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