A fresh and con­tem­po­rary busi­ness, Ex Ni­hilo con­sid­ers it­self an “out­sider” in the fra­grance world, with an in­no­va­tive ap­proach to the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence

Villa 88 - - Contents -

Ex Ni­hilo on their in­no­va­tive ap­proach to the fra­grance busi­ness

“THE IDEA WAS THAT PER­SON­AL­IZA­TION is the mega train of ev­ery mar­ket, but it re­ally be­longs to lux­ury, so we got back to the roots of lux­ury and mixed it with in­no­va­tion,” ex­plains Benoît Verdier.

Benoît, along with Sylvie Lo­day and Olivier Royère, co­founded Ex Ni­hilo in Paris just four and a half years ago, af­ter feel­ing a sense of frus­tra­tion in the in­dus­try and an un­shake­able urge to ex­press them­selves cre­atively. It is apt then that the young trio named their brand af­ter the Latin ex­pres­sion for ‘cre­ation out of noth­ing’.

They de­scribe them­selves as “an al­ter­na­tive per­fume house” – not quite fit­ting in with the main­stream fra­grance in­dus­try, nor the stereo­typ­i­cal mass per­son­al­iza­tion ap­proach.

Ex Ni­hilo’s ap­proach is unique, in that it draws its in­spi­ra­tion from the “cre­ative avant-garde and the French spirit of pure re­fine­ment” – par­tic­u­larly through var­i­ous un­con­ven­tional col­lab­o­ra­tions with other cre­ative in­di­vid­u­als.

An ex­am­ple would be its most re­cent fra­grance launch, Cuir Ce­leste, in­spired by the em­blem­atic leather jacket donned by pro­lific French pho­tog­ra­pher Mathieu César. The leath­ery, woody fra­grance by per­fumer Quentin Bisch boasts top notes of black pep­per, vi­o­let leaves, and gal­banum – strik­ing the ideal com­bi­na­tion of mas­cu­line and fem­i­nine in or­der to ap­peal, in some way, to each gen­der. César is renowned for his pho­tog­ra­phy of tal­ented celebri­ties such as Daft Punk, Lana Del Ray and Bella Ha­did – per­son­al­i­ties that em­body the soul of the brand.

“He’s re­ally from the young gen­er­a­tion of pho­tog­ra­phy and, for us, it made sense to bring that kind of out­sider into the mix,” says Benoît. “We like to high­light the work of young artists, we love to in­volve lo­cal tal­ents.”

He goes on to hint that a pos­si­ble col­lab­o­ra­tion with a UAE artist was on the cards for as early as March 2019: “We in­tend to cre­ate syn­er­gies and col­lab­o­ra­tions with tal­ents across dif­fer­ent fields. Our ref­er­ences come as much from perfumery as from de­sign or ar­chi­tec­ture.”

The other core el­e­ment of Ex Ni­hilo’s busi­ness is the ex­clu­sive rit­ual it has devel­oped, based on its in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy, the Os­mo­logue . This al­lows the cus­tomiza­tion

© of its Ini­tiale and Baby­lone Col­lec­tions, by adding in some of the most unattain­able raw ma­te­ri­als in perfumery.

The im­pres­sive tech­nol­ogy is only avail­able at few select flag­ship points of sale glob­ally; the only one in this re­gion is Bloom­ing­dale’s in The Dubai Mall. The Os­mo­logue al­lows

© you to watch your cus­tomiza­tion of an Ex Ni­hilo sig­na­ture fra­grance get blended and bot­tled right be­fore your eyes – a method re­ferred to as “demi-per­son­al­iza­tion”.

“Our in­ten­tion was al­ways to re­spect the great tra­di­tion of fra­grances, but also to twist it into some­thing more fu­tur­is­tic,” con­cludes Benoît. @exni­hiloparis

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