Olivia Culpo and Devon Windsor


SPREAD THE WORD: Vincent Oquendo is so excited about his recent discovery of fragrance brand Ex Nihilo and its personalized fragrances that he’s been telling all his friends about it. On Saturday night, the celebrity makeup artist took advantage of the fashion pack being in Paris to invite them to get to know the brand better at its Rue Saint-Honoré boutique.

Guests including Olivia Culpo, Devon Windsor, Barbara Palvin and Kelly Sawyer crowded into the store to drink cocktails and discover the brand’s demi-couture scents.

Olivia Culpo and Devon Windsor

Olivia Culpo and Devon Windsor  Courtesy

“I used to wear Hamptons by Bond No. 9, but once you’ve had something custom-made for you, you can’t go back to off the rack,” enthused Oquendo, inviting guests to sniff his wrