Luxury Home Fragrance Brand, Lilou et Loïc preps for the Oscars
Created by native Scandinavian friends and entrepreneurs, Swedish former model, Malin Wright and Icelandic business lawyer, Aldis Firman, Lilou et Loïc is the product of their mutual love of evocative fragrances and contemporary classic interiors. Having met and subsequently planted new roots while living and working in the UK, the founders define Lilou et Loïc as a British brand with a Scandinavian sensibility.
Upscale Living Magazine caught up with these lovely ladies weeks before their debut at one of Hollywood’s most coveted event, the Oscars. This year the Oscars celebrates its 90th year and Lilou et Loic will be among the luxurious products offered to celebrities in their famed goodie bags. The British award-winning lifestyle brand is known for offering a range of luxury scented home fragrance candles and diffusers, alongside beautifully designed bath and body products, which include bath foam, body butter and bath salt. www.LilouetLoïc.com
What do you think of people having a signature scent for their home?
Home is the most important place on earth! It’s a place where we feel safe, comfortable, relaxed, energized, excited and empowered, all at the same time. It’s a place where you can rest your thoughts, recuperate, grow your family and relationships. Share the space with friends or colleagues, or simply just be. It’s equally important as a personal fragrance or a personal care routine. One of our favorite sayings is “Home is where your heart is” and this is true, so wherever your home may be, there is nothing more powerful to evoke feelings of empowerment, calmness, ritual, routine or memories of that long walk on the beach, that amazing holiday you took in Asia, your honeymoon, your childhood, that wild city trip that left you feeling excited and empowered. How better than to bottle that emotion up in a beautifully hand-made jar and be able to illuminate the scent by a soft flickering light – a candle. Then go take a bubble bath in that emotion and incorporate that in your everyday routine with a simple hand wash, hand lotion and shower gel. At Lilou et Loïc we go further to enhance your home environment, incorporating elegantly designed pieces, handmade glass, paraben free creams and essential oils.
Signature scents can vary according to mood and season. And they have the power to awaken so many feelings and senses. There is nothing more powerful than incorporating your own signature fragrance or memory into your home and everyday life. It’s part of everything we are about at a Brand. It’s an easy way to subtly transform your mood, invigorate, revitalize and empower.
Do all the notes used in your collections have a significance in your mind?
Absolutely. All of our fragrances in the collection have been inspired by personal experiences, such as living in different countries, holidays with family, wonderful social experiences etc. The aim is that we draw on positive experiences and inspirations that most people will understand or share, simply by the mere fact we are all here on this small planet. Our latest scent, Wild Neroli and Water Jasmine, was inspired by our summer sojourns in France. Moroccan Wood and Fine Leather, our award-winning scent, is inspired by members bars we relaxed in whilst visiting New York.
As well as having your own brand, Lilou et Loïc also creates fragrances for personal clients. How different is it to create a fragrance for the mass market than for, say, one client? As a team, we seem to instinctively know what will work, so planning for the brand is an easier process. For bespoke, it’s obviously down to the client’s personal taste and experiences, so we try and steer them to the point that we know the combinations will work effectively, but it has to be their decision, as it’s their scent. We have been asked to do many things, from freshly ground coffee scent to capturing the African desert in a candle!
One of those clients is the British Royal family. How did this come about? We have supplied bespoke fragrances for the Royal Household for several years, yes, which is a real honour. e believe that our passion, coupled with hard work and integrity in everything we do, created some luck for us. We are lucky that we’ve had some amazing appreciative clients from Royals to public figures; actors, politicians and TV presenters and our designs have become noticed. Amazingly, in the first year we launched we were approached by a member of the British Royal family to create a bespoke range of candles, for Christmas gifts. We don’t talk about it too much, as we are a year or so away from applying for our Royal Warrant, but we look forward to receiving that eventually.
What fragrances have been used for their collaborations? I’m afraid we need to keep that information confidential, but we have been asked to focus on a particular season and Christmas being one season that is wonderful in England has been a consistent focus, so the scent reflects this.
