There are brands that lead, and brands that follow. Maison Louis Marie, whose history begins in 1792, is most certainly the former.
The story of the company begins with the French Revolution, as all great stories do (Charles Dickens knows!). Louis Marie Aubert du Petit Thouars was a French botanist who grew up in the French aristocracy. When the revolution began, he was first imprisoned, then exiled to Madagascar, Mauritius, and La Réunion.
Instead of spending his exile learning a new language or taking up embroidery, he decided to put his botany skills to good use and took to collecting botanical specimens across the islands. When, ten years after his initial exile, he was allowed to return to France, he brought the approximately 2.000 plants with him.
He went on to write a number of botanical books and was elected to the prestigious Académie des Sciences. He was particularly noted for his meticulous descriptions of orchids from the islands of Mauritius and La Réunion.
Fast forward 200 years. Marie du Petit Thouars grew up in Belgium and spent time in Paris and London before settling in Los Angeles. She built a career in fashion, first working for British magazine editor Isabella Blow, and then as the Fashion Editor for the London Sunday Times. During her childhood, she spent time experimenting with floral and botanical scents in her mother’s greenhouse.
Marie eventually began creating her own candles – something she did just for herself. When her friends began requesting their own, she realised she had a potential company on her hands. In 2016, she joined forces with her husband Matthew Berkson, who founded his own manufacturing agency for high-end contemporary products, in order to scale the business. Maison Louis Marie began producing not only candles, but also fragranced skincare and perfume.
Now, if Maison Louis Marie simply made nice-looking candles and perfumes, they wouldn’t be so interesting as a brand. But it’s the fragrances themselves that really set Maison Louis Marie apart. Most of them are based on a specific memory; for example, No. 04 Bois de Balincourt is based on Marie’s walks in the woods outside of her family home, with sandalwood as the key note.
Although the fragrances do contain some synthetics, the brand is entirely cruelty-free and clean, meaning that ingredients are not harmful for both the wearer and the planet. Their choice to use some synthetics is in response to over-harvesting. All Maison Louis Marie oils, candles, and perfumes are packaged in glass, and the labels are made with uncoated paper and soy ink.
And the look of the packaging? It’s minimalist, all right, and you might be tempted to think that some of the bigger brands out there with similar packaging were the inspiration. But you’d be wrong: Maison Louis Marie’s take on elegant minimalism has served as a template for many other brands.
There are four categories of scent, which are available across the their range of products: earthy & woody, floral, fresh, and warm & spicy. Try their No. 03 L’Etang Noir candle, inspired by childhood days spent at a lake, with notes of tobacco flower, vanilla, and tonka for a spicy, rich scent that’s ideal for autumn or winter.
For those not yet sure what scent is for them, we recommend the Perfume Oil Discovery Set, where you can test all of the scents and change what you’re using based on your mood. They’re also great for travel, and as a gift for perfume-lovers.
The newest product addition is deodorant, which comes in the No. 04 Bois de Balincourt scent. The scent is light but still very much present, wearing off slowly through the day. The deodorant itself doesn’t leave any residue (it is a clear formula) and is aluminium-free.
If you love scents that draw from nature, whether it be sweetly floral or musky, Maison Louis Marie has a scent profile that’s up your alley. Their beautiful packaging, paired with the memory-based scent collection, makes each item feel like a treasure.
Browse the collection from Maison Louis Marie.