Meet the founder of cult New York fragrance brand Ellis Brooklyn
New York state of mind
For most beauty editors the world of fragrance can become a 'been there, seen it and smelt it all' Groundhog Day of same sameness, with nary a fresh take on perfume to be found. But, having all the fragrances (and beauty prods) cross your desk can also translate to opportunity. Opportunity to uncover that one gaping hole in the beauty market to create a game-changing new skincare, makeup or fragrance that we didn't even know we desperately needed.
And according to the über chic New York Times beauty editor and style columnist, Bee Shapiro, what we really want is a set of "...great, clean fragrances." Which she has very kindly created via her cult clean fragrance and scented home candle brand, Ellis Brooklyn launching on our shores in Mecca at the end of August.
Meeting Shapiro is like reconnecting with a long lost friend - albeit a very cool, whip-smart, bubbly New York-based friend, who really knows her beauty stuff. And it makes complete sense this beauty editor-turned-entrepreneur would be the brains behind such a stellar new clean fragrance brand, "I thought there was amazing clean skincare, amazing clean makeup but for whatever reason I felt like fragrance was sort of that weird hole that was missing, so I thought okay, I love fragrances and... I want a clean fragrance that's just as good as all my other luxury fragrances that I have, but that doesn't have the yucky stuff it in."
By 'yucky stuff' Shapiro means parabens and phthalates - two chemicals often found in fragrance and cosmetics which there is emerging evidence might mess with our hormones. Ellis Brooklyn (named for her first-born daughter and her local 'hood) fragrances are free of these chemicals, housed in environmentally-friendly lead-free glass bottles and are produced in small batches in New York.
The brand launched into the US last year ago with six fragrances, accompanying body milks and a set of seriously deliciously scented home candles; the launch into Mecca marks Ellis Brooklyn's debut into an international market. Initially the Australian product line up will be a tightly edited version with just three of the fragrances (Myth, Rrose and Raven) plus their body milks and three home candles (Raven, Fable, Pseudonym).
As for the scents, Shapiro worked with famed Byredo perfurmer, Jérôme Epinette to create a clever line up of diverse scents to suit every taste. The three initially launching in Mecca are Myth, Rrose and Raven.
Myth, Shapiro's "favourite" is a white musk with ambrette seeds, hint of cassis and "a touch of jasmine". Shapiro says, "I really wanted something very modern and it's the epitome of a New York scent, it's warm on the skin, but it's not like projecting all the way out there."
Then there's Rrose, "a sparkling rose" which has Sicilian lemon in it keeping it from getting cloying. Raven, a "peony patchouli" or a "polished patchouli", is an evening scent Shapiro says was inspired, "by the literary raven character - the raven in Edgar Allen Poe, it's also in the native American lore... And it's the same mysterious character."
Ellis Brooklyn will be available from August 29 at Mecca Cosmetica Trove stores and online from mecca.com.au
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection