Fragrance connoisseur Henry Cremona wandered the globe nearly half a century ago in pursuit of natural ingredients for what would become Parfums Henry Jacques. For decades, his haute French parfumerie crafted bespoke fragrances upon request for clientele with a discerning nose. Now, following its recent expansion into retail under the direction of Henry’s daughter, global CEO Anne-Lise Cremona, the independent brand is introducing Americans to the parfumerie with a new boutique in Beverly Hills. Nestled on the cobblestone courtyard of Two Rodeo, the Henry Jacques jewel box offers traditionally handmade unisex perfumes derived from the brand’s library of almost 3,000 in-house creations.
From 1975 to 2010, the brand focused on creating perfumes for private clients. “When I joined the brand in 2010, the challenge was to translate this bespoke experience into an exclusive retail experience,” says Anne-Lise Cremona. “The exercise was extremely delicate and took several years, as we wanted to write a unique story in the perfume industry.” She is eager to attract a younger clientele as well, one that understands the value and uniqueness of what they offer. “Like an experienced couturier who masters its craft, we have this rare gift of being able to materialize perfumes that have a strong identity that aren’t trendy,” says Cremona.
Designed by French interior designer Christophe Tollemer to resemble a classic 19th-century French apartment, the interior’s old oak walls, chevron flooring and matte gold ceiling with a Porta Romana Bianca chandelier lead to an illuminated Corian perfume womb housing hand-blown crystal flacons of the brand’s 50 Les Classiques fragrances. “Our ingredients come from every corner of the earth,” explains Cremona. “The variety of plants and climates offer us an infinite amount of choices—we work with 1,200 ingredients in the lab. The South of France and the Mediterranean region offer a wonderful playground for perfumers with a wide variety of scents that we, of course, use in our creations.” So, does Cremona have a favorite fragrance? “I like to compose my perfume collection as a wardrobe that I wear depending on my moods, the season or the occasion,” she explains. “I travel with six perfumes, including Mrs. Y, Rose Supreme, Temporaline and my bespoke perfume, of course.” But, she cautions, the fragrances aren’t meant to be mixed. “All of our perfumes are complete as they are. They hold a delicate and perfect balance.”