Johanna Monange, Founder of Maison 21G Shares Her Business Philosophy

Johanna Monange, Founder of Maison 21G Shares Her Business Philosophy

What led you to create Maison 21G and inform us extra concerning the progressive idea of bespoke perfumes?

Evocative, distinctive, and memorable, I deeply consider that the fifth sense evokes profound feelings and connections with others. Your signature fragrance is a lot greater than a mere accent; it’s a true extension of your character, a software to imprint recollections, and produce confidence all through key moments of your life. As such, I consider that your scent must be as distinctive as you’re!

In 2020, I conceptualised Maison 21G, supported by my ardour and 25 years of expertise in perfumery as a inventive director working alongside famend designers and perfumers. Throughout this time, I watched this stunning trade lose its soul and accept one-size-fits-all scents, creating the identical on a regular basis floral, fruity, and gourmand scents for everyone, whereas pushing big advertising and marketing campaigns on the expense of high quality, distinction, and character of what’s contained in the bottle. I felt that one thing was going unsuitable on this stunning trade, so I made a decision to interrupt free from the glamorous company world and shake the conventions of this sleeping trade.

My imaginative and prescient was to deliver again the “energy of creation” into the arms of shoppers, providing a singular and fascinating scent discovery expertise. Committed to a cleaner fragrance trade, I used to be pushed by a want to deliver transparency, sharing, schooling, and sustainability to make a greater perfumery world for the subsequent technology. My final mission was to recreate an actual “Maison de creation” for all of us, creating a singular expertise with stunning scent encounters.

The idea of “expertise” is essential for opening and operating a boutique. What is a profitable “expertise” in your prospects?

Maison 21G is a luxury Maison of Creation with fashionable iconic flagship shops worldwide, utilizing a poly-sensorial method to create a singular retail expertise. We goal to create a luxurious expertise in perfumery like no different for our prospects. We encourage confidence, self-expression, and exploration in perfumery, with a poly-sensorial method. With 10 flagship shops the world over, each nook of our boutiques is meticulously curated with a sequence of devoted zones akin to our well-known progressive scent bar to find and select your elements, the perfumer organ the place shoppers mix their very own scent, and our non-public atelier’s areas to be taught the artwork of creation.

We additionally frequently search new know-how to reinforce our experiential retail choices. For occasion according to our dedication to innovation, we provide a singular AI personality quiz. Our open app accumulate info akin to your pores and skin tone, your scent choice, your values in life, and your required advantages to advocate well-matched scents for every particular person. Our RFID Technology informs and educates buyers on the origins, the olfactive profile and properties of our scents.

After creating their customized scent, prospects can add a private contact by utilizing our complimentary UV Printing Machine to customize their fragrance bottle design. In addition, we offer fragrance workshops for {couples}, workforce constructing occasions the place our scent consultants information purchasers in making a personalised perfume in a single hour by appointment.

Our experiential retail space encourages cross-cultural exchanges. And prospects come collectively to share concepts and cultures, pushing the envelope of creativity. Maison 21G is dedicated to disrupting the posh trade by making a neighborhood of perfume designers, connoisseurs, aficionados, or novices in each main metropolis on the earth, pushed by a singular offline retail expertise, relayed by a powerful digital presence to finish the offline expertise with a devoted loyalty program, and computerized reorder providers in your personalised scent from anyplace on the earth.

The personalisation of scent is on the core of Maison 21G’s idea? What are the parameters that go into figuring out a bespoke perfume?

Johanna Monange, Founder of Maison 21G

Maison 21G is a model that prides itself on its dedication to craftsmanship, personalisation, schooling, and expertise. At the center of our enterprise mannequin is the need to create bespoke fragrances which are tailor-made to the distinctive character and olfactory preferences of every of our prospects. Our flagship shops function laboratories, the place highly-skilled scent designers information prospects of their scent creation, guaranteeing that their personalities and preferences are thought-about at each step of the method. We consider {that a} fragrance is rather more than simply an adjunct. It is private, intimate, and turns into your voice to precise your distinctive id. This is why we provide our prospects direct entry to fragrance concentrates with the very best proportion of perfume focus to make tailored haute perfumery accessible.

