In the heart of Marylebone, London, sits Henry’s Townhouse, the former home of iconic English novelist Jane Austen’s brother, Henry. A collaboration between the award-winning Russell Stage Studio and the house owners Jane and Steven Collins, the townhouse is a luxuriously restored, exclusive private boutique hotel with a home-away-from-home feel. The hotel is full of Georgian glamor, echoing its richly historical past, representing a fresh and exciting new opportunity for the building whilst still paying homage to its roots. To further the aesthetic experience, Henry’s Townhouse has recently launched a home fragrance collection, perfectly encapsulating the visual history of the house.
The collection of six candles continues the legacy of the Austens, created in collaboration with Virginie Daniau, an independent perfumer and founder of Parfum Parfait. The bespoke fragrances developed by Daniau help paint a picture of daily life in the Austen household.
Henry’s Townhouse is inspired by Henry himself, emanating a signature scent of Georgian times with strong notes of amber, sandalwood, fiery pepper, and aromatic eucalyptus, referencing the men’s colognes popular during the era. The Loiterer is named after the humorous weekly periodical Henry co-published, an original copy of which is displayed in the house. It contains notes of violet leaf, saffron, and leather as a nod to afternoons spent reading in the library.
Monsieur Halavant’s Pantry is an ode to the Austen’s French chef. With notes of resin-scented pine contrasted with warming sultry cinnamon and clove, the candle paints a soothing and inviting picture of the basement kitchen run by Halavant. Marylebone Bloom captures the elegant smells of green tea and floral freshness via jasmine, orchids, and orange flowers, a smell highly sought after by residents in the townhouses of Regency London, often obtained from fresh hothouse flowers that were present throughout the year.
The Carriage Snug creates a warm embrace with a blend of sweet rum, sensual musk, and leather, encapsulating the feel of the cozy parlor at Henry’s (inspired by the visual stylings of an upscale railway carriage), the perfect place to stop and rest with a glass of port. Bohea is bursting with juicy facets of figs and peaches, reminiscent of Regency hothouses. Its tea and bergamot notes echo the 18th-century taste for black tea imported from the East, which one could expect to be served alongside afternoon cake in the refined atmosphere of a dining room.
Each candle is presented in a hand-finished ceramic bisque, decorated with an individual gold-leaf portrait, inspired by the friends and family of Henry whose faces adorn the walls of the townhouse. The reasoning behind the portrait decoration is again a direct reference to Georgian trends, where silhouettes, known as “shades,” became increasingly popular and were created as gifts for loved ones.
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