Founded by Benoît Verdier, Sylvie Loday, and Olivier Royère, experts in finance, consulting, and marketing, the brand opened its first store 352 Rue Saint-Honoré, in Paris, in late 2013. Since then, Ex Nihilo has stood out in the most beautiful niche perfume places: Harrods in London, Tsum in Moscow, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks in NYC. In Paris, it is available at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann and Champs-Élysées, and will soon be at La Samaritaine, as soon as it reopens.
A unique immersive experience
Ex Nihilo’s strength lies in its choice of addictive creations combining beautiful natural materials and innovative synthetic captive molecules, but above all, in the unique shopping experience the company offers – an integral part of its DNA.
Thanks to Osmologue, an exclusive technology aimed to personalize two collections (Initiale and Babylone) with beautiful ingredients, the brand makes almost tailor-made perfumes on request, while adapting them to customers’ tastes.
The Osmologue technology was installed at the Paris store as soon as the brand was created, and then it was replicated at Harrods, in London, and in the two NYC corners. It is also available at the current points of sale in Toronto, at Saks, and in Dubai, at Bloomingdale’s, creating a unique immersive experience.
This original and attractive concept was designed in partnership with the Givaudan teams to offer sophisticated, semi-tailor-made fragrances twisted with beautiful materials selected upstream by perfumers to ensure a harmonious olfactory result. The bottle cap can also be personalized for a real high-end experience.
All in all, Ex Nihilo boasts 42 creations signed by various junior and senior perfumers, including Quentin Bisch, Guillaume Flavigny, Nathalie Gracia-Cetto, Olivier Pécheux… This large choice of perfumes makes up five collections, where the Parisian style mixes with more oriental scents. What’s more, the brand has multiplied artistic collaborations to offer exclusive perfumes or limited editions. The whole range is well-adapted to layering, thanks to perfumed bases and light body and hair mists that intensify fragrance trails.
References like Fleur Narcotique, Venenum Kiss, Vétiver Moloko, and Gold Immortals are the brand’s bestsellers. For example, Fleur Narcotique is highly successful in Russia and Eastern European countries, one of Ex Nihilo’s main markets, alongside the Middle East. Europe and the USA do not lag far behind though: there are about 20 points of sale in North America, mostly on the East coast, from Miami to Toronto, at Saks, but also in NYC – and of course, there is the Lucky Scent digital network.
A global development
After a year 2020 marked by the closure of many physical stores, the brand is about to speed up its development on the international stage, in particular in California. In addition to a corner at Saks, in Beverly Hills, they are planning to open a flagship store in West Hollywood next October.
All in all, the company has scheduled to double the number of points of sale in the year to come. Other than in LA, California, they will unveil a new flagship store in Dubai next September: these two new places will offer the innovative Osmologue technology and will be adorned with Ex Nihilo’s aesthetic codes, with a “local” colour touch. Also with a view to strengthen its presence on the international stage, the brand is planning to settle in Asia. After opening a first point of sale in Korea this year, the founders are now much interested in China, a new playground for niche perfume brands.
Global expansion is not the only challenge for Ex Nihilo. Over the next few months, it will be crucial to adapt sustainability requirements to luxury codes. And of course, there is digitalism: the in-store experience should be put forward on the social media – it just cannot be ignored, to Benoît Verdier – in particular to reach young people and Millennials.
Ex Nihilo will have many other projects to work on over the next few months, including the launch of a new fragrance after summer, with a captive molecule extracted from patchouli: akilagawood. While the synthetic molecules highlighted help preserve the environment, the company has not overlooked the beautiful natural materials that guarantee their perfumes’ quality. And they are ready to make them more widely known abroad.