 50ml perfume bottles inside its lambskin case, making it the perfect traveling must-have.
Henry Jacques is located at Unit 01-08A, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore.