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How a French Perfumer Distilled a Rebellious Edge Into Its Fragrances

By Renée Batchelor

Henry Jacques The new Les Brumes de Henry Jacques has a special dispenser top that allows it to be applied in two ways — as a splash or a spray.

Parfums Henry Jacques is known for both its exquisite, off-the-shelf fragrances under collections like Les Classiques and Les Toupies, as well as for its one-of-a-kind bespoke creations. Its newest launch, Les Brumes de HJ, moves away from the house’s style of essences that are designed to be dabbed on the skin and into a customisable fragrance that can either be splashed or sprayed on. The 20 scents — expressions of the Les Classiques range — offer a more casual way of enjoying fragrance. Anne-Lise Cremona, the CEO of Parfums Henry Jacques explains the nature of the fragrance to us. “It took us two years to create ‘Les Brumes de HJ’, which are, in our opinion, a little revolution. The Brumes are neither Eau de Toilettes nor Eau de Parfums, but our very personal version on multiple aspects,” says Cremona. 

Each flaçon, created by the maison’s artistic director Christophe Tollemer, also has a moveable top (dispenser) that allows you to switch effortlessly between a spray and a splash, so you can either apply it directly onto the skin or release a mist that settles on your clothes or hair. “In ‘Splash Mode’ you perfume yourself in the manner of a cologne, pouring fragrance in the palm of your hand — this is very fresh and vintage,” says Cremona. Meanwhile, the Les Brumes spray version is a ‘perfect mist’ that lends its name to the creation — which translated from the French means “mists”. “We worked hard so that the cloud of perfume was just the right, size and density,” says Cremona. The result is a dual dispenser that allows you to attain a sensual or soft effect, depending on the application method. “This flaçon is a little revolution in itself. The quality is incredible, you can feel it as soon as you have it [in] your hand, this is not just another spray,” says Cremona. She explains how it comes with a glass instead of a plastic top, and that it has a special closing system that makes it pleasant to manipulate while also fully sealing in the fragrance. Each perfume’s name is also engraved on a gold ring. “It is just a level of detail and refinement that does not exist anymore,” says Cremona. 

The idea behind Les Brumes was to give options to the Henry Jacques customer. “We love to wear a lighter version of our essences — it is part of our lifestyle to use different perfumes according to the moods and seasons,” says Cremona. This led to the creation of a spray perfume that preserves the renowned house’s know-how while bringing on a new innovation with a wholly unique recipe. The versatility of Les Brumes also means that it can be used in myriad ways. If you want to scent an area with a heavier dose, then the splash method works. If you hanker after a light diffusion on your clothes, then the spray is a better option. However, Cremona is clear that these scents cannot be compared to the effect of the brand’s Les Classiques since they have their own trail and olfactive dynamics. “Even if they are resolutely lighter, they stay incredibly intense and have all the quality of a great perfume,” says Cremona. 

Currently, Les Brumes de HJ comes in a selection of 20 fragrances of the 50 scents from the Les Classiques range. “The selection was a blend of the family’s current favourite, the clients’ favourites and those that we thought worked particularly well in Brumes. We wish to ultimately have the 50 Classiques in Brumes, but this is a huge undertaking and will take time,” says Cremona. “Our intention with Les Brumes was to preserve each Classiques’s personality, while transforming them into something new. The Brumes formula brings something special to our creations— a new angle that amazed our whole team,” says Cremona. Thus far most of the brand’s fans have fallen in love with Les Brumes while still appreciating Les Classiques. “This makes us very happy because that is what the Henry Jacques lifestyle is about. We basically cannot wait to launch the 30 others!” says Cremona.