The course of of making a bespoke perfume at Maison 21G is interactive, participating and enjoyable: we start by asking prospects to fill out our character quiz, which focuses on their values in life, private DNA (nationality, pores and skin color, age), likes and dislikes associated to their olfactive preferences, and the explanations they need to put on a selected fragrance (to be seductive, elegant, excellent, enjoyable, and so on.). This builds a buyer scent profile that’s distinctive to their id. We have outlined 5 distinctive character profiles, every with its personal distinctive ingredient suggestions. For instance, an “Impressive character profile” will want a fragrance that tasks strongly, with long-lasting sillage, and options daring woody, oriental, and spicy notes. A “Social Enthusiast Profile” alternatively, will probably be extra drawn to softer, comforting, and caring notes akin to musk, vanilla, and lightweight juicy fruits.

With using cutting-edge know-how, leveraging AI alongside extra conventional expertise, we’re revolutionising the fragrance trade by understanding the wants and tastes of every nationality, tradition, and technology. The extra prospects we get, the extra highly effective our AI turns into, and the extra exact the suggestions reveal themselves to be. As a bottom-to-top method, we’re in a position to be taught immediately from our buyer base and reply instantly to new shoppers traits in every capital like Seoul, Shanghai, Paris, and elsewhere. It’s a game-changing method for the fragrance trade, and the extra we develop, the extra educated and concise we’re in a position to turn out to be in tailoring scents to people.

Workshops are on the very core of the Maison 21G DNA. What is your favorite reminiscence of a Maison 21G workshop you organised in 2022?

We consider within the energy of scent to deliver folks collectively, and our workshops are designed to supply an unforgettable and distinctive sensory expertise. It’s a enjoyable and exploratory expertise, the place folks can reconnect, share, and find out about one another by means of scent.

One of my favorite recollections is from a Love Atelier that we organised in 2022. During this workshop, the couple had the chance to take their like to the subsequent stage! A younger man stunned his girlfriend with a wedding proposal. He had requested the scent designer to print “Marry Me” on the bottle that he had created for her. As he introduced her with the bottle, he bought down on one knee and revealed a hoop hidden contained in the field. The total room was moved to tears by this romantic gesture. In that second, I used to be reminded of the ability of scent to create deep and significant connections, and I used to be grateful to be part of such a particular second of their lives.

Tell us extra concerning the sustainability efforts behind all of the packaging and glass bottles used at Maison 21G? You appear to be amongst the very first luxurious homes speaking overtly about recycling and the reuse of fragrance bottles.

At Maison 21G, our sustainable pillar is built-in into all the things we do. Our give attention to eco-consciousness, moral and clear manufacturing and distribution, is a part of our dedication to excellence, high quality, and luxurious. In an trade the place using buzzwords and advertising and marketing jargon to ‘greenwash’ merchandise is rampant, we attempt to be clear, sincere, and open about our sustainability practices.

To obtain our sustainable targets, we now have partnered with IFF-LMR (Laboratoire Monique Rémy) to supply the very best high quality of perfumes. IFF’s vertical integration permits us to regulate each step of our elements provide chain, and its adherence to particular sustainable and clear standards, together with environmental duty, honest working circumstances, and constructive relations with native communities.

At Maison 21G, we delight ourselves on being clear and open about what we embrace in our bottles and what we don’t. Our scents are 100 per cent vegan, cruelty-free, CMR-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and preservative-free. We additionally formulate our scents as biodegradable to scale back our environmental influence.

We consider in creating merchandise which are recyclable and refillable. We have banned using plastic in any of our merchandise. We are the primary firm to have refillable bottles, encouraging buyers to reuse their bottles, with reductions and incentives for individuals who reuse, recycle, and scale back their waste. By committing to eco-consciousness, moral manufacturing, clear sourcing, Maison 21G is taking steps in the direction of a greener future for all.

You have expanded your product vary and Maison 21G now presents inside its boutiques perfumed candles, the very begin of an elaborate residence scent assortment. How is it performing?

