In conversation with Victoire Versluys from Molton Brown
Molton Brown have built the reputation as London’s fragrance experts since 1971. The brand grew from small-scale artisans into an international luxury brand as it is today, known for its award-winning fragrances, bath and shower gels, home and hand care luxuries. In addition, Molton Brown is a proud holder of a Royal Warrant for the supply of toiletries by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen Elisabeth II.
Initially, the brand started as hair-care salon and the basement of the salon served for blending natural hair-care products by hand. The herbal formulations and captivating fragrances of those first products laid the foundation of the Molton Brown philosophy. In addition, with their origin in the freethinking seventies, the brand established a strong preference for non-conformist creative freedom – this is still embodied by the brand.
To create original and unique scents, Molton Brown work hand-in-hand with visionary perfumers from a variety of ages, backgrounds, and experiences. In this way, they marry their expertise with the creative originality of the perfumers. All scents are created without a marketing brief, panel testing or demographic restrictions to ensure it is the creativity of the perfumer that can flourish. It is this way of working that enabled Molton Brown to formulate their statement:made by individuals for individuals.
What are your favourite ingredients to use in creating fragrances? Where do you source inspirations for ingredients in particular? How does Molton Brown work with perfumers?
Molton Brown does not work with in-house perfumers; we choose to work with various perfumers all with personalities and levels of experience. From Master Perfumer Jacques Chabert, and his daughter, the acclaimed Senior Perfumer Carla Chabert, through to New Gen rising stars such as Jérôme Di Marino. It is this mix of individuals, which enables us to keep delivering authentic scented stories and to make.
We ask our perfumers to express their individuality through their fragrances compositions taking inspiration from an ingredient or color that we provide, but build the scented story they wish to author. We launch new blends multiple times per year; the blends that are selected from the multiple submissions are the polarizing creations, the ones that evoke a strong emotive connection.
The diversity of our blends also ensures that a diversity of ingredients is being used. The ingredients that are coming back in multiple of our fragrances are: bergamot, cedar wood, cardamom essential oil, elemi, musk, patchouli oil, pink pepperpod, black pepper essential oil, black peppercorns, neroli oil, sandalwood and vetiver.
Since the very beginning, the quality of our fragrances has been very important to us. Only by using the highest quality ingredients, we can deliver optimal fragrance experiences. We use natural ingredients as much as possible and only where needed we incorporate synthetics (eg because an ingredient is protected or using the pure ingredient is not the best way to convey a certain smell).
Can you tell me more about the new fragrance Milk Musk? What makes it unique and different to your other products? Describe the perfect fragrance for Spring with your own words. [Why is Milk Musk the perfect fragrance for Spring?
Our new Milk Musk fragrance is a precious addition to our portfolio as it is our first floral-musky fragrance! This fragrance is, just like all our other fragrances, a blend that challenges the norm. It is a unique interpretation of a musk fragrance, combining the unusual lead ingredient milk with sensual musk.
The fragrance notes:
Even though the niche ingredient milk is rarely used and polarising in fragrance, Molton Brown advocates for using it. Milk evokes poignant and emotional memories; as one of the earliest scents discovered as a child, it alludes to a universal nostalgia of intimacy. In the heart of the fragrance, you will find musk. Ordinarily, musk is used as a base note, not as a main ingredient. It is powerful yet subtle and its earthy and animalistic qualities are perfect for balancing other ingredients, helping to create an enduring trail. Enlivening top notes of luscious pear and peach balance its powdery depth. Warming white cedarwood and spicy tonka bean linger at the base, like the delicate touch of timeless affection.
Why it is such a good Spring scent: Spring is the period of time that we are all longing for flowers and freshness, but even though we are welcoming the sun with open arms, it is still quite chilly. The delicate creamy scent of Milk Musk is one that combines the fresh and flower aspects whilst still making you feel cocooned and warm, almost like being wrapped in cashmere. The beautiful white bottles perfectly tie to this craving for light and freshness.
What is the story behind the bottle of fragrances, from the design perspective?
Our Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum are housed in iconic glass bottles created by designer Vincent Villeger. The bottles are handmade by artisans in England with a contemporary take on the brand’s seventies heritage. The Eau de Parfum are completed with exquisite spherical resin caps.