In an age of mass production, where brands feel compelled to churn new products to remain competitive and capture the public’s attention, it is refreshing to know that there still exists entities that believe in the true value of creating items to be cherished forever such as the bespoke creations of Parfums Henry Jacques.
Founded by Henry Jacques Cremona in 1975, the Maison is one of the few family-owned perfume houses that has managed to thrive while remaining true to its values by producing a discerning range of peerless fragrances coveted by members of high society. This includes exquisite bespoke creations concocted using only the purest natural essences sourced from exotic locales found throughout the globe and, with over 1,000 components stashed away in a secret archive, there are a myriad of possibilities of creating a scent that one can truly call their own.
In 2014, the founder decided to hand the reins of the family business to his daughter, Anne-Lise Cremona. Under her guidance, Henry Jacques would expand its reach to Southeast Asia by launching standalone boutiques in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Prestige Online chats with the visionary CEO to uncover what else the future bodes for the revered French perfume brand.
The following text has been edited for clarity and length. Images provided by Parfums Henry Jacques.
Henry Jacques was founded by my father in the 1970s. Along with my mother, Yvette, they dedicated their lives to great perfumery, and spent decades sharing this passion through the creation of bespoke perfumes for their clients.
The main vision of the brand has never changed. We wish to share with the world the unique passion, uncompromised know-how that is Haute Perfumery. When I returned to the company, however, I perceived that we could go further in that direction and decided to open a few selected boutiques to offer an international presence to the brand while maintaining our standards. It was an incredible challenge, but this move is now part to Henry Jacques’ identity, and my parents are very proud of it.
Henry Jacques means respect, excellence, style and art. Also, Henry Jacques’ perfumery is extremely human.
Today, as the CEO of this amazing company, my role is extremely broad and there is not a single part of the business in which I do not intervene. In a more general sense, however, I consider that my mission is to preserve and transmit an incredible French patrimony just like my parents have done, while also taking it a step further.
This is a very funny question because there is not a single day that feels like the previous one. I am constantly moving forward. Nevertheless, I would say that early mornings are usually dedicated to important, strategic decisions, while afternoons and evenings are often filled with long meetings and reflections on creative aspects of the brand. I also travel a lot, so I have learned to modulate my life in between planes and hotels to remain efficient, relaxed and happy.
What interests me about this industry is what it lacks. Nowadays, the perfume industry is not worthy of Great Perfumery like it once was and could be in the future. It gives me a great sense of responsibility and motivates me to keep on going, to focus on my vision, and to never compromise so that one day, we might bring Perfumery back to its rightful standards.
This is a subject that I have often discussed. The 1980s were catastrophic for perfumery as that was the time it was mass produced and heavily marketed. This was largely encouraged by the drastic increase in scale among luxury groups. However, the trends over the past few years show a return to a perfumery in a more noble and traditional form – and I like to think we had a role in that development. Therefore, many of the brands who were responsible for the industry’s decline are now striving to get back to excellence — but in my honest opinion, will struggle to do so.
Sensitive, willing to learn and has a passion for beauty. They also love style and elegance; it takes the time to do these things right.
An impossible question! There are too many incredible fragrances I could not live without. I should nevertheless mention, personal bespoke perfumes aside, Jeannice, Rose Supreme and Mrs. Y – the latter is also part of the Toupies Collection and has truly allowed me to rediscover the joy in perfume making.
Tell us a bit more about the exquisite flacons found in the Les Toupies storybook collection.
The Toupies are a very special collection, probably my dearest collection these days. Rarely have we dedicated so much energy, work and discussion to a collection. Every detail put into these fragrances is spectacular and the result of our greatest artistic efforts. Of course, the flacons are works of art too and are in symbiosis with their fragrances. As you said, it is a true story, with different characters completing each other’s. We will be introducing the second chapter very soon.
The second chapter of the Toupies Collection will come soon, and the perfumes are truly outstanding… and there will surely be a third. There is so much to talk about, if you knew… Henry Jacques is full of treasures and we never do anything like the others so for sure the next couple of years will be very very interesting.