As we celebrate the day of love all around the world, we revisit the notion of roses and how this floral symbol has become synonymous with the epitome of romance. Cultivating the scent of this bloom,haute perfumer Henry Jacques transforms roses and other precious ingredients into the fragrances of our dreams
Rare, complex, harmonious – qualities that define not only the world’s most prized natural ingredients but also the multilayered scents created by the artists at Henry Jacques. The French haute parfumerie house has been dedicated to crafting exquisite fragrances for almost half a century at its atelier in the heart of Provence, France.
At the centre of the atelier stands the spectacular Henry Jacques perfume organ, a veritable treasure trove of more than a thousand natural and floral components. Extracts of velvety rose, intoxicating tuberose, sunny lavender, sumptuous jasmine, sensual musk and many more exclusive ingredients are collected from all corners of the world and transformed into essential oils and natural absolutes.
From there, the perfumers make their selection as if choosing paints from a palette. Each Henry Jacques creation can contain up to 250 different components, with each molecule interacting, changing and harmonising with the others until a perfect balance of complexity, personality and longevity is achieved.
Among its many unique natural ingredients, the Maison has cultivated a special relationship with what is widely considered the most prized of them all: the rose. The regal and highly valued flower, which symbolises beauty and love, comes in a range of varieties and each with its own olfactory quality.
At Henry Jacques, an enduring pursuit of excellence has helped to preserve and celebrate the finest species of roses. These include Rose de Mai, Turkish Rose and Bulgarian Rose, all of which serve to stir emotions while lending a delicate balance to other high-quality natural woods, ambers, musks and spices in its perfumes.
The unequalled and diverse richness of these roses, whose scent is often considered therapeutic, is so compelling that clients have been known to collect dozens of the Maison’s rose perfume blends.
Nothing less than Henry Jacques’ “pride and joy”, the rose motif can be found most prominently in its limited-edition Couture Collection housed in 14 lovingly handcrafted crystal flacons akin to an haute couture gown. The iconic creations include the Rose Supreme essence that uses Rose Damascena and Lily of the Valley as opening notes and comes in the Ruby Rose flacon, and the Quintelline essence with Rose de Mai as one of the ingredients found in its heart notes that come in the Jardin des Roses flacon.
The artisans at Henry Jacques, however, are not concerned with fad or fashion. Instead, they believe a great perfume derives from a meeting of memory and the senses, an alchemy of colours, textures and ideas that come together to express a feeling or character that’s unique and personal. To do so requires delicacy, discernment, passion and great sacrifice – and a know-how that is steeped in tradition while continually being held to ever-higher standards.