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In Conversation with Molton Brown

In Conversation with Molton Brown

By M Borriero
Molton Brown

Q: When and how did Molton Brown story start?

Born on South Molton Street, London in 1971, Molton Brown is an icon of uniquely British style. Our Eaux de Parfum and Toilette, and Bath, Body, Hair and Home collections have been Made in England since day one – and we’re committed to this for our future. Sourcing only the best ingredients in unrivalled concentrations, our quality has awarded us with a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen.

As part of our ever-evolving sustainable journey, we never have and never will test on animals, we run our own manufacturing facility in Elsenham. Elsenham is in the South-East of England and we champion refillable beauty.

Inspired by our progressive home, London, we work side-by-side with our eclectic set of perfumers to empower you with long-lasting, distinctive fragrances you’ll love, not like. This guide takes you through our proud heritage and how we stand for sustainability.

Q: What is the inspiration behind your iconic fragrance collection?

Molton Brown Fragrance

We invite you to explore our disruptive new scentscape – a provocative collection of uncompromising Eaux de Parfum and Eaux de Toilette. Live the pioneering new movement in British fragrance; join the new guard perfumery. An industry game-changer, this collection of unique olfactive creations has been imagined hand-in-hand with 10 visionary perfumers from a variety of ages, backgrounds and experiences to conceptualise truly experimental and diverse scents.

Q: Who is the “nose” behind your distinctive scents?

Our home, London, inspires us with its diverse, progressive and open-minded attitude. During the 1970s, South Molton Street was an exciting lifestyle destination, attracting international glitterati, city tycoons and the New Romantic underground music scene. Molton Brown promoted an ‘individual first’ ethos from the beginning. Michael and Caroline took a holistic approach that championed natural beauty, recommending hair styles to suit each client’s unique self.

We continue to be fuelled by London’s diverse mindset; it’s brought to life in the way we work side-by-side with our eclectic set of perfumers; from Master Perfumer Jacques Chabert, who we’ve been friends with for many decades, and his daughter Senior Perfumer Carla Chabert, to New Gen rising stars like Jérôme Di Marino. We join forces with their intriguing styles to create distinctive fragrances for all personalities.

Q: What can you tell us about your commitment to sustainability and the planet?

We pioneer positive luxury with sustainable practices that nurture our people and places – and always have done. Michael and Caroline had a conscious care for the world around them, as true believers that luxury and sustainability work hand-in-hand. Their salon was always filled with fresh flowers, they stayed away from harsh chemicals and hair dryers, used less electricity and opted for natural inventive techniques to style hair. They also spearheaded one of the first vegetarian restaurants in London at the salon – it was important for them to look after their teams and customers both inside and out. Today we’re proudly a vegetarian brand and will be 100% vegan by 2022, with 97% of our products already achieving this. We were one of the first in the UK to never test on animals, a ground-breaking concept at the time, and have been certified cruelty free since 2012 by the Leaping Bunny programme. Sustainability is an ongoing journey for us and we are always working on ways to protect our planet – here’s a few ways we are doing this:

  • We have Fragrance refill services and refillable Hand Washes in selected stores, with plans to expand this.
  • All our products are free from parabens and microbeads.
  • Our 300ml Bath, Body and Hand collection bottles are made from 50% recycled PET, with plans to extend to smaller sizes.

Q: What are your hero products and what’s your favourite?

Our iconic collections are the true heroes of our fragrance portfolio. Each of our Icons has its very own

story to tell which forms an integral chapter of the Molton Brown story. Our Icons are: Orange & Bergamot, Heavenly Gingerlily, Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel, Fiery Pink Pepper, Re-charge Black Pepper and Delicious Rhubarb & Rose – it would be truly impossible for us to choose a favourite from any of our collections!

Molton Brown

Q: What ingredients are used in your formulations?

In 1971, we were founded by the pioneering duo, Caroline Burstein and Michael Collis, as a hair salon on South Molton Street, Mayfair, London. Way ahead of their time, these beauty innovators rejected typical chemical formulas in favour of organic botanical bases. They made their first products by hand in the basement of their salon and then production moved to their family home, Motts Hall in Elsenham, where they grew their own herbs. We still run our own manufacturing facility in the same town and are committed to making all our products in England. Today, we continue to source the best ingredients, so you can discover long-lasting fragrances that uplift, refresh or unwind your senses.

Q: The quality of your products has been awarded with a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen; this shows your commitment to excellence…

The Royal Warrant is a mark of recognition for the excellence of goods and services provided to the Royal Households. It is appointed to individuals or companies that have supplied goods or services to the Royal Households for at least five years and continue to do so. It represents the finest, authentic British craftsmanship, and we’re deeply proud to have been chosen. Amongst other things, applicants are also required to demonstrate that they have an appropriate environmental and sustainability policy and action plan.

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