Joy To Jovoy
After a long transcontinental flight to Paris yesterday, we had a few priorities once we deplaned: a long luxurious bath with face mask; a stop at Monoprix to pick up a few pharmacie essentials; and Jovoy, the popular fragrance boutique in the First Arrondissement. François Hénin’s small concept shop opened almost a year ago with an in-house line, a choice selection of niche scents from other brands, and a simple idea in mind: to offer “the exact opposite of what’s offered in regular perfumery.” That concept starts from the second you walk into the space on Rue Danielle Casanova: Jovoy’s new Ambre Premier is wafted onto the street, but you can’t smell it inside so as not to disturb the nose’s acute ability to register different notes. “We have customers smell the caps only,” Hénin explains of the unpolished glass toppers on every eau in the building, which allow you to take in the “secret” of a fragrance without the interference of alcohols.
This month, Hénin is adding to his selection of ten eponymous fragrances with the Parisian Perfumer collection, a group of six new flacons with impressive concentrations and even more remarkable compositions. Standouts include Psychédélique, an ode to Woodstock—”after it’s rained for three days and the patchouli the hippies sprayed in their hair is wet and muddy,” Hénin elaborates—that’s brimming with hints of hesperides, rose, geranium, amber, patchouli, and musk; L’enfant Terrible, a spicy cedar coriander and cumin elixir; and Private Label, which was commissioned for a client from Abu Dhabi who wanted a new breed of oriental that didn’t rely on predictable ouds. Hénin’s version, which was created by perfumer Cécile Zarokian, focuses on cedar, patchouli, and vetiver instead. Also on offer are a new range of 11 scented candles—a first for the brand. “We’re bringing together the candle and the bell jar,” Hénin explained, referring to the luminaries’ luxe packaging that includes a gorgeous, red hat box and a glass cap, which contains original scents like L’Arbre de la Connaissance, a divine interpretation of fig leaves, and 01 40 20 06 19, which is named after the store’s phone number and “smells like when you pull your lipstick out of your bag when it’s been left at the bottom” (and it does).
If that’s not enough to entice you to take a break from the tents in the nearby Jardin de Tuileries as the shows rage on this week, Hénin has also spotlighted a few new brands on his shelves, including Celine Verleure’s Olfactive Studio. A Kenzo alum, Verleure took her love for fragrance viral last year when she launched “the blog of the perfume that does not exist (yet)” on Facebook and asked her more than 500 followers to help conceive the name of her forthcoming perfumes, their packaging, and the scents themselves. The result is a trio of unisex fragrances inspired by three photographs, made by three different perfumers. “I like the idea of being part of the game,” Hénin says.
Jovoy Paris, 29 Rue Danielle Casanova, Paris, 33-1-40-20-06-19.
Photo: Courtesy of Jovoy Paris