John and Clara Molloy met in mid-air, between the earth and sky, as they sat on a chair lift whilst on a skiing trip. That was the beginning of a remarkable personal and professional relationship for them as a couple. It turned out to be one that would take them all over the world, many times over, as they strove to capture the visceral scents of the planet’s most amazing spaces.
The son of a horse breeder from Tipperary, John grew up with the scent of old leather and soap ingrained in his senses. Clara is a native of Andalusia who has travelled extensively throughout her life. Together, they united their wanderlust and created a luxurious fragrance collection that is a means of taking a magical olfactory journey via the scent you choose. To witness the beautiful storytelling behind this eleven-strong collection, Les Echappees, is indeed something special as are the scents themselves. John and Clara are a charismatic couple who clearly love what they have created.
Clara worked closely with the perfumer, Aliénor Massenet who is the nose behind many famous fragrances such as Tresor in Love by Lancôme and Jasmin by Armani Prive. Together they envisaged an eloquent olfactory storyline; they mapped out the world’s most beautiful places via scent and MEMO (from ‘memory’) was born.
Now stocked in some of the globe’s greatest retailers, the brand has blossomed and John has joined his wife’s endeavours by bringing his knowledge of the luxury beauty industry, which he honed through his time working in marketing for Lancôme in Geneva.
Interestingly, they have recently launched a fragrance as an homage to Ireland, called Irish Leather, using a unique leather-effect note composed of a blend of musk, styrax and iris concrete. When asked why she wanted an Irish scent, Clara says, “My husband is Irish, we have been working together since last summer, which may have had something to do with it… It’s an extremely endearing country that stirs strong emotions. Ireland is a shock to the system on all levels: what you smell, what you see, the vibrations you feel… The country is inextricably linked to horses. Leather is at once noble and rustic, characteristics that also apply to Ireland.”
This and all the other fragrances including the airy Inle and the sensuous Luxor Oud are available now in Brown Thomas.
Ellie Balfe recommends setting a few minutes aside to go to the counter and take the journey. (Ask for Clive, he’ll guide you through it in his gorgeous French accent!)