.Shelter; Spirituality in Curionoir
CURIONOIR: a beautiful celebration of craft, heritage and spirituality, from Tiffany Jeans who created CURIONOIR; a selection of finely crafted fragrances, hard soaps and fine candles.
Inspired by the series of strong and hardworking women creatives within her family, Tiffany Jeans borrows from her Maori Heritage for her spiritual and life-commitment of a brand. The indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, the Maori, arrived in New Zealand as settlers nearly 1000 years ago. Today making up about 14 % of New Zealand’s population, the Maori live on in the arts, the schools (the Maori language encouraged as part of the curriculum) and the stories- being a culture principally passed down and surviving through oral history, tribal lore, weavings and carvings. We think of the Haka- famed Maori dance and war cry performed by the All Blacks at the beginning of any rugby game- as a contemporary continuing of one of such stories.
In the same vein, CURIONOIR aims to tell their story. And this is one based on beauty: beauty in the pieces they create and produce, but also in the beauty of connection, the relationships and the traditions that built them.
It all began as a beautiful accident; when Tiffany married film director Andrew Morton, she made a series of hand-crafted skull candles for each of her wedding guests, unbeknownst to her it was the beginning of something much bigger. These were such a success and something that she enjoyed doing so much that she then began to translate and turn this creative talent into a luxury brand. She created bespoke candles, fragrances and ‘curios’.
To be fair this goes far deeper than just a beautifully crafted container, scented soap or a fragrance that wafts sensually. There is a depth to each fragrance, something dark and mysterious deep down in its base. This is, of course, unsurprising, when a true creator creates, you will totally sense and feel their ‘essence’ bleeding from what they have produced. This is so true of Curionoir, but it’s not just Tiffany’s creativity we feel, it’s the very depth of her belief system; her heritage; her inner knowledge, passed down from generation to generation; one that speaks of love, of healing, of preserving the planet of mythology and one wonders if mana, a spiritual power and essence is also present.
Fragrances/ Fine Candles/ Hard Soap
Indeed, Tiffany Jeans commits herself to ‘the uncommon’ and the unique and where best to see this than in her perfume. Relying on fine craft and workmanship, Curionoir fragrance come in the form of either a Pocket Parfum, a 50ml bottle or most incredibly; can be decanted into beautifully hand-blown bottle designs, ethically and exclusively made by Monmouth Glass.
The brand also sees a beautiful range of fine candles, each similarly telling a unique story with fragrance, individually crafted and handblown glass as well as their stamp wax seals. Staying true to their project of sustainability, all the wax is biodegradable, and each candle burns for 65+ hours.
CURIONOIR also offers a series of hard soaps, that work with the skins natural PH and, compared to the perfumes, focus on formula rather than scent. What it is doing for and how it reacts with the skin is of the utmost importance.
Connecting. Capturing through both strong and sweet. Fruity and woody notes of rhubarb, Oud Wood, Virginian Cedarwood, Indian Sandalwood and Labdanum Absolute create the intense, seductive, vulnerable moment and feeling felt when eyes lock with another’s.
Purotu rose- Fragrance
Spiritual. Emotional. Invoking the smells at Tiffany Jeans Great Grandfather’s tangi – (funeral, but rather a celebration of life in Maori culture) she employs nostalgic notes of Rose Otto, Bitter Orange, Pink Pepper, Cumin, Rose De Mai, Cistus, Teak Wood and Haiti and Java Vetiver.
Tiffany Jeans creates an incredibly personal and spiritual perfume invoking the powerful mix of the aromas of hot soil, the scent of the smoking foods of the hangi- a traditional meal- and the roses scattered across the food hall. She uses smell as an intangible hook on which to conjure up memory.
Meaning light- Diaphanous brings a moment of delicate clarity to one’s day. Using fine sparkling notes of Mandarin, Saffron, Sambac Jasmine, Narcissus Absolute, Cayenne Pepper and Amber, a floral silk layer of calm is whipped up and floated innocently around us.
Cellar feels- Fragrance and Fine Candle
Wine-making, grape picking, feet dancing. Tiffany Jeans uses fruity and woody notes of Apple, Black Tea Leaves, Orange, Lavandin Super, Nutmeg, Mate tea, Virginian Cedarwood, Tree Moss and Atlas Cedarwood to conjure up the musty but sparkly memory of making wine with her grandfather Paul Jeans.
Dark bouquet- Fragrance and Fine Candle
In A dark Bouquet, the citrus and earthy smells of Orange Flower, Cypress, Jasmine and Vetiver are arranged in a perfect floral arrangement of woody texture, smell and colour.
Pablo- Fragrance and Fine Candle
This is Pablo, not Picasso. The forgotten. This fragrance captures perhaps the essence of the man himself- every wrinkle, vein, intense gaze and cigarette.
Top notes of Lemon and mythical Frankincense trickle down in fine line wrinkles into a middle colourful palette of Freesia and Mimosa with lived in Cuban Tobacco Leaves. We can almost see the cigarette smoke, an extension of one hand, intermingling with the gouache liquid, at the end of his paintbrush, an extension of the other. Base notes of Vanilla Absolute and Tonka Beans bring the whole thing together, lingering, as his artistry and mind live on now.
Gardenia’s Shadow-Fine Candle
In the front of her Grandparents house, sat a Gardenia Shrub, where in summer nights the intense green floral fragrance would meet you as you walked up the steps into their house. Using Gardenia, Patchouli, Geranium, Mint and Vanilla, Tiffany Jeans creates an olfactory hook on which to place an intense childhood memory and one in which we invited to experience alongside.
Black Spice-Fine Candle
Using a beautiful mix of spices draped in myth: Aniseed, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove and Fresh Tea Leaves combine in a beautiful fragrance harkening back to days of yore when spice traders arrived for the first time.
Feather My Tears-Fine Candle
Odette’s mothers’ tears- forming the lake in the famed ballet Swan Lake. Notes of beautiful Orchid, Water Lily, Lily of the Valley, Almond, Cedar and Moss cross and entangle with one another to form a quiet willowy, sandbank valley of water.
Tobacco night- Fragrance, Fine Candle and Hard Soap
Tobacco smoke ensnares the midnight blue summer night sky. Swirling patterns of Sage, Coriander, Dry Tobacco Leaves, Elemi, Amber and Musk, dance across and through the night stars. The sweet, musky and leathery smoke lingers long after the midnight hour.
Tubereuse Noir- Fine Candle and Hard Soap
In a black and ombred handblown glass, true to its name, this fine candle carries dark midnight florals in its body: emitting intoxicating notes of Tuberose, Violet, Heliotrope, Rose and Spices.
With each and every one of these individual scents, CURIONOIR takes us on a spiritual journey, travelling against odds to memory hooks of nostalgic moments in time. Yet this is also a collection that sums up SO much of what is happening in the world of fragrance. Perfumes and scents are becoming far more about a connection that goes far deeper than smell and memory (so much of what perfumes are about) into a place where fragrance connects at a far deeper level, it’s about human connection, about the connection to earth to spirit to a better world. Watch out-this is the new direction for niche brands…bring it on!