Brianna Lipovsky, photo by Dora Samosi.

Brianna Lipovsky, photo by Dora Samosi.

Maison d'Etto

Photo by Lauren Coleman, courtesy of Maison d'Etto.

Maison d'Etto

Photo by Lauren Coleman, courtesy of Maison d'Etto.

Maison d'Etto

Photo by Lauren Coleman, courtesy of Maison d'Etto.

Maison d'Etto

Photo by Lauren Coleman, courtesy of Maison d'Etto.

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New York

Maison d’Etto: Using Fragrance to Build Connections with Ourselves, Nature, Our Communities, and the World Around Us

Maison d’Etto was founded by Brianna Lipovsky in 2016, with its first collection launching just a year ago, in 2019. Now, the luxury fragrance house is celebrating its second collection, “Connection to Nature,” with the release of Noisette—a scent created by International Flavors & Fragrances’ (IFF) perfumer Pascal Gaurin.

Noisette is a lavender-centric fragrance that embodies the calming effects of nature, made special by its use of the newly-developed Lavandin Absolute Enfleurage Organic LMR—an IFF-developed extract noted for its relaxing qualities. Noisette tells the story of Lipovsky’s travels to the French Pyrenees mountains, where she rode a horse named Noisette through fields of wild lavender.

Earlier this year, Lipovsky also started the initiative “Our Love Letter to You” after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program saw 500 care packages distributed to healthcare workers on the frontlines, in collaboration with other brands like Royal Fern, Diptyque, and Costa Brazil. To learn more about this project, Noisette, and the new collection, Whitewall spoke to Lipovsky.

WHITEWALL: “Connection to Nature” draws on your own experiences and scent memories with the outdoors. Tell us about the process of creating this collection and how you collaborate with IFF’s Pascal Gaurin?

BRIANNA LIPOVSKY: Nature is incredibly healing and resonates with so many at this moment. Going back to the basics, the elemental nature of the world and the healing power of nature is transformative.

Noisette came about very organically—so much so, that it was almost as if it fell from the sky. Pascal Gaurin’s interpretation and creation was a beautiful thing to witness unfold. Pascal has a very different way of working. [He] is extremely intuitive and likes to connect deeply, read the person, feel the emotions, and then he gets to work.

We had a brief conversation about an ingredient and scent memory at an industry event, and lo and behold six months later Pascal presented the most beautifully unique lavender inspired fragrances. When I smelled them, I was shocked. They were not like anything on the market, they were a huge departure and very “Etto”. It was as if he could see inside my mind and conceptualize my hopes, dreams, and fears into a fragrance.

WW: Noisette was inspired by your time in the French Pyrenees mountains. Can you set the scene?

BL: Years ago, on a trip with my husband to the French Pyrenees for a wedding, I snuck away to ride a horse. I always travel with a helmet and boots in case I happen upon a farm. I found a wonderful rustic farm and a beautiful horse named Noisette, which is French for “hazelnut.” The memories of this magical trip overall and the unique experience of riding this horse surrounded by wild lavender and fields of hay—that was the base of the inspiration.

With lavender as our main ingredient, we rounded it out with a ton of orris to give it volume. The ambrette seeds, musk, and nuttiness were a nod to the nuttiness of a Hazelnut and this distinctive memory riding Noisette through the damp, musky French countryside. There is also a brightness and crispness reminiscent of crisp bursts of air, fresh and clean, followed by musky and damp notes that seemed to follow you throughout the countryside in various intoxicating forms.

WW: Noisette is made with the first-ever organically certified Lavandin absolute. Tell us more about this.

BL: It was straight from Pascal. He was playing and experimenting with the ingredient, and our desire to create a completely new Lavender inspired fragrance, which served as the perfect platform for all of his musing.

The fact that IFF had done research on the impact the ingredient could have on the brain was fascinating to me. I love to geek out on these types of things—the fact that certain molecules in this fragrance can possibly aid in relaxation just blew my mind, and I instantly fell in love with the concept and the fragrance even more.

WW: You recently started the “Our Love Letter to You” program for the benefit of healthcare workers during the pandemic. What did this initiative entail and why it was important to you?

BL: I was in the midst of finalizing Noisette when Covid-19 hit New York City during the first wave. It quickly became my lifeblood to manage my stress and anxiety, which became quite challenging during the first months of quarantine. I would spray it all over myself, my sheets, scarfs, curtains, towels, anything I could find that it would stick to. So, I thought, if it is helping me, we should share the love.

It’s one thing to watch the news and be in awe of medical professionals’ extraordinary efforts, but it’s another entirely to hear firsthand accounts from friends who are on the frontlines, day after day.

The donation was deeply personal for all involved: the 500 care packages were distributed to the friends and loved ones of the people behind the participating brands. We hoped that they would serve as tools for these individuals to find the moments that bring them inner peace, as well as a reminder that there are better, brighter days to come.

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