Tiffany Witehira is the founder and creator of Curionoir, one of Australasia’s most luxurious perfumery and candle ranges. Located in Tāmaki Makaurau, we spoke with Tiffany about the world of Curionoir and what is next for the brand.
Where do you feel most creative?
I feel the most creative when I am alone at night, alone in the ngāhere or at the little space that is, Curionoir.
Tell us about the inspiration and ideas around the Curionoir Store?
Curionoir the store is reminiscent to me of being in the ngāhere with my kuia. The dim lights heighten the senses which can help you focus on the smell of a fragrance. The dim lighting keeps fragrance that leaves us in its prime state as they haven’t been tainted by natural light. I wanted to create an experience for the customer with our store, which I believe doesn’t come with just an interior fit out, it must come with the integrity of the offerings, the service from your staff and the knowledge which your staff have of your creations.
How does the space function?
Curionoir is not a retail store, it is a working space where anyone from any walk of life can enter and will be gifted an educated experience through the senses. My staff hand fill each perfume bottle in store, we wrap and package all of our pieces in store, we also blend our trial parfums in store. It’s a space where customers can visit to see parts of the process in the creation, they can be educated in perfumery, they can take their time and immerse themselves in the space - if they choose to.
Who inspires you?
My tūpuna and whānau first and foremost. I’d do anything for them, I love them so much and they truly inspire me every day. I also have some amazing wāhine around me whom inspire me every day, Ana Vale, Kristine Crabb, Damaris Coulter and Maeve Woodhouse. Strong independent wāhine who, along with my whānau inspire me to be better every day.
Outside of these special people I am still very inspired by some international fashion brands and editorial in some international magazines, and there are some emerging designers locally who have some really interesting ideas.
I feel like creativity can have a very unique drive depending on what you are feeling within your life.
Who are your favourite designers and artists right now? Furniture, art?
Kristine Crabb of Gloria for her forever clever patterns and movement with colours and silk. Catherine Boddy for her amazing merino gloves for this winter. Kiri Nathan for her raranga with fabric. Simone Rocha and Old Celine forever. Raukura Turei and Erena Koopua are my two favourite artists. Maeve Woodhouse of Hera Saabi is a true jewellery artist who creates the most intricate jewels with the most beautiful stories behind them.
What is it about the Kashmir Chair that you love and why does it work in your space?
At home we have many pieces we have sourced from Simon James over the years, our Hay towels which to be honest I’d love to switch out for some Tekla towels now, the Felix Chair which is my sons chair in his room and the treatment balm by MARYSE is my favourite lip balm.
What is next for Curionoir?
We have just released The Shapes, a beautiful range of porcelain parfum bottles. Inspired by the unique and organic forms within the natural world, these pieces have been made exclusively for us by Kirsten Dryburgh of Dryburgh Pottery.
We are constantly working on new fragrances, one will hopefully be ready by Spring…but we will see.
Kashmir Chair by Resident
Ball N Chain Diamond Bracelet by Jessica McCormack
Shop the Curionoir collection online here
Vist Curionoir at 74-76 Ponsonby Road.