Perfumery is one hell of a complex craft to master – but, it’s one that seems to come oh-so naturally to John and Clara Molloy of MEMO International, who work alongside the master Alchemists at Symrise AG to create their signature, niche scents.

Following in the wake of the duo’s huge success story – a wanderlust-inspired fragrance line, Memo Paris – this September sees them step into a new chapter with a digitised approach to perfume (more on that later) by way of Hermetica.

Three years in the making, this new ‘digital native’ range of moisturising, alcohol-free perfumes – grouped into four umbrella collections that include Vertical Ambers, Emerald Stairway, The Door and Dry Waters, plus a standalone fragrance, Source1 – sets the bar for sustainability, whilst experimenting with and embracing new technologies and ways to shop for fragrance. 

In tandem with its exclusive launch at Harvey Nichols, we met true Parisienne and Memo International co-founder, Clara, to discuss sustainability, science-y stuff, and how on earth you can sniff out your signature scent – without actually smelling it first…

What does being a ‘digital native’ fragrance brand mean?
It means that you can discover your signature fragrance online, doing so through our personality test that uses a unique algorithm and concept of synaesthesia. We eschew ‘traditional’ fragrance question and, instead, favour the likes of “Where do you hide your secrets?” and “What is your rhythm for the weekend?” so we get a feel for you on an emotional level – at which point, you'll receive a sample to test! This is central to what we do.

As well as being reusable and refillable, Hermetica bottles are crafted from recycled glass and sand, which is all locally sourced to reduce your carbon footprint… Why is this sustainability angle so important to the brand?
You can’t invent a brand in 2018 like you could some 50 years ago; as well as wanting to tap into the modern mindset, we of course genuinely care about the environment.

Sustainability is central to our practice, f
rom the very inception of the fragrance – where we buy the ingredients, where it’s made and how it’s made – to the end of its lifespan.

What’s the science behind Hermetica, in a nutshell?
The fragrances have been created with a patented alcohol-free technology called Inoscent™, which marks a first-ever in the fragrance industry; a single spritz will reveal the top and middle notes instantly, and it'll go straight into the heart of the fragrance.

Each fragrance is made up of natural ingredients, essence and sometimes absolute, all by way of green chemistry and each containing varying percentages of green chemistry molecules.

When did your love affair with fragrance begin?
I was born in Paris – and perfume and poetry is what being a true Parisian is all about! Working with fragrance is so fun and inspiring. The challenge of reinventing something every day and being independent is what keeps me alive!

Click here to shop Hermetica. 

In case you missed it, take a trip to the South of France in all its verdant splendour with Jo Malone's Orange Butterflies.