Wednesday, March 29, 2017

King-size aromatics: Roi Sans Équipage by Henry Jacques

Photo taken from

Today's fragrance industry is a battlefield of fame and business, not only for mainstream fashion houses, but also for so-called niches who claim to deliver quality products. But there are names barely heard, barely seen, barely visited in Esxence or any other event. Names that are talked like clandestine legends and Henry Jacques is one of those ultimate points that leaves no aftermath.
Henry Jacques, where have you been all these years? Tried Roi Sans Équipage on my wrist. Thick olive-oil colored to yellow dense liquid uncorks on my vein and explodes like thousand dragons caged in an abyss set free. By the first whiffs my eye pupils tightened, felt heat around my nostrils, my heart bumps faster? Quickly jumped off my chair as a habit of excitement when something extremely extraordinary just comes in... walked like a crazy in my office.... this can't be true! For years we just learnt and memorized frequent names known as maestros but where this man was hiding all these years!?

Monsieur Cremona, photos taken from Henry Jacques website

Henry Jacques Cremona, an acute monk of perfumery, an artisan of memories, and an unknown haute artist in Grasse, neglecting every trend of perfumery or market hypes, spent several decades on bespoke and custom perfumes to bring his ideology and perception of ultimate beauty into the greatest collections ever made with obsession on rarity and elegance in any aspect of it.

After decades his atelier of perfumery opens to public with its first retail venture in Harrods London with limited amount of perfumes presented in a prototypical and modern architecture mixture designed by Christopher Tollemer.

Photo taken from

Les Classiques de HJ is the title of a vast collection that shelters dozens of classic masterpieces made by the author of the house (if I'm not mistaken fifty fragrances are under this collection), one of which is Roi Sans Équipage (King without Crew). A floral leather fragrance with prominent spicy top and beguiling leathery base. It is such a complex fragrance that challenges my lingual abilities to put my best to fit the sensations with descriptions, but if I'm not a good speaker maybe the astronomic price of £480 for 15ml oil in a tiny jar may help you understand the perfume we are discussing about is not another super luxury you can purchase easily! It's a different type of class, apart form whatever I noticed til today called luxury. It's god work! And I hope someday I can encounter more from this heaven.

Photo taken from

Roi Sans Équipage unfurls with 360º spicy green ambiance. Full-bodied and natural clary sage with all its skanky features presenting human body sweat, is deliberately used in top to give an impression of majuscule masculinity. It is aligned with black pepper that brings about a woody incense-like aura, and a shimmer of bergamot that boosts with fresh astringent sourness. From now on it is not a typical aromatic masculine fragrance. Expands and enlarges in dimensions like a simple line to a 3D polygon. Many facets and vertices appear in a ordered and regular way without any visual illusion. I mean Roi Sans Équipage though has many faces is a quintessential and settles perfume.

Underneath of this aromatic opening, there's a floral heart composed of one the most criminal jasmines (and probably carnation and rose) with grease-smeared face introducing a deep aromatic and woody earthy horizon. Patchouli and tobacco accord join in. A waxy patchouli redolent of that of Guerlain Héritage Eau de Toilette but more verging to tobacco side. The tobacco here has a humble grassy presence far from fevered heat of sugary tobacco of new niche markets. It's like a track of smell of pipe tobacco on thick fabric of a heavy coat; both bitter and nostalgic.

Photos taken from Henry Jacques website

In a perfect harmony with texture of tobacco and patchouli, and in contrary to freshness of top, a warm woody amber air heavily wades through dense aromatic main and occupies the entire scene with semi-leathery render. The floral patch of earlier phase now gives identity to leather and a macho yet gentle and elite masculinity forms.

More that the elements of component which I'm pretty sure are much complex than what I captured, harmony of notes, transformation from fresh aromatic citrus to woody aromatic base, story-like passage of top to base and translucent quality of materials to keep the mystery alive, are what I admire in this composition. It has been long time since the last perfume I smelled with deep relish. Roi Sans Équipage is a warm winter night, formal, classy, middle aged, bitter herbal and floral leathery fragrance with strong longevity on skin and enormous sillage in first hours. This is a mandatory for whoever appreciate 70's and 80's brutal greens.

Carpe Odor!

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