Perfumer Tiffany Jeans on creating products with love and care
Introduction by Lucinda McKimm
Interview by Anna White
Photography by Evie Mackay
There is something special about a uniquely crafted scent. You can tell there’s care for the ingredients, and a thoughtfulness injected into the creation of a product when it looks as otherworldly as it smells.
It is no wonder then, that, Tiffany Jeans’ boutique candle and fragrance label, Curionoir, was born from a desire to create gifts with love and care for each guest at her own wedding. A literal labour of love, Jeans made small candles carved from lost wax and wrapped them in tulle and attached a handwritten note to each.
Igniting a desire to create within her, so began the world of Curionoir, a range of individually hand blown coloured glass candles inspired by apothecary of yesteryear.
With a fashion and advertising background, Auckland based Jeans’ creation of Curionoir was to be the opposite of these fast paced industries and the world with which we live in. Reflected in the product, the realisation of Curionoir was intended to be a slow experience, developed in a carefully, considered fashion.
Consisting of parfums, candles, and soaps, expect scents such as violet, rose, tuberose, gardenia, ylang ylang, patchouli, vanilla, and a mix of spices.
Hand crafted in New Zealand one by one using biodegradable botanical wax and lead free cotton wicks, no two Curionoir pieces are the same, meaning that a part of the brand’s story is interwoven within every product.
Here, Jeans talks us through her journey and the ethos behind Curionoir.
Describing herself in three words
Loyal, resilient, flexible.
On her journey into the world of Curionoir
When my husband Andy and I were planning our wedding day I wanted to gift our guests with something that literally was a labour of love. As we had a til death do we part theme, I made small skull candles, which I carved from lost wax then cast and once they were finished, I wrapped them in tulle and attached a handwritten note to each. From here my good friend Kristine who is the label Miss Crabb stocked them in her store and then as people kept asking what else i was going to do I thought that if this was going to be 'something', it had to be the best I could make it be!
I had always loved working with perfume but candles were my first voice with scents. I released The Lilith Doll, then three CN glass candles and now we have seven different candle scents in two different glass sizes, classic and Demi, four Parfums and Eau de Parfums, a range of dinner candles and an amazing flagship store on Ponsonby Road in Auckland.
I always saw Curionoir as being a slow growing business. In a world where there is fast fashion, fast food, fast everything, I wanted to do the opposite and slow everything down and bring the experience back. I made the decision to not collaborate with any other designer until I felt the time was right. It has always been important to me to build Curionoir in a very carefully, considered fashion. Patience. This is my gift to the world.
A labour of love
There are so many facets to CN which are a labour of love! I have seen every thing in our brand be produced and mixed and every avenue has been produced ethically and only for CN. We don't use anyone else's stock and brand it, all of our creations are ours. This was always important to me from the start. To me luxury these days comes from the commitment within to produce something truly unique.
With our candles each piece of glass is handblown locally (in Auckland) in our own unique shape inspired and finished with a CN stamp on the front, much like the lions head of Rome. We use our own unique wax which is a botanical mix and blend with our perfume and they are poured by hand. All of the packaging then on is finished by myself and my wonderful staff in our studio before anything is shipped out to our stockists or taken to our flagship store. We also bottle all of our Parfum in store.
On her favourite scent
I love all of our scents for different reasons, but right now I am loving wearing Opia. It's a mysterious, deep, fruity, woody Parfum that magically empowers me. It's a unisex scent.
On the future of the beauty industry
What I hope to see is the consumer educating themselves on the sources of what products they are using. Sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients, fair trade production...these things are just as relevant in beauty as they are fashion. I'd love people to focus more on beauty within as opposed to what can be applied on the outside, this way we are guaranteed to help build kinder humans for generations to come. I am a loyal fan of Dermalogica and love how as a brand they have a conscience. I’m a supporter of the Dermalogica FITE programme which helps and empowers women on the path to entrepreneurship.
The creative process behind her film for Curionoir
I am so proud of Opia, the parfum, the film and the campaign imagery. I worked with my husband Andy Morton who is a film director on the film, to explore the feeling of making eye contact with someone. A feeling that can be intrusive and unsettling yet comforting and warming...being drawn in to ones pupils, they are black, glittery and bottomless.
Business lessons she has learnt along the way
Staying true to your vision and trusting yourself are important, and just as important is taking time to remove yourself from the world you create and spend quality time with family and your girls.
On women she most admires
Livia Firth, the founder of Eco-Age and Oxfam Global Ambassador, is most admiring to me with her work she is doing for ethical fashion.
Personally, my two friends Ana and Kristine. They are both hard working mothers who are loyal, honest, beautiful and so so glam.
The future for Curionoir
A greater international presence with more additions to Curionoir's offerings.
Current state of mind: Motivated.
Currently based: Auckland, New Zealand.
Book: I love reading, but since my third child, I fall asleep the instance my eyes hit a page. So, no new books of late.
Flower: Black Calla Lily, Bearded Iris
Most treasured wardrobe item: Helmet Lang denim Jacket I bought in my teens in the 90's.
Go-to outfit: Miss Crabb Dreams Tops Rock dress, Zambesi leather jacket, heels and lipstick.
Designers: McQueen, Iris Van Herpen, Miss Crabb, Acne and Jessica McCormack
Favourites to follow on instagram: My son Carmelo, Livia Firth, Mario Sorrenti and Nick Knight.
Places to visit: Many places internationally, but nothing is quite like Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel during Summer.
Currently on repeat: White chalk, PJ Harvey. Heaven Or Las Vegas, Cocteau Twins. A Moon Shaped Pool, Radiohead. Only Lovers Left Alive soundtrack.
Most happiest when: I'm with my husband and three children.