Founded in 2021, Maison Noir echoes perfumes’ traveling and evocative power, encouraging us to discover new worlds of scents. Co-founders Claudio Denz and David Weber invited us behind the scenes, to discuss the brand’s origin, its meaning and the crafting of unique fragrances.
Having worked within the fragrance industry and best-selling perfume brands for more than a decade, Claudio Denz set out to fulfil his dream of creating something from scratch. He was joined by David Weber, who was guided by his entrepreneurial spirit and his fascination for the fragrance world. Together, they combine their unique ideas, concepts, and inspirations to create Maison Noir.
Paying homage to traditional French craftsmanship whilst imagining resolutely modern scents, Maison Noir aims to inspire. Within a fictional townhouse at the crossroads of reality and imagination, each perfume takes us on a new path.
Based on a specific “fragrance wheel” and echoed by their door-shaped packaging, the fragrances accompany us on an olfactive journey in discovering their unique perfumes.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE CREATION OF THE BRAND?
Claudio Denz: We wanted to portray fragrance in a more accessible way. That’s why we are taking people on a journey through the worlds of scent that lets them experience our perfumes with all their senses.
HOW DID YOU BOTH COME TO WORK TOGETHER?
Claudio: We’d known each other for many years, but the momentum for Maison Noir began to build when David and I reconnected after his return from Sydney. At the time, after finishing his MBA, he was looking for a more entrepreneurial career. I’d been working in the field for many years and had been dreaming about creating my own brand, and had been looking for the right partner for this project for a while.
WHAT DOES MAISON NOIR STRIVE FOR?
David Weber: At Maison Noir, we have built a townhouse that could be almost anywhere in the world. This house is full of nostalgic details that make the brand timeless. As soon as you enter the house, you stand in front of a variety of colored and numbered doors, just like in a hotel. Each door leads to a new visual world that portrays one of the fragrance’s souls. All our fragrances are unisex and are meant to underline the wearer’s personality or a specific moment in their life.
HOW MANY FRAGRANCES DO YOU CURRENTLY OFFER?
David: At the moment we have five fragrances – the fifth, “Somnia 517”, was just released a few weeks ago. All the fragrances come in bottles of 50ml or 100ml, as well as scented candles (370g).
WHAT’S THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS LIKE FOR A NEW FRAGRANCE?
David: The manufacturing process is rather simple. The carefully developed fragrance oils are mixed with alcohol and then go through a maceration process – which lasts a few days or weeks – to reach their full potential. After this, the so-called “juice” is bottled into the flacons and assembled with all the other components that form the final product. Before all of this, however, comes the creation of a concept and the development of the actual fragrance corresponding to this concept. This is the more complex element of our daily job.
EACH OF YOUR FRAGRANCES CARRIES A NUMBER BESIDE THEIR NAMES – WHAT DO THEY MEAN?
Claudio: Numbers are a universal language and in some cultures, they’re more important than words. We wanted to use numbers not only to give our fragrances an identifier, but to describe the fragrance itself. Therefore, we have created the Maison Noir Fragrance Wheel. It’s formed of the eight most important scent directions. For each one of our fragrances, we form a three-digit number, composed of the most significant scent directions, that we select on our fragrance wheel. This way, it becomes very easy for people to find the scent they’re looking for without smelling all the fragrances we offer. For example, if someone is looking for a fresh scent, number 2 (citrus) or 3 (ozonic) are the numbers to look out for.
WHAT IS THE “GATEWAY TO OLFACTIVE JOURNEYS”?
David: The “Gateway to Olfactive Journeys” is our way of introducing people to the worlds of our individual fragrances. It comes in the form of the aforementioned townhouse, which hides the fragrance worlds behind doors. These worlds and doors are also portrayed on our packaging.
WHO SHOULD SHOP AT MAISON NOIR?
Claudio: Everyone who dares to try something new and looks for a fragrance that underscores their personality.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MAISON NOIR FRAGRANCE?
Claudio: I wear different fragrances for different occasions. I like “Elysian 685” during the day, but at night, when I go out, I like to wear “Alter Ego 786”. For brunch with friends, I might pick “Bohemia 265”. But in general, I mainly wear the submissions I get from the perfume houses to select the next big thing. I need to wear them to better understand their personalities and get a feeling of how the fragrances need to be manipulated to make the scents even better.
David: I like fresh, citrus scents, so “Vertigo 236” is my go-to fragrance.
WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO SUCCESS?
David: We put the quality of our products first and listen to our customers. We communicate regularly with all the markets that we sell to and listen closely to decide on our next steps.
WHAT’S YOUR BEAUTY SECRET?
Claudio: Don’t miss the chance to perfume your clothing or hair (if your hair conditioner allows it), because this enables the fragrance to last longer and shine brighter.
HOW DO YOU UNWIND/DE-STRESS?
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Claudio: Big cities, destinations far away from home, and spontaneous adventures.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
David: Better to do things and fail than regret not having tried.
WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU’RE BOTH PARTICULARLY PROUD OF?
Claudio: Having built Maison Noir from scratch, together with our team, and enjoying the ride everyday in an environment that does not really feel like work.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU BOTH, AND MAISON NOIR?
David: For the moment we are working hard to expand Maison Noir across the world and open new doors in our townhouse to inspire everyone with our fragrances.