Cover Christophe Tollemer, creative director of Henry Jacques

Creative director Christophe Tollemer takes us through the making of this new scentsation

The art of scents and romance is luxury in its most intimate form. Celebrating this is the new crown jewel of the Henry Jacques Masterpieces series: the Renaissance Collection. Though originally a bespoke fragrance atelier, the creations of this haute parfumerie soon grew too divine not to share. With a renewed passion for romance, this newly released and aptly named Renaissance Collection is the ultimate revival of classicism in the form of fragrance.

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True Renaissance 

The beauty of this collection can be credited to Henry Jacques’ creative director, Christophe Tollemer. A true devotee of classicism, his previous architectural accolades include designing for the Royal Palace of Versailles, the palace well-known as the embodiment of classical architecture. Though Tollemer has since channelled his passion for beauty into perfumery, he insists that the vast architectural industry and the intimate fragrance field have more in common than one might think.

“Both industries honour splendour from the past and make that past 100 per cent relevant today,” says Tollemer. “Whether it is Versailles or Henry Jacques, they are the same level in my head. Their rare and precious heritages deserve the same respect.”

Intimacy and luxury are refining aspects of perfumery, and Tollemer was sure to keep this in mind when designing the Renaissance Collection. “Henry Jacques is one-of-a-kind in this industry because it is human, intimate and a cherished symbol of savoir-faire.”

Referencing Versailles and Henry Jacques, his deep love for these projects radiates. “I am so proud to have taken part in two of the most delicate French stories.”

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Delicate and opulent, the Renaissance perfumes are curated with the world’s most precious essences, such as the pure oils of Iris and Dehen El Oudh. An exquisite experience for all the senses, these perfumes are also a heavenly sight to behold. The scents are housed in high-jewellery crystal flacons designed by Tollemer himself and hand-crafted by expert Parisian goldsmiths. Inspired by the painted dresses of Italian artist Bronzino, femininity and grace shine through the collection.

For Tollemer, it was of utmost importance that light would be able to illuminate the flacon’s glass, gold and gems from within. “The minimal decor of the flacons serve to highlight the rich colour of our essences,” he says.

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However, don’t mistake the subtle swirls for mundanity—rest assured, grandeur is in no short supply. “We specially chose each flacon’s gems according to the colour of the essences, which took a very long time,” explains Tollemer. This adds yet another layer of customised splendour to the perfumes. “For instance, we specifically paired Primavera with green peridot—no other gem was so coherent with this perfume’s personality!”

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Such a commitment to intimate opulence is both inherent and learned. In his days as an architect, Tollemer retained from his former mentor, Christian Weltz, the importance of invoking comfort with one’s craft. In the same way architectural decor is made to live in, the intimacy of the Renaissance perfumes make them homes of the heart. “I apply this philosophy to all of Henry Jacques’ boutiques and unique flacons,” says Tollemer. “Our boutiques are havens to live in and our perfumes are simply alive.”

Undoubtedly, every exquisite facet of the Renaissance Collection, from its precious scents to its lattices of gems and gold, make them fragrances to live in—making them fragrances we call home.

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