May’s – ‘The Fragrance Issue’ – Download Now

Co-Founders of Ex Nihilo, Benoit Verdier, Olivier Royère and Sylvie Loday discuss their first memories of scent.

What is your first memory of scent?

BV: I’m a real Southerner! Whenever I smell a fragrance or ingredient that is reminiscent of my parents’ garden in the South of France, I am transported there: Pine trees, Figs, Lavender plant and aromatic trees, even the smell of the red-hot soil of Mediterranean landscapes…these are is my first olfactory memories.

OR: My first memory consists of a reception in the heat of the tropical gardens of the French embassy in the Philippines. My childhood cradled in my mother’s perfume, Joy by Jean Patou, and my grandfather’s delicate eau de Cologne, Arnys.

SL: My olfactory memories are a true melting pot, reflecting my composite culture: Brittany’s ocean and salty tides with America’s big cities, pancakes and maple syrup. So, any milky notes and cinnamon notes remind me of my first memories in America.

Ex Nihilo Co Founders

Which notes in a fragrance do you personally look for?

BV: I like Iris very much for its sophisticated touch, orange blossom for its sparkling effect and all the woods with a crush for Tonka Bean and Vetiver. We travel a lot and I can say we really hate this uniformed International Airport smell, a mix of the sillage of Duty-Free stores and all these commercial juices, it’s the same smell all over the world.

OR:  I love Sandalwood and smoky notes because it reminds me of my youth in Sweden. Anything that is smoky captures my attention.

SL: I love smells with character, that are atypical or express its owner’s personality. All three of us look for this, but personally, I enjoy more complex, and intellectual floral bouquets notes.

Ex Nihilo

Which ExNihilo scent is your favourite and why?

BV: I would say our most iconic creation, Fleur Narcotique. When I smelled it for the very first time, it was really something stunning and very addictive. We were looking for some quintessential sillage to embody the new Parisian woman from the Right Bank, then Quentin had this idea of an overdose of Peony with an edge of lychee, we automatically fell in love with it and today it is our most iconic creation!

OR: I think we share the same love for Fleur Narcotique, but I would also add Bois d’Hiver because of its powerful woody notes.

SL: That’s easy, Fleur Narcotique. I love the fragrance just as much as the story behind it.

May’s – ‘The Fragrance Issue’ – Download Now

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