How did les ettes come to be?
In 2006, Carmela Fleury came up with an initial business plan at the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, founded Les Ettes in Innsbruck, and met with perfume companies in Paris. Stine Schjott Quist came on board shortly after and they tweaked and cranked the business plan further. Last year when the scents were launched at ISPO, both Claudia Almendros and Christel Thoresen were there to help out and both are now part of the team.
What is the hardest part about going up against the big perfume brands?
The challenge is they are B-I-G! big perfume brands have big financial pockets, big marketing teams, big established PR contacts, big distribution networks, and so on. They are
the big guys, and we are just the young crafty little guys in comparison. But the fact that we’re a young, innovative, boardsports-driven and creative cosmetics brand is the reason why the legendary Pierre Bourdon was interested in working with us. He is our ‘nose’, the man who created the scents. We also have complete liberty with our image, which has allowed us to stand out versus other more traditional perfume brands.
Why is it important to challenge the dominance of the celebrity-endorsed fragrance market?
It deliberately shows people a glamorous world they can’t afford, whereas we would rather be driven by an attainable reality. We would rather promote female professional
snowboarders than skeletal fashion models, and healthy and strong females over thin or plastic surgery-riddled ones. We strive to be organic, wholesome and true in the image
Was it difficult to get pro riders on board?
Not really since we all came from a snow boarding background, so the riders were friends of ours, or friends of friends.
What has been the industry response?
Being a cosmetic start-up in the male dominated boardsports world is not the easiest of tasks but so far the feedback has been surprisingly positive. When people tried Love-Ette and Want-Ette they didn’t just love the products, they liked the team, the image and innovation of the concept. Nine months later another industry brand came out with their own perfume, which we guessed was a positive sign.
And have you found a following outside the industry?
Yes, people like the scents whether they’re interested in boardsports or not, and as Les Ettes is non-alcoholic an interesting following has been young mothers who carry teething babies. We do want to keep our image as special, limited, and something that cannot be found everywhere.
How did you settle on your choice of scents?
After receiving over 20 different scents from the perfume companies, we performed various blind tests: Love-Ette and Want-Ette were by far the two that jumped out at us the most.
Why is it important to use non-alcoholic fragrances?
The pro riders we spoke to said they wanted to smell clean and fresh but didn’t want a strong, nauseating scent. Most of our customers are sporty women who are out in the sun a lot, so it’s important to offer a fragrance that doesn’t turn bad in the sun or stain clothes.
Where can we buy it?
In selected shops in the UK, Austria, Germany and Switzerland, or directly from the Les Ettes website.