A Look Inside The Coolest New Parisian Boutique

📷 Image Credit: Memo Paris.

Memo Paris is the city's newest fragrance boutique—and it may also be its chicest. Founder Clara Molloy shows us around.

All of your perfumes are unisex—it's an interesting choice to make.

"I wanted to escape the idea that women and femininity are the same thing. It's interesting that perfumery has been dictated by men from Grasse for many years. Men have a different view on perfume—and a way of talking about perfume as seduction. It should be more about empowerment, confidence, and well-being. I work with the perfumers Aliénor Massenet and Sophie Labbé, who have the same ideas as me, so when I met them I felt close to them."

📷 Image Credit: Memo Paris.

What's your own relationship with fragrance?

"I've always loved it. When I was a teenager, the other girls used to express themselves by cutting their hair or dressing madly. For me, it was fragrance from the start. I can remember smelling [Yves Saint Laurent] Rive Gauche when I was ten, wearing [Guerlain] Mitsouko when I was 13, and the scents of Paris in the rain—the smell of wet stones is quite beautiful."

📷 Image Credit: Memo Paris.

Is that why all of your fragrances are named after places?

"Some places have a strong magnétisme—it's your place of grace, and you can blossom there. To bottle a bit of that power would be amazing. Lalibela [a floral perfume with frankincense and vanilla] is inspired by a lake [in Ethopia] that's a place of pilgrimage. When the light reflects off it, you feel like you're in the center of the universe."

📷 Image Credit: Memo Paris.

Is that why your store is decorated with suitcases?

"Memo is about going on journeys, so I wanted the storefront and the inside to look like a train car on the Orient Express. We had embossed leather luggage cases designed for the store, but we did them in white to make them more feminine. We worked with [architect] India Madhavi—her work has a sense of femininity, roundness, and warmth that most other architects lack."

📷 Image Credit: Memo Paris.

How does someone start as a poet and wind up developing a perfume line?

"I started interviewing perfumers for a book—it was something I was doing for myself; I write on the side—and meeting 22 people who all love the same thing...I shared their passion almost instantly. I felt there was an opportunity for a more intimate way of doing perfume. The book is called 22 Perfumers: A Creative Process."

📷 Image Credit: Memo Paris.

Is making a perfume like other forms of the creative process?

"It's a bit like writing a poem—or being in love. It's unpredictable. Sometimes you have an idea that stays with you for two years, and then nothing. We're happy working like that, so we don't need a marketing plan. I like not to be bored. You're not allowed to be bored in art or with perfume."

📷 Image Credit: Memo Paris.

Why black-and-gold packaging?

"I think it's my Spanish heritage. I'm not at all a minimalist. I need profusion."

📷 Image Credit: Memo Paris.

What's it like working on the brand with your husband?

"Honestly, he's always worked a lot. At least now we do the same thing. Because [the boutique] is doing well, I guess, it's not a problem. If it were to go bad, we'd share the same problems and bring them home."

📷 Image Credit: Memo Paris.

You live in Geneva but opened your store in Paris...

"Paris will always be my city wherever I live. I was born here. It's where I have the most memories. It's the city where I can't get lost."

Source: Allure

 

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