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Filorga reinvents Le Couvent des Minimes

Since it was founded 15 years ago by the L’Occitane group and purchased by Laboratoires Filorga in 2017, Le Couvent des Minimes was completely restructured. Entirely rethought, the new version is now positioned as a French vegan high perfumery brand with an affordable fragrance offering and two skincare lines. Laure Maluski, International Product Development Manager, described this renewal for Premium Beauty News.

Laure Maluski, International Product Development Manager, Le Couvent des Minimes

Laure Maluski, International Product Development Manager, Le Couvent des Minimes

Premium Beauty News - What is the brand’s original story?

Laure Maluski - Le Couvent des Minimes was created in 2004 by the L’Occitane group with a very similar positioning to the globally renowned brand. Located in Mane, in the Provence region, it capitalized on the origin of the place. It told the history of the nuns that lived there in the 19th century with colognes and beneficial skincare recipes. Purchased in 2017 thanks to the support of the HLD fund by Didier Tabary, President of Laboratoires Filorga, the brand was restructured and its positioning completely rethought.

Premium Beauty News - So, you changed everything, except for the name?

Laure Maluski - Exactly. As we were looking into the archives, we discovered that an extraordinary man, Louis Feuillée, King Louis XIV’s botanist, had actually lived in the Couvent des Minimes. A real pioneer in this field, he was ordered by the King to travel the world in search of yet unknown botanical species. A historian helped us find his narratives, botanical drawings, and navigation charts, which were amazingly rich. They inspired us in many ways. Based on his adventures, we designed a singular, exploratory, innovative brand combining art with material. Thanks to his botanical explorations, we created a contemporary, bold, green and inspired, luxurious, but affordable High Perfumery concept. Plus, it is 100% vegan, and beautiful both in the form and content.

Premium Beauty News - Perfumes are the flagship products of the new range, aren’t they?

Laure Maluski - They are, but they are based on a different approach from that of the rest of the market. We believe the future of perfumery should be invented avoiding mainstream standards. So, we thought we should reinvent the codes of luxury perfume by creating a daring French high perfumery – far from standards, but affordable to all.

In our Parfums Remarquables collection, we recreated the atmosphere of legendary harbours, from Valparaiso to Santa Cruz, through signed compositions mixing exotic spices, wood, fruit, and flowers with both strength and personality. In Colognes Botaniques, we walked in the Gardens of the Couvent des Minimes to capture their essence and provide intense, long-lasting freshness. Lastly, in the Intérieurs Singuliers collection, we retranscribed the unique atmospheres of different places of the Court of Versailles, which is full of secret stories, and with which Louis Feuillée was familiar.

At the head of the olfactory department, we chose a passionate creator, Hervé Gambs, who is supported by a team of 10 French perfumers carefully selected for their ability to change the game.

Premium Beauty News - But there are also vegan skincare products… why this decision?

Laure Maluski - Indeed, for both our skincare products and the rest of the range, we worked on green formulas, favouring botanical essences and natural materials, and avoiding any controversial ingredient (no sulphates, no parabens, no silicones), while making sure they were all 100% vegan. This philosophy is only natural to us: it is intended for a public willing to combine being with appearance.

For us, offering skincare in addition to perfumes was also a way to create a real botanical Art de Vivre and keep paying tribute not only to the skincare recipes of the Couvent, but also to the wonderful plants discovered by Louis Feuillée, the King’s botanist. What was the result? Revisited mythical balms, like the Gardener’s Hand Healer or the Hiker’s Healer, a collection of natural, 100% hypoallergenic skincare products with a lovely name, Amorem, and Soins Remarquables for the body, featuring seven botanical oils inspired from Louis Feuillée’s travels.

Premium Beauty News - Are you targeting a new customer profile with this high perfumery positioning?

Laure Maluski - Our brand’s rich DNA makes it possible for us to target quite broad a profile: both men and women of all ages in search of non-standardized scents. Search for meaning and real stories, longing to escape, craze for singularity, desire for quality and elegance at an affordable price… I think we do meet all these needs. And I am deeply convinced they are fundamental trends that transcend both age and sex.

Premium Beauty News - New concept, new design, new products and new distribution?

Laure Maluski - Absolutely. The brand will only be distributed through the selective perfumery channel and department stores. In France, it has been exclusively available at Marionnaud stores since mid-July. Also, we will soon be opening a flagship store in Paris.

Premium Beauty News - Do you have ambitions on the global level?

Laure Maluski - This year, we are launching our range across Europe and in Japan, and we will keep expanding our global presence in the medium term.

Interview by Kristel Milet

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