Jill Timms believes fragrance sparks a silent conversation; it says so much about someone, and lingers long after they have gone. The very mystery of scent – the magic and stories – is what inspired her to farewell the corporate world and establish Peony in 2003.
“I chose to showcase artisan perfumes for their quality and integrity,” explains Jill. “Artisan perfume houses tend to be small and independent, which allows an experienced perfumer more creative freedom. As a consequence, they create fragrances with passion, utilising the best of natural ingredients and synthetic chemistry.”
The selection of scents on display at the emporium is extraordinary, from those rarely seen in Australia – like James Heeley, The Different Company and Keiko Mecheri – to the more visible but no less covetable Annick Goutal, Carthusia and Robert Piguet.
From Peony this Mother’s Day, Jill suggests James Heeley’s Ophelia – a crisp, modern take on tuberose; The Different Company’s Sublime Balkiss – a perfect Autumn chypre named for the Queen of Sheba; and her all-time favourite, White Petals by Keiko Mecheri – a soft floral in a striking bottle created for the perfumer’s origami-master father.
A Mademoiselle de la Valliere candle by Cire Trudon, the world’s oldest wax manufacturer and candle house of both Louis XIV and Napoleon Bonaparte, would prove perfect for Mum’s maison.
If selecting something scented feels too personal, Jill offers gift vouchers complete with a perfume consultation utilising the Michael Edwards Fragrance Database.
Finally, it’s not just the products at Peony that set it apart, it’s the atmosphere – reminiscent of a time when shopping was an elegant experience. “We’ll help you find a fragrance you will fall in love with,” Jill promises. Which is all-important for those silent conversations.
107 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
(03) 9882 0662