Developing new fragrances

Meet the new fragrance No.07 Voyage Vétiver. With Voyage Vétiver, in addition to the five current fragrances, we introduce a sixth fragrance within the home and body care range. Voyage Vétiver is inspired by the aromatic Dutch coast and is a fresh and soft mineral fragrance that takes you on a journey along the different fragrance notes of Vetiver, sage and sea salt, among others.

We talked to Mieke van Engelen, Director of Business Development at Marie-Stella-Maris and responsible for all new product introductions.

Interview Mieke van Engelen

How do you start developing new fragrances?

I start by spotting trends within the fragrance and in fashion, art and interior design. It has been a "trend" in recent years to wear something that reflects your unique image to set yourself apart from the mainstream. In addition, we are all living more consciously in our own way. Within fragrances, this can be sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free. Marie-Stella-Marie's fragrances have their own trademark. They are distinct, unisex and timeless.

Moreover, everything is as natural as possible with us, so I like to be inspired by flowers, herbs and plants. When I travel, I always look around, looking for new fragrances. Then we look at what we are missing in our range. For example, floral, spicy or sparkling. Of course, we want to ensure a perfect addition to the current range.

At Marie-Stella-Maris, we are known for creating unusual fragrance combinations. Floral with us is not the "standard" rose; we choose a Rock Rose. We strive for layering in a fragrance by creating surprising combinations that make you want to keep smelling and be continuously surprised. Less is more at Marie-Stella-Maris. At the same time, we try to make an interesting and unique fragrance with as few outstanding fragrance notes as possible. The number of the specific fragrance can see in the number of fragrance notes used; No.03 Poivre Noir Frais, for example, has only three.

"To create the "addictive" effect, we have added the mineral accord sea salt. "

Where did the inspiration for the scent No.07 Voyage Vétiver come from? Can you take us through the selection of fragrance notes?
We knew right away that we wanted to use classic vetiver. Vetiver has a beautiful, distinctive earthy scent that I am personally in love with. At Voyage Vétiver, we take advantage of the trend that since COVID, 'clean' fragrances have become more popular. Therefore, we have added nutmeg sage, a fragrance note that evokes a soothing and fresh feeling.

Inspired by the aromatic coast with its salty sea breeze, Voyage Vétiver creates an extraordinary and addictive experience. To create the "addictive" effect, we have added the mineral accord sea salt. The water almost runs into your mouth when you smell it. Smelling it once is not enough, you want to keep smelling it. Because the fragrance stays relatively close to the skin, we also chose to add citrus notes. By using these as top notes, the fragrance has a sparkling opening.

What distinguishes No.07 Voyage Vétiver from the other fragrances?

We strive to complement the range. We like to see our customers walk out with their ideal fragrance. We saw opportunities in the 'clean' corner. This opportunity was created in part by COVID because people have an extra need for a 'clean'-fresh fragrance.

With the introduction of the surprising fragrance No.07 Voyage Vétiver, Marie-Stella-Maris offer its conscious target group even more choice. The fragrance distinguishes itself from existing fragrances by its soft, fresh-spicy character with dry woody undertones. The classic ingredient vetiver serves as an earthy base for the fragrance, while clary sage gives the scent a fresh-spicy aromatic character. Using the mineral accord sea salt creates a modern freshness, and the fragrance has a nice link to the core that Marie-Stella-Maris is all about; water.

How does fragrance influence an atmosphere? And in particular, the scent Voyage Vétiver?
Research shows that as much as 75 percent of our emotions are determined by what we smell. Scent has the unique ability to evoke a physical place, a tangible memory or powerful emotions. This is due to the innate link between scent, emotion and memory. Voyage Vétiver is a soft mineral scent that brings a sense of calm and freedom, like a relaxing walk on the beach. The fragrance brings relaxation and brings you back to your pure state of being.

You have men's and women's fragrances and everything in between. What do you think about that? Should we get rid of that? Or is it just convenient for consumers?

The fragrance is based on memory and, therefore ultimately personal. For me, labels are therefore unnecessary and even old-fashioned. Choose a fragrance based on intuition if you ask me. Often people get no further than spicy for men and floral for women; I don't see it this way. Also, what you think of fragrance is culturally determined. In the Middle East, for example, rose fragrance is a sign of masculinity, while in Europe, it can be perceived as feminine and classic. Therefore, at Marie, all fragrances are unisex. Anyone can wear every fragrance and we are proud of that.

How do you know when a fragrance is ready?
When developing a fragrance, you can go on endlessly, but if you go on too long, the identity of the scent can also be lost. Intuitively, you can often make the best choice and "feel" it is finished. Moreover, it is a puzzle you must put together so that, in the end it is the perfect addition to the range.