If you’ve ever sat at work staring longingly out the window and wished you could be somewhere far, far away, we feel you. But what if we told you that, in just a few seconds, you could journey around the world – all thanks to a bottle of perfume?
Smell has the power to change your mood, evoke memories, and whisk you off to a whole new world with just a whiff. And that’s exactly what Memo Paris wanted to achieve with its new line of travel-inspired scents. Collaborating exclusively with Harvey Nichols stores, ‘The Flying Collection’ takes you around the world on a fragrant journey with four distinct scents – and without a plane ticket in sight.
“Memo started 12 years ago with Colette and Le Bon Marché in Paris, and Harvey Nichols in London, where we’re still the number one fragrance brand,” explains John Molloy, co-founder of Memo. “We work very closely with Harvey Nichols and, until now, we’d never done something with them worldwide – each store was treated totally differently. So, I said why don’t we do something with Harvey Nichols around the world? Something that works with the fashion department and the stylists, and brings it all together? So we created different ‘looks’ for each scent and came up with the collection and the idea of travel.
You spritz your fragrance, and it takes you back to a time when you felt happy.
We worked on the juices, and one came after the after. Memo is for people who like traveling and are curious. You meet people who are very ‘Memo-ish’ – they have that bug. They like meeting people and discovering new cultures, and we wanted to honor those people by incorporating certain emotions and places into a fragrance. Memo has always been about dreams and traveling through the clouds, adding a smile to life. That’s the biggest kick we get out of it. What does that mean? It means you’re having a hard day, then you spritz your fragrance, and it takes you back to a time when you felt happy. It puts a smile on your face. It’s an escape – it takes you somewhere.”
So sit back, relax, and join us on an olfactory journey as Molloy introduces the new collection exclusively to Savoir Flair.
Memo was born in Paris, and it’s here where our fragrance journey begins. “Memo is a French brand, and my wife Clara creates all the fragrances. She’s a French poet, and Paris is our home. We wanted to create a really pretty yet strong rose scent, so we used gaiac, which smells a little bit like fresh tar, but we used it with rose. Clara is a very strong woman – she’s creative, introverted, and a feminist in the best possible way. She likes things that have femininity but also strength. It’s a rose, but not a girly rose.
The rose always tickled us. Clara actually wrote a story about what a Parisian is, and a Parisian is not by birth – it’s by attitude. Anyone who goes there can take up that Parisian attitude. It’s like a rose, but with thorns on the stem. Pick it up the wrong way, and it can really hurt! That’s Paris, and that’s why we love it. That coolness, the leather jacket that goes over a beautiful dress, that chic Paris thing. So Clara always thought of it as a beautiful rose but with thorns because you can get bitten really easily!”
Next stop: London, where we fly over the royal seat of Buckingham Palace to the Victoria Memorial crowned with gilded bronze. “London, for us, has always been about freshness. Not just because it’s cooler weather-wise, but because there’s an edginess and a freshness about it. London usually has the first trends in fashion, and people really think out of the box. There’s that creativity, and no matter what trends you have around the world, Central Saint Martins still rules the day because it has that edge.
To capture this, we used a really royal bergamot, which is the most citrus of all, with a bit of ginger and cardamom to give it that fresh and sporty, yet sophisticated feel – a bit like a real English gentleman!”
It’s onto colder climes now, as we make our way over to the land of natural reserves and frozen landscapes. “So, over to Siberia, which is one of the biggest landmasses in the world. There’s sandalwood and vetiver giving this scent strength and a little bit of sesame oil. This is more of a woody scent to leave you feeling as if you’ve just stepped out of a forest.
There’s so much vegetation in Siberia, and you really feel that nature is stronger than you. We’ve always had a strong link with Russia, and I go there a lot as I love to climb mountains. Being at the top of a mountain is my happy place.”
Destination: The Dubai Desert
Where better to end our journey than right here in Dubai? It’s time to touch down in the heart of the desert. “I’m going to end our journey by taking you somewhere totally different – the desert. This is a fuller perfume because it’s slightly gourmand with cinnamon oil and almond oil. It’s called ‘Desert Orange Blossom’. For Clara, it was all about running through the desert, where you have this wonderful orange tree growing, like a sort of oasis.”