This French Fragrance Brand Has a Super-Exclusive Experience No One Knows About


Courtesy of EX NIHILO

Ex nihilo may be Latin for "out of nothing," but the indie French fragrance line with the same name is anything but vapid. Created by three impossibly chic French individuals with varying backgrounds (all cool and worldly, obviously), EX NIHOLO seeks to exist as an alternative to stuffy storied fragrance houses of yore by offering luxurious, avant-garde, and edgy scents that waft by and make you do a double-take—or two.

There's Sweet Morphine, a sticky-sweet, carnal-tinged blend of lilac, iris, wood accord, and vanilla. If your desires are more clandestine, there's Venenum Kiss, an alluring, unexpected blend of notes like neroli, saffron, and nutmeg with a sandalwood base. Fleur Narcotique wins for best name but also delivers on scent—it's a slinky, airy floral that pairs bergamot, jasmine, and peony with a sweet shot of lychee and peach. These are scents that beckon, seduce, and linger, and they're unlike anything you've ever smelled.

But wait—there's more.

EX NIHILO also offers a semi-secret feature for its customers who frequent Bergdorf Goodman in NYC or Saks Miami Dadeland: "We wanted to offer a luxurious, exclusive, and intimate experience in our boutiques, inviting customers to create their own demi-bespoke fragrance," the leather jacket-wearing, well-coiffed co-founder Benoît Verdier informs me. "You tell us your emotional preferences and we will translate this by proposing a slightly modified but very personal formula validated by our team of perfumers from Paris."

My emotional preferences vary greatly based on things as fleeting as the weather and whether the Starbucks barista spells my name correctly, so I was curious to see if the brand could live up to its promise. What would my perfect, personalized perfume smell like? Keep scrolling to find out.