Image: Maison 21G
Image: Maison 21G

The pandemic introduced unprecedented modifications in our life, with folks spending extra time at residence than ever earlier than. At Maison 21G, we recognised that buyers had been in search of methods to make their residence setting extra comfy, inviting, and reflective of their personalities. This impressed us to launch our sustainable, pure, and customisable Home Scents range, and we’re delighted with the way it has been embraced.

Our Home Scents vary was launched with the identical daring and disruptive method that characterises our fragrance vary, and is underpinned by a dedication to wellness, together with all-natural elements that may assist prospects loosen up, focus, and sleep extra successfully. We consider that folks need to unlock the scent of their soul, and our Home Scents vary is designed to make that course of simple, gratifying, and eco-conscious.

The assortment contains our stunning 100 per cent pure wax Dual Candles, Bespoke biodegradable Reed Diffuser, and pure Oil burner which permit prospects to decide on and mix their favorite scents in trendy and splendid ornamental objects, a premiere within the Home Scent world. As with our personalised perfumes, we put the shopper on the coronary heart of the creation course of and set it other than all of our rivals.

We consider that the data to create a ravishing, wholesome Home Scent for the entire household, must be accessible to everybody.

E-commerce is rising quick throughout all continents. We see your workforce working onerous on rising the worldwide digital presence of Maison 21G. How are on-line gross sales performing for you?

Maison 21G’s experiential online e-commerce completes the offline expertise with a devoted loyalty programme and computerized reorder providers for personalised scents from anyplace on the earth. We provide bespoke inventive experiences to anybody, anyplace, with our DIY inventive set, which we will ship to any location throughout the globe. Our absolutely customised web site permits a singular and playful inventive expertise at residence.

Our lead magnet, the AI-Powered Quiz, guides shoppers in creating the proper scent mixtures on-line based mostly on their character, tradition, age, and totally different wishes for a fragrance, akin to freshness, class, and seduction. The dual-scented crayon permits folks to strive mini scents earlier than buying a full bottle. Today our fragrance followers on-line who can’t entry to our outlets have grown considerably. Lots of people are uninterested in off-the-shelf scents and have leapt on the probability to craft their very own scents from sustainable and high-quality elements on our bespoke web site. Our model promise of pure, clear, and ethically sourced essences has resonated strongly. Our core buyer base consists of Millennials and Gen Z shoppers from Asia, US, Canada, Australia, and Europe, searching for personalised merchandise with an experiential edge on-line. Through varied activations with on-line campaigns, direct advertising and marketing, and a devoted, inclusive, engaged, and lively neighborhood of scent designers, we now have constructed a loyal buyer base that shares our ardour for creativity, high quality, and sustainability.

Tell us about your newest growth within the Middle East with the opening of a boutique in Dubai and a long run partnership with the Chalhoub group. This all sounds very promising!

We’ve been thrilled with the responses from the Middle East shoppers since we launched Maison 21G. Fragrance is solely ingrained into their tradition, and it’s superb for me to precise the DNA of my model there. I’m personally passionate concerning the Middle East market, and we now have thrilling plans for the area with the assist of the distinguished {and professional} Chalhoub Group.

In Dubai, I’m at all times impressed by the variety of cultures and the pure inventive instincts of the folks I meet. They are so stylish and take superb care of their picture and scent id. Dubai has no boundaries, and I like the grandiose and multisensory experiences discovered at each nook of this buzzing worldwide capital. We’re trying to develop our presence in Dubai but additionally Abu Dhabi, with a give attention to opening extra shops in key selective prime places like Bloomingdales, Tyrano, Malls of the Emirates, and past.

In Qatar, we’ve simply opened a ravishing flagship retailer within the model new luxurious mall of Vendome, subsequent to all probably the most luxurious manufacturers. We’re now increasing and have established partnerships with prestigious shops akin to Printemps, Galerie Lafayette, and Harvey Nichols, with a inventive scent bar idea. We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and keenness of the folks for our stunning elements and experiential ideas.

