Best friend team Malin Wright and Aldis Firman are the masterminds behind luxury home fragrance and skincare brand Lilou et Loïc. A sumptuous blend of Scandinavian design combined with fragrances inspired by the South of France, Lilou et Loïc products are the epitome of sophisticated elegance and here Aldis & Malin talk to The LuxPad about scenting inspiration, how their close friendship benefits the business and where the charming brand name was discovered…
How did you both meet and what made you take the leap to go into business together?
We met initially at a private party at the Cannes Film Festival over a decade ago. Both being Nordic we had an instant connection – and have been close friends ever since. Aldis is godmother to Malin’s son. As Scandinavians we feel we have had the same upbringing, the same background, values and mental outlook; we have always been close and have always stuck together, no matter what, as Scandinavians tend to do. We shared the same interests and passion and have both always been driven to succeed so starting a business together was an exciting prospect and uncomplicated, much like our friendship.
Can you tell us the story behind the charming Lilou et Loïc name and logo?
Named after Malin’s daughter and her imaginary friend Loïc who followed us everywhere we went in the South of France during the initial stages of the concept design. Inspired by the surroundings of Cote D’Azur and the innocence and joy of the little friend the name was almost a given, it came to us quite naturally. It represented beauty, innocence, class and style all at the same time.
What inspired you to create a luxury home fragrance & skincare brand?
As home interior enthusiasts, as well as being fanatical about home fragrance since we left our native countries at a young age to create our own homes, whether in Paris or London, we always discussed designs, concept ideas, analysed fragrances and looked for new inspiration. Our own lifestyles influenced our decision to start the business. With homes in different countries, between city living and country living, we were inspired to combine interior design elements with home fragrance, allowing the experience of home scenting to follow through to bath products. Out of our mutual passion for fragrance and interiors, Lilou et Loïc was born.
The scent and aroma inspiration came largely from fragrance houses in Grasse whilst we were both living in the South of France. The beautiful Cote D’Azur inspired much of the design, along with our Scandinavian minimalistic natural taste and style. Malin now returns to her home in Grasse several times a year for workshops and inspiration.
How does your close friendship impact & enhance the business? Were there any difficulties you had to overcome when first working together?
Trust and loyalty enhance the relationship we have and the business benefits from this. This means we can rely on each other and have mutual understanding, core values, taste and ideas which are crucial to working together effectively – that coupled with a sense of humour and not taking ourselves too seriously at times.
How do you find/choose your decadent fragrance combinations?
The initial collections took inspiration from the beautiful South of France, namely Grasse where we found a lot of our fragrance. The collection evolved from something quite simplistic based on our own preferences, to create something which incorporated a memory of a place, the feeling of a place either from childhood or our adult lives, from the countries we have visited, lived in, or travelled to and moments we’ve shared with family or friends.
We are always looking for inspiration and we try to be current by tying our memories into current fashion and analysing the trends. Malin, being our Creative Director works with different “noses” in England and France to give us inspiration and input.
Do you each have a favorite signature skincare scent you use yourselves?
From our new collection, Aldis’s favourite product at the moment is the Black Amber & Saffron Body Lotion (also available in a home fragrance). For Malin, Musc Des Thermes is her absolute favorite. She uses the shower gel in the morning and always carries a small body lotion in her handbag. The fragrance is a combination of earthy iris, vetiver, cedarwood and musk.
And a favorite scent for the home?
Malin’s home is scented with Midnight Oud, which is an exotic and mysterious scent, reminiscent of a luxurious boutique hotel in the Middle East. Aldis’s London home has the aroma of Oriental Sandalwood & Black Pepper, the whole collection throughout including, home fragrance and bath & body, whilst in the country the soft and warm scent of Black Amber and Saffron dominates the surrounding.
How has your Scandinavian heritage shaped the collection?
Craftsmanship and authenticity is what we pride ourselves on; mouth blown glass, hand poured candles; all statement pieces for the home and body. Modernism, which is very much associated with Scandinavian design and heritage, is at the backbone of our design; minimalistic and clean lines coupled with a little bit of romance and class describes our design perfectly.
Our products have ended up in the most affluent mansions in the country and we pride ourselves of the elegance they portray as a home decor piece as well. When designing our products we constantly have interior design in mind – all our products are built for the eye, quality is of the highest standard and we incorporate the element of being eco-friendly as all the containers are reusable. This is and always has been our ethos.
Where do you see the brand in five years?
With a steady growth plan and international expansion, although our home market will always be the United Kingdom as we live and manufacture here, we will constantly continue to expand our seasonal fragrances and designs, taking new inspiration from our own lives and from our surroundings.
Are there any new projects, either new product lines or fragrances, you can give us an insight into?
We have just launched our new collection for 2016, with six different home fragrances and eight scents in bath & body, manufactured in the UK at our new facilities. Later in the year, we are adding a 1.5kg silver plated candle to our home fragrance collection. All our candles are hand poured in Hampshire in beautiful silver plated handmade glass. We are also working on a very exciting summer fragrance for 2017 with some key influencers in the industry which we are excited to tell you more about soon!
The Lilou et Loïc brand is ready to be discovered at Amara, with a host of tantalising home fragrance and skincare available.