Who is an Oscar nominated celebrity that you would like to make a signature scent for? So many inspirational actresses, it’s difficult to choose! Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan are amazing, but it would have to be Meryl Streep, what a woman! As a brand, we love to champion women and are passionate about empowering that inner goddess, both at home and at work. We love to create fragrances for women that share our values and represent leadership, innovation and creativity.
We’ve got some amazing collaborations coming up, but we don’t want to reveal anything just yet. Watch this space!
How do you begin the process of creating a scent? There will be some kind of inspiration, a memory or a place, or just a color to start with, a flower, a plant or a hint of something in the air. We share this memory with each other and Malin, our Creative Director will take the brief and elaborate on the scent, the inspiration and design idea. We look at what it firstly means to us as human beings, as women, as mothers, partners, friendships and values then we elaborate on how it can incorporate the memory, the feeling that particular inspiration or place evokes and we go from there. The scent that has the strongest impact on our team and advisors usually is the one we decide to launch. Luckily all of us that share a place on this earth have something in common. We may all be different, with different backgrounds and tastes but we do genuinely feel that we share a common ground somewhere in the universe and often it’s found in fragrance. It has the same impact on us all in general whether the memory is completely different.
What trends have you seen in fragrance? Classic floral fragrances such as orange blossom, but with added sophistication, are coming back into fashion as Spring approaches. For the last two years, middle eastern fragrances and musky scents have dominated the marketplace, both for home and body.
Scent is also a great way to create new memories – for example its getting more and more popular for people to have a “scented wedding” as it will recreate that memory every time you light the flame or take a bath in the scent. It’s also a way to make that memory live on for your guests, for example.
Why have a home collection fragrance that matches a body collection? If you LOVE a scent, you enjoy experiencing it in every situation, taking the layering process to the next level. As we mentioned previously, the power of scent can say so many things, it makes perfect sense to us to offer scents that work at home and on you personally, as it completes the story.
What sparked your interest in creating Lilou et Loïc?
We are passion driven and hard working as people. The concept was carried with us for some time before we decided to launch. We had both travelled away from our roots and lived abroad for many years. As Scandinavians, we wanted to bring our roots and values into something we were passionate about and what started off as a love for home fragrance and creating beautiful homes, whilst surrounded by family and the fragrance houses of Grasse, France, Lilou et Loïc was born. To us the name incorporated everything we were passionate about and the imagination of a place or a moment coming alive. London is our home and where we have planted roots and started our own families, so no better place than England to incorporate all we have learnt and bring our products to life.
The fact that we are brought up Nordic also meant we were surrounded by candles and family all of our lives. Recently the notion of “Hygge” has become popular in Europe, but this may be new to some, but to us, it has always been a way of life, from birth – so it’s no surprise that candles and fragrance are our main focus for the Brand. We’re delighted that the rest of the world has now awakened to this way of thinking.
What was the inspiration behind the name? During the period we were setting up the business, Malin’s daughter had a winged imaginary friend named Loïc, who often made an appearance at our brainstorms! We decided to use this as part of the brand name. Malin’s second daughter’s nickname ‘Lilou’ teamed with ‘Loïc’, perfectly captures the sense of time and place that underpins everything we’ve created for the brand.
Do you have any exciting upcoming projects? We’re working with the Oscars, to gift the nominees and celebrities attending. We’ve recently launched in the States, with our sales office in New York, so we’re putting a lot of energy into that, along with new product development.
How long does it take to create a fragrance? What is the process?
It’s a true labour of love. We usually plan a year ahead, if not two, to create a new product – it usually takes around 18 months:
- Once the product design is finalized and approved we start production of the vessels in our factory, producing handmade glass.
- Fragrances take three months to test, different combinations and strengths in body butters, candles, bath salts etc.
- Now to the fun part! Each product is tested and tried by our team. This can be really time consuming, but once narrowed down to 8 or 10 fragrances we then go through the testing process again and eliminate 2 or 4 fragrances to get the finalists. The oils are then produced. Our Creative Director Malin spends a month every year at the fragrance house!
- The oils are then sent to our manufacturing unit in the UK, to be blended into the remaining ingredients, before being filled and packed, ready for clients.
What has surprised you the most about this industry?
How everyone’s perception of scent is completely different. The experience is so personal it never ceases to amaze us. And the customers we meet are just as passionate as we are about home fragrance!