Emmanuel Roche Interview
Aeamium reinvents luxury perfumes
Emmanuel Roche introduces his organic perfume brand Aemium
»I thought it’s time to shake up the traditional world of perfume, so that’s how the idea of Aemium was born.«
Bon jour, Emmanuel, please tell us a little about your background.
I spent more than 15 years working with big prestigious brands including Shiseido, D&G, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez and Nars.
In 2018, I decided to quit my job as a European Supply Chain Director. I went into consulting and interim management, helping small beauty companies to develop eco-friendly products and a sustainable supply chain.
What propelled you to launch Aemium? Was there a key moment?
Halfway through my career, I realised I wanted less. Less synthetic fragrances, less packaging and less waste, less marketing and definitely less damage for the environment caused by the cosmetics industry.
I began to realise that life is in danger and that this is an emergency. The companies that produce consumer goods are at the heart of the problem, and they must be part of the solution. I thought it’s time to shake up the traditional world of perfume, so that’s how the idea of Aemium was born.
I wanted to create perfumes with more natural ingredients; products that would be more recyclable, with reusable packaging and eco materials. And I wanted more real luxury: clean, unique, premium and natural.
I launched Aemium together with a team of experts in 2020. We were supported by Robertet, one of the oldest perfume houses in Grasse, France, and started creating poetic scents and olfactory adventures.
So, what is different about your products?
First of all, there is our natural simplicity. We now offer 7 unisex scents that contain just 4 ingredients: 13 to 17% natural perfume extracts from Grasse, 74% organic French wheat alcohol, a little water to soften the scent, and lastly, vitamin E from sunflowers as an antioxidant.
Aemium is unique because we’re way ahead of other premium brands in terms of sustainability. In particular, thanks to four unique sustainable innovations on the market: Our samples contain zero plastic. Our perfumes can be upcycled and used as diffusers or vase stems. The cap doesn’t require a plastic insert and we use wooden boxes instead of bleached cardboard which are often treated with chemicals.
Aemium is the only perfume brand that is both premium and Certified Natural & Organic (by Ecocert). It does away with the myth that natural perfumes can’t be luxurious.
What makes your brand sustainable?
We’re not making any excuses when it comes to our products’ ethical stance. Apart from our four innovations, we use no plastic cellophane, no plastic in labels or cartons, and our glass bottles are light and refillable.
The perfume industry loves heavy bottles, but it’s just a marketing ploy that gives a false sense of luxury – heavier signifying greater value somehow. But more weight requires more resources, more energy during the production and it puts greater strain on transport, so we’re challenging that idea.
We’ve also looked at the supply chain to limit the carbon footprint. From the sourcing of raw materials and components, which all come from France to the location of the production workshop and logistics centre – nothing was left to chance.
What about your ingredients?
We are fully transparent about ingredients, formulas, supplies, suppliers and service providers. Our products are vegan and they are certified by Ecocert (Cosmos Organic or Cosmos Natural)
There are no synthetic ingredients from petrochemicals present in Aemium perfumes. Neither are colorant, nor anti-UV, nor anti-oxidant of controversial synthesis, such as BHT.
On top of that we want to contribute towards social responsibility. We’re a member of 1% For The Planet and donate therefore 1% of our global turnover to the Terre de Liens association, whose actions we admire. Terre de Liens acquires agricultural land in France to prevent its disappearance and makes it available to young farmers, on favourable terms, for organic agricultural production.