My largest problem now could be to beat Saudi Arabia, with the opening of our flagship retailer in Nakheel mall. We comprehend it’s a demanding market by way of high quality and repair, with a big base of fragrance connoisseurs and aficionados. However, we’re assured that we now have all the things at Maison 21G to make an influence there. I’m personally concerned in each side of the shop opening, and we’re dedicated to offering the very best high quality services and products to our prospects in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East.

Perfume is an inseparable a part of Middle Eastern tradition. What perspective in the direction of fragrance have you ever observed amongst Middle Eastern shoppers?

The Middle East is revered to a excessive diploma and perfumery rooting in historic practices. For occasion, the Persians had been the primary to make use of distillation in extracting oils from flowers to create stunning essences that solely Middle Eastern folks have the tradition to understand. Who would’ve identified that many years, centuries later, fragrance software nonetheless stays a necessary ritual of their day by day lives.

Renowned for probably the most aromatic of traditions — smouldering incense, burning bakhoor, utilizing ritualistic important oils, and aromatic teas — it’s no marvel why the language of scent creation applies on many ranges of their tradition. From a non secular option to anoint oneself earlier than prayer to epitomising a private fingerprint, deep recollections of their life, an announcement of themselves; fragrance is a strong software in characterising one’s individuality right here.

With certainly the strongest olfactive preferences globally, the residents of the Middle East search a daring, distinctive scent and undoubtedly above-average longevity. Moreover, their conventional method contains layering a number of opposing scents. Most prevalently, they use spices, earthy patchouli, deep resins and amber, sensual oud, floral rose Taif, all to create probably the most elaborate, unique, and astounding compositions distinctive to themselves, which they’ll discover at Maison 21G. Our idea of making your individual fragrance is completely tailored to Middle Eastern shoppers who’ve been layering and mixing scents for many years. They admire the artwork of fragrance making and have a deep understanding of the complexities of making a singular scent that displays their character and magnificence.

After opening boutiques in Vietnam and South Korea, what’s your subsequent vital tasks and developments throughout 2023 & 2024?

South Korea is a key marketplace for Maison 21G in Asia and success on this nation can have a major influence on our model’s status and growth in Asia. Because South Korea is thought for being a trending marketplace for luxurious manufacturers, attaining success there can set the tone for the remainder of Asia, together with nations akin to China, Thailand, and Vietnam. Consumers in these nations could also be extra seemingly to concentrate to a model that has already confirmed itself within the aggressive South Korean market.

Next for me is to proceed increasing my model selectively in Asia with experiential retail, sustainability, and schooling. I’m dedicated to opening extra flagship shops, store in store in luxurious malls, counters in obligation free areas, to deliver our distinctive expertise to each main capital.

My subsequent largest problem for 2023-24 will probably be China the place we now have a really bold plan with Eternal group. We’ve already opened a ravishing retailer in Hainan with Lagardere and can quickly be opening flagship shops in Shanghai and Shenzhen, in addition to partnering with stylish distributors who perceive and may categorical our model DNA. To attain stylish Gen Z and Millennials, we’ll additionally give attention to digital platforms like Tmall, Weibo, Little Red Book, and WeChat, translating our AI quiz and selling our hero merchandise in Chinese.

In China, shoppers have a comparatively quick historical past with perfumery and are desperate to be taught concerning the elements, uncover their preferences, and develop their very own scent type. They’re additionally involved in studying about perfumery suggestions and methods, together with what scents to put on for various events and the variations between high- and low-quality perfumes. The development in the direction of area of interest perfumery in China displays a want amongst shoppers to precise their id and individuality by means of perfume, in addition to a rising appreciation for high-quality, artisanal merchandise. This development is partly pushed by a want to face out and be totally different from the gang, with distinctive fragrances that can not be present in mass status perfumes. Chinese shoppers are additionally more and more involved in unconventional scents with characters that enable them to precise their edgy type.

