In Conversation: Maison Louis Marie
IN OUR WORDS
‘A floral tradition since 1792’. Poetically put yet exactly to the point, Los Angeles based brand, Maison Louis Marie, creates fragrances, candles and skincare based on the botanical history of the founder Marie du Petit Thouars’ family heritage. Her ancestor, Louis Marie, was exiled during the French Revolution and ended up in the Mauritius Islands and Madagascar. Upon his return around 10 years later he had discovered over 2000 plant species and became part of the French Academie of Sciences. Two centuries after this, Marie grew up in Belgium experimenting with scents in her mother's green house. She has since built a brand that blends this botanical legacy with a cool LA lifestyle, and it really works.
Striking a careful balance, each ‘personality’ in the brand’s fragrance collection combines unique floral notes. With common notes in each scent all the fragrances compliment one another, ideal for layering up or doubling up for a longer lasting perfume. Their resolute commitment to environmentally mindful ‘clean beauty’ has led to a long list of harmful substances they never use, and they only utilise synthetic ingredients in order to prevent over-harvesting of endangered plants, to avoid animal products and to protect against known natural allergens. They don’t test on animals and never use animal-derived ingredients.
This organic sensibility translates. Their unisex fragrances are clean, crisp and beautifully off-beat. Beloved by many, they have struck a chord with men and women wishing to smell distinctive yet still find a perfume that they can wear daily. Bringing each scent into the home with their soy-blend wax, cotton wick candles, this is the personification of a lifestyle brand. Cleverly tying together all elements of the brand with the thread of her heritage (even the sketches on the packaging are original drawings from Louis Marie’s book) you can see why so many have bought into Marie’s concept. It’s about being part of a story that started long before you bought in.
IN HER WORDS
In developing a fragrance, I usually start out by searching for a distant childhood ‘scent memory’ and building off of that. For example, our No. 04 Bois de Balincourt is based on my family home outside of Paris. I would take long walks in the damp forests surrounding the property and Sandalwood came to mind. I formulated a whole fragrance around that memory and a lot of the time this is how I have developed the other fragrances for Maison Louis Marie. In terms of formulation, as a brand we follow the clean beauty movement meaning we do not use ingredients containing toxins that may pollute the earth or harm your body. In terms of packaging, I wanted to be as environmentally conscious as I could be so we have limited the amount of plastic wrapping used and the paper we used is untreated with chemicals and partially recycled as well. I use a one colour soy ink process and all of my boxes are created locally in Los Angeles at the only carbon neutral box company on the west coast of the United States.
I really design the products first for myself. Ever since I started Maison Louis Marie I knew that the most important thing for any brand or maker is to be true to oneself; the most intriguing and successful things in life are created through a true expression of self. Once you try to please other people the message gets diluted and ultimately becomes unsuccessful and unremarkable. I happen to come from a fashion background in Paris so I definitely feel the brand has a fashion brand vibe to it which translates to our aesthetic and the stores we have chosen to align ourselves with. For the future, we have a lot of things in store but don’t want to make any announcements yet - we just want to stay very humble and grateful at how far we have gotten already. We will always do our absolute best to stay true to our brand identity and to continue creating new products that our customers love.
GET TO KNOW MAISON LOUIS MARIE
Tell us about your neighborhood.
I live in Silver Lake which is a cool little area of LA just outside of downtown. It’s close to everything on the East Side of LA which I love and for the most part everyone who lives there has an interesting story and point of view.
Tell us about the best decision you have made.
What record always makes you get up and dance?
Anything LCD Soundsystem or Daft Punk.
What one thing can you always justify spending money on?
Tell us the exhibition or show you’re most looking forward to this year.
My husband and I go to this open garden tour where you get to go to fancy houses and see their beautiful gardens.
What has been your best travel experience to date?
The Maldives – It’s heaven on earth.
What is the best advice you have ever received?’
Lower your expectations. Don’t be too hard on your self. Live your life on life’s terms.
Words by Rebecca Field. Shop the collection of fragrances and candles from Maison Louis Marie online and in store.