The most gorgeous perfumes you can have on your vanity.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The most gorgeous perfumes you can have on your vanity.

Henry Jacques’s Artistic Director Christophe Tollemer

Conceived as a his-and-hers set, Fanfan and Galileo form the concluding third chapter to the limited-edition Les Toupies collection from French haute parfumerie Henry Jacques. BAZAAR speaks to the Maison’s Artistic Director Christophe Tollemer to find out more about this exquisite duo. 

The Les Toupies fragrances always arrive as a pair—how is Fanfan and Galileo different from the first two couples?

I always thought that these two Toupies are more gourmand than the others, in that they evoke an enjoyment of life and the good things in it. They have their own personalities and complete the Les Toupies family wonderfully, making it a beautiful and unique collection of perfumes.

The bottles housing the perfumes are as beautiful as the scents themselves. What inspired the designs?

The inspiration came from not taking oneself too seriously and approaching the creative process with the soul of a child. I know some toys are extremely beautiful and precious, and I set out to create something that people will desire to collect, much like how they collected toys when they were young. I wanted to break out of the mould of a typical “flacon” and for the bottles to just be toys with marvellous essences inside.

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From far left: Les Toupies III Galileo, $11,210; Fanfan, $8,270, Henry Jacques

Tell us more about the design process.

There were so many steps. First, a discussion with Anne-Lise (Henry Jacques’ daughter and the brand’s CEO) and the teams, where there were lots of talking, many ideas thrown about... When the moment came, I went to my studio and drew the flacon at once. Many technical aspects had already been taken into account at this stage, such as how the bottle would fit in one’s hand, how the liquid remains, the balance of the silhouette... I’m an architect and know how to look at things, so this part wasn’t difficult.

The hardest part was the “box fight” with the technician. The first thing technicians always say is: “Not possible.” To which I always respond: “Is that so?” I never let things go, so a back-and-forth usually occurs until a solution is found. In this case, it was handmade crystal that had taken years to perfect. Even now, much of the production goes to waste because these bottles are so delicate and extremely difficult to create.

Who, in your opinion, is the perfect embodiment of the Fanfan scent?

Mostly, it was Anne-Lise who was behind the inspiration of the perfumes—I simply created flacons meant to hold a story, and left room for the rest of the team to tell that story with a scent and a character. My feeling, though, is that the Fanfan woman is one with character, a romantic who knows what she wants... Women wearing Henry Jacques have great personalities!

And your thoughts on Galileo? 

I wear it and I’m in love! When I smelled it for the first time, I had a shock; I never would have thought I’d like it so much! When I wear it, it’s like I go back in time; I feel enveloped by a veil of something indescribable. I also love to wear it as a splash in the Les Brumes bottle—I put on a lot of it!