To adapt to those totally different expectations, Maison 21G will tailor our advertising and marketing method and providers to Chinese shoppers. This is the energy of our personalised method, which isn’t solely tailor-made to the person but additionally to the tradition and context. We put excessive effort into localising our method, contemplating the cultural and historic context of perfumery in every market and the way this influences shopper preferences and behavior to succeed worldwide. The period of “one-size-fits-all” fragrance and super-centralised advertising and marketing is unquestionably over, and I’m excited to be on the forefront of this new method to the trade.

Where do you see Maison 21G in 5 years down the highway? Any IPO deliberate forward?

Become the primary tailor-made perfumery model globally.

The model goals to problem ready-made merchandise and set up a brand new section within the perfume trade: the Tailored Perfumery section — after the shock of Niche Perfumery. We intend to have iconic Houses of Creation in key perfume capitals worldwide to put in this new section through the model’s robust credentials in design, innovation, and sourcing new pure elements for our scent designer neighborhood.

We repeatedly enhance our service and coaching of Maison 21G scent designers, probably constructing an academy of perfumery to share data and experience. We have tasks in Web3 to tokenise our distinctive fragrance creation recipes, which can stop copying and grant possession to our loyal prospects, preserving their creativity at Maison 21G.

We additionally plan to accomplice with different industries akin to artwork, culinary, music, lodges, and mixology to create polysensorial occasions.

To assist the imaginative and prescient and mission, Maison 21G will proceed to lift sensible cash with greater buyers to problem the standard fragrance trade, acquire sustainable market share and turn out to be probably the most fascinating fragrance model.

We need to maintain the authenticity of what they do so long as potential, supported by lively funds and monetary companions who perceive the significance of disruption, branding building and innovation to fulfill the brand new shoppers’ wants in perfumery.

How did you react to the acquisition of Tom Ford by the Estee Lauder Group in November 2022 for a hefty US$2.8 Billion price ticket (together with debt)?

This acquisition of Tom Ford is a strategic transfer that strengthens Estee Lauder’s high-end luxurious magnificence portfolio. Tom Ford has established itself as a number one model within the perfume and cosmetics market over the course of a number of many years and has a major presence in vital progress markets such because the Asia-Pacific area and journey retail. Their success in disrupting the fragrance trade years in the past is noteworthy. This acquisition is a testomony to the worth of constructing a powerful model picture with progressive merchandise, reaching untapped shoppers, and being led by a daring, robust founder.

Maison 21G goals to comply with in Tom Ford’s footsteps by making a luxurious inventive model picture with progressive services and products that may attain untapped shoppers. We attempt to be a challenger within the high-end luxurious section of the perfumery trade, specializing in personalisation, sustainability, and an experiential method to create your individual scents. Our dedication to creativity units us other than rivals, and we’re continuously pushing the boundaries with new know-how and machine studying to raised perceive the wants and tastes of our prospects. We are daring and unafraid to disrupt the fragrance trade, bringing transparency and openness into an trade sorely missing in disruption.

What are the commanding valuation ratios within the magnificence and fragrance trade?

Valuation ratios within the magnificence and fragrance trade are decided by quite a few components, together with an organization’s measurement, progress potential, profitability, barrier of entry, know-how, robust USP and model picture. When an organization has a powerful model picture and a disruptive method, it tends to have greater valuation ratios. In the wonder trade, it isn’t unusual for bigger firms to pay as much as 10-12 instances an organization’s income in the event that they see potential for progress and growth.

So for small magnificence firms, the important thing to attaining excessive valuation ratios is to problem the standard enterprise mannequin and create a powerful, disruptive worth proposal with excessive barrier of entry and agility, that bigger firms can’t simply replicate with their established buildings. It is certainly troublesome for bigger firms to innovate as they should steadiness danger and sometimes have heavy buildings to navigate.

This creates vital potential for acquisition and improvement with huge teams, as they search out progressive and disruptive firms to reinforce their portfolios and acquire market share.

In the fragrance trade, by disrupting the trade with new and progressive concepts, small firms have an enormous potential for acquisition and improvement with huge teams and probably command excessive valuation ratios within the course of.

To discover out extra about Maison 21G, go to or contact them at [email protected]

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