As Frank Sinatra put it “I love Paris every moment of the year”. And who wouldn’t? Well, just in case, let me give you one more reason to love it: Quintessence. I first discovered this Parisian gem of a boutique last summer while in Paris for a project. I have since had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Valentine Pozzo di Borgo, on a few occasions. This dynamic young woman has her hands full as she divides her time between running Quintessence and training her horses for show jumping competitions, a sport in which she has been taking part all her life. Located on the left bank, on rue de l’Université, the shop is a carefully curated space where one can find the most exquisite selection of candles, home fragrances and soaps. It is a must stop for anyone visiting the City of Light. Scent is at the center of every single item developed by the team of Quintessence. Fragrance being such a powerful trigger to past memories, Quintessence has chosen to interpret it in the most romantic way possible, the way one would tell a fairy tale. If you ask me it is truly a welcome respite from the crazy world we live! Valentine and her charming and welcoming staff are here to help and guide you through the process of either creating your very own fragrance or selecting one from the vast array of already composed scents. Since candles are a perennial favorite of mine the olfactory calendar is my number one choice and recommendation if you are in the market for a gift. It consists of 12 candles, one for each month of the year and each exclusive to Quintessence. These 12 candles are the result of a collaboration between Quintessence and 12 well known personalities such as Chantal Thomass and Alexis Mabille to name but a few. In a more exclusive category but keeping in the same spirit one should take a look at the Artists’ Collection. One of the most stunning piece in that category is a limited edition, signed and numbered, honeysuckle candle by artist Claude Lalanne. It is an ode to the countryside, partly sculpture and partly candle. I should add that part of the proceeds from the sale of most candles is tied to various charities. Valentine was in town recently as Quintessence had a booth at both, the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) and the Elements Showcase trade show. I caught up with her at the latter. She introduced me to the latest novelty (scented of course!) items the company came up with: scented tubes and scented tissue paper. Both can be used to refresh personal items in closets and drawers, and even to keep shoes smelling fresh. If, like me, you are planning to go to Paris next week for the shows you’ll know where to find me.
Follow Miriam on Twitter @miriamdriot
1. What do you love most about your job?
The Creativity … Each client is different and we all have different visions of fragrances! Talking about our vision of their brand and of their vision of perfume is great.
2. If you did not live in Paris where would you live and why?
New York! I love the energy of this town
3. When not working what do you enjoy doing?
Riding. I have a second life … I have horses that I train to compete (jumping). I love it. It is a great accomplishment to train for something and to succeed. That is why I will say for the next question that one on my best memory of my childhood was when I won the French Junior Championship
4. What is your best memory from childhood?
See previous question…
5. What is your favorite holiday destination and why?
Lamu Island (Kenya) Because it is peaceful and quiet.
6. Book or e-reader? Why and what are you currently reading?
Book! I am now reading “La Jouissance” by Florian Zeller
7. Which social media platform do you use and how did they impact your business?
I use Facebook for Quintessence but I must say that I am very bad at it!
8. What is a true luxury for you today?
9. What is your biggest accomplishment to date? Why?
Quintessence because it’s like my little baby …
INperson: Duncan Quinn
INperson: Peter Hidalgo
INperson: Elizabeth Uss
INperson: Shamma Fidaly
INperson: Selima Salaun
INperson: Alexandra Adame
INperson: Lisa Weiss
INperson: Jin Soon
INperson: Hubert Barrere
INperson: Lissa Hussian & Dominique Marano
INperson: John Bartlett
INperson: Pierre-Andre Senizergues
INperson: Patrice Farameh
INperson: Christina Neault
INperson: Barney Bishop
INperson: Chrissie Morris
INperson: Christopher Chong
INperson: Francesco Clark
INperson: Christine J. Brandt
INperson: Rolando Santana
INperson: Diane Clehane
INperson: Pierre Cardin