“If Kilian is a French Rolls-Royce of perfume, then we are more like Tesla,” says Benoît Verdier, proudly patting his Ex Nihilo perfume mirrors. She is currently on the road in Germany to present a Parisian niche label in selected perfumes. And Verdier justifies the comparison with Tesla by saying that Ex Nihilo also holds great importance for innovation. Since childhood, Verdier has known that this could not be done without the help of traditional craftsmanship.
She grew up in Provence, the center of French perfume art. At the age of 18 he went to Paris to study politics and met Olivier Royère at the university. The son of a diplomat had traveled the world and worked in a bank for several years. Now he was developing the idea of his perfume company and Verdier. They brought Sylvie Loday to the technical side of perfume manufacturing. The French-born American had already worked as an engineer at the US space agency (NASA) and consulted French perfume maker Givaudan for several years. In 2013, three launched the Ex Nihilo perfume label at the Rue Honoré of Paris.
The Latin word means “from anywhere,” an example of how the aroma grows when it is released into a bottle. But it also oversees the establishment of the company. “We took a bigger risk. Taxes were higher, the market was already flooded and the idea of giving anonymous young people full creative freedom was more common,” Verdier recalls. But the plan worked.
Through his work with Givaudan, engineer Loday communicated with their young “noses”, as perfumes are called, who had come out of their training with new ideas. For example, Quentin Bisch, a 28-year-old at the time, invented a “Fleur narcotique”, which covers the exotic scent of lychee and the pink cloud of peony notes and, with the addition of bergamot and orange blossoms, makes it a glowing aroma. , near the summer of the Mediterranean. . “Fragrance is now one of our best-selling perfumes,” says Verdier. Perhaps it also helped that the model and the girl Hailey Baldwin mentioned in an interview with “New York Times” a few years ago that this perfume was her favorite perfume and that she flew to Paris to buy a new bottle. This is also a strategy reminiscent of Tesla’s analogy: there is no common advertising, instead believe that young, technically oriented targets will find branding through suggestions on social media and word of mouth.
While Verdier travels through Germany to present his brand in Munich in Oberpollinger, Berlin KaDeWe and Frankfurt Perfumery Albrecht, Nihilo’s latest perfume “In Paradise Riviera” appears on Instagram of some of the perfume victims. This special edition combines the tropical aroma of tiaré and tuberose flowers with the intention of reviving warm summer memories on the French Riviera. “After Corona, we all longed for something brighter,” says Verdier, “a smell that wasn’t too dark or hard, but it didn’t make you smile.”