Richard Mille: Henry Jacques infusing romanticism in haute parfumerie

Henry Jacques takes the art of haute parfumerie to romantic new heights with Les Toupies

Rarity, exclusivity and refinement. The qualities that define Henry Jacques don’t stop at its fragrances, each a singular creation borne out of the most exquisite natural ingredients. In the case of its Les Exceptions collection, considered the quintessence of the Maison’s art of great perfumery, even the flacons have been painstakingly designed to match the beauty of the precious fragrances within.

Each “noble container” is conceived, designed and crafted individually, in parallel with the perfume it will contain. The complex artistry of matching crystal and fragrances has become intrinsic to Henry Jacques’s work, and adds a sublime emotional dimension to the experience of enjoying great perfume. And nowhere does this come to life more than in Les Toupies, or The Spinning Tops.

The first perfumes to be conceived and developed as complementary pairs, Les Toupies capture happy childhood memories in whimsical crystal flacons shaped like spinning tops. Artistic director Christophe Tollemer spent more than three years perfecting every detail, ensuring that the flacons would be multifaceted yet symmetrical, with no central point and yet possessing a stable axis, so that they can safely hold the most precious nectars.

The result is a story told, for now, in three parts. It begins with Mr H & Mrs Y, the first pair of flacons created to match a pair of precious fragrances. Epitomising French elegance, the extraordinary crystal creations “suggest the rhythm of an endless waltz, a carousel and its melody, in a park, at dusk”. The “Man” flacon is slightly larger than the “Woman”, with each containing its own exclusive fragrance – a more assertive style with cedar leaf, sandalwood and tobacco for men, and a more delicate style with ylang-ylang, rose and jasmine for women.

Next are No.16 and No.81, representing a new creative period for Henry Jacques. The inventive and avant-garde pair are truly modern perfumes, “a creative journey through less- travelled landscapes of the olfactory world” with complex blends of floral, citrus, smoky and spicy notes. The crystal flacons likewise defy convention with strong angles and clean lines juxtaposing each other in perfect three-dimensional symmetry and creating an almost futuristic silhouette.

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At last, we meet Fanfan & Galileo, the most curved and rounded of the Toupies. At once exuberant and intimate, the third couple matches a manly yet tender European scent with a soft, touching fragrance with a rare intensity. Galileo, the more masculine of the two, features notes of lavender, mandarin, patchouli, oak moss and amber while Fanfan weaves together saffron, lavender, sandalwood, rose and leather.

All told, Les Toupies is a story of joy, love and great romances that can be held in one’s hands and enjoyed whenever and wherever the mood strikes. And, according to Henry Jacques, this is just its beginning.

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