Maison Matine is an independent French niche house that urges us to be a little bit daring every day. From the graphically appealing bottles to the so-contemporary fragrances inside – all made by talented up-and-coming noses – these free-spirited fragrances represent a scented snapshot of the world in flux…
At The Perfume Society, we are quite firmly of the belief that perfumes have the power to completely change your mindset; that after spraying a favourite fragrance, you have the ability to press pause on a bad mood, to use scent as an invisible super-power to boost your confidence, transport you to a far-flung location or to suddenly surround yourself with happy memories.
Having worked together in the design agency and atelier Centdegrès for three years, scent-obsessed colleagues Arthur Ponroy and Marie Kellou had come to the same conclusion. But though they had grown used to smelling fragrances together and sharing their opinion, nothing quite ‘clicked’ with them; nothing they tried really set them on fire or seemed to excite them. ‘Basically, we just did not find fragrances that matched with us,’ Ponroy explains.
So they decided to take a leap and, in 2019, established up their own brand, Maison Matine – fresh scents, reflecting fresh ideas. The name ‘Matine’ is a play on ‘mutine’, the French word for mutiny; and ‘matin’, translating to morning in French, a reminder of their ethos to be daring every day. ‘So together it’s like changing your morning rituals,’ Ponroy explains, ‘…and maybe in your bathroom you’ll have one or two of our fragrances, and they will make your morning different.’
With Kellou as the Creative Director and Ponroy as Brand Manager, Maison Matine seek to do more than merely make people smell good – they want to do good. Literally putting their money where their mouth is, one euro from each bottle sold is donated to a charitable cause that each of the fragrances was inspired by. Ponroy explains that instead of referencing history or looking to the past, as many fine fragrance houses do (particularly French ones); they wanted their house to be globally represent what’s important in the world right now.
The quirky illustrations and deliberately pocket-friendly pricing along with this incitement to rebellion – but Maison Matine is not targeted at a particular age range. ‘We’re talking about a generation from 15 to 70 who are living in the same situation: an open world, with cultural mixity and wealth… in a stressed mood (climate change, social issues, etc.),’ is how they put it.
Yet this is not a perfume house that takes itself too seriously – by contrast, with these fresh and accessible fragrances, a spirit of joy and positivity bursts from everything they do. Take a peek at the Maison Matine Instagram page, for example, to be instantly uplifted. We particularly love their regular ‘Monday Feeling’ posts, with photos of people wearing their glasses on the back of their heads, face-down in a vase full of flowers or struggling to put their arms through pyjama legs, for example – feelings with which we can certainly relate.
And that’s where that power of perfume comes in – helping you overthrow a bad morning and actively choose to change your day. To accomplish this, Kellou and Ponroy sought out the younger, up-and-coming perfumers at Firmenich – a fragrance design company they’d already had dealings with, in their days working at Centdegrès. They didn’t want to use the already well-known superstar names, because, as Ponroy briefed them, ‘we need totally new compositions, brave and uncompromising.’ And so, from Firmenich, the Maison welcomed rising scent stars Adlison Rato, Elise Benat, Ane Ayo and Philippine Courtière, alongside established Firmenich perfumer legend Fabrice Pellegrin.
So, how would you like to rebel in scented form? Well, with light-hearted Bain de Midi – see right, for the surfer-emblazoned bottle – the perfumer Philippine Courtière encourages us to fling off our shoes and go paddling in sea, of an afternoon; jauntily exotic ylang ylang and comforting vanilla feel like a holiday in a bottle.
Elise Benat’s blend of tea and orange blossom, in Warni Warni (top) represents diversity and a the hunger to discover new cultures – it means ‘Come to me,’ in Arabic – which as Maison Matine put it, ‘is an invitation of meeting and sharing.’
Or perhaps you feel the need ‘to challenge the horizons, test new things…’? In which case the perfuming duo of Ayo and Pellegrin have your back with Hasard Basar (scroll down) – creamy Ambrox and soft musk punctuated with Sichuan pepper; a fragrant ‘second skin’ which will allow your own personality to shine through.
Wherever you begin your journey, we have a feeling that, once you’ve started to explore this delightful and dynamic house for yourself, your fragrant horizons will feel immediately brighter.
Now, where will you dare to begin…?