Married couple Clara Molloy, a Parisienne, and John Molloy, an Irishman, have made a name for themselves in the perfume world with their collection of unique fragrance brands (including Memo Paris); in 2018 they launched Hermetica, a line of clean, long-lasting and alcohol-free scents. What drove you to start your own brand?My wife Clara and I were convinced, after more than 10 years in the perfumery world, that we could find a new way of making fragrances. It took time to find the right (alcohol-free) formula, and the right composition firm with which to partner, but we’re so proud of the result: From the selection of high-quality, renewable ingredients to our unique, patented alcohol-free formula, which is gentle on the skin, to our environmental convictions, we can now say that we realized our ambition to experience perfumes differently.
“Fragrances nowadays must integrate this concept—that luxury plays a role in changing habits and ways of consuming and interacting with our planet and works as an example.” — John Molloy
What’s your favorite product in the line?I’ll say Jade888, because it symbolizes that ambition. The use of molecular ingredients, which is at the origin of modern perfumery, is still perceived as suspicious by many people. But it’s a perfect alternative to nature, when nature has to be preserved. For instance, the lily of the valley molecule in Jade888 was created from orange skins, disposed of in the production of juice. Who could imagine? We add a renewable dimension, and it’s a breakthrough. Transforming what was considered waste into a precious perfume completely changes the idea of luxury goods. Fragrances nowadays must integrate this concept—that luxury plays a role in changing habits and ways of consuming and interacting with our planet and works as an example.
What are your morning and evening routines?My routine consists of trying to see our garden nightingale. We have a lot of birds enjoying our wild garden, but I only have a special relationship with this one. I know he’s there. He knows I’m looking for him. He hasn’t told me his name yet. Sometimes I hear him, and I can’t see him. Or vice versa. I spend a few minutes by the window, attentive. Then a long singing shower. I believe this keeps me young and readies me to start the day.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?People would be surprised to learn I have very accurate premonitory dreams. I have one every five years, more or less. They are long, precise and involve people I know and people I don’t know.What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business?Always trust your inner will and voice, and follow your own path, your ideal, your dream.
Scents and Sensibility
Selecting a perfume for yourself can be difficult as there are often an overwhelming number of options at the fragrance counter. How do you suggest a person begin?The same way they might when shopping for clothing or booking a vacation. We are surrounded by so many offers, but I’m sure that deep down, everyone knows what they’re moved by. As some people have a sweet tooth or enjoy the sun, you can always play, at first, the floral/woody/fresh/gourmand olfactive card, and then narrow it down to what you most desire. Perfume is also a popular gift. How do you select a fragrance for another person?It’s a lot like buying them a book. You can always pick up the most popular novel. But you can also make a more singular choice, something that will say something about your friendship, your bond, how close you are. Choosing Hermetica is not a neutral decision. It means you know that the one you want to please has an ecofriendly awareness, is keen to discover new approaches, is curious and is interested in challenging beauty. What’s the best way to apply perfume?Our formula, being alcohol-free, perfectly meets the skin. It’s as if the fragrance dances on the skin, merges with it and follows its lively structure. Let the cloud (of a scented spray) come as close as possible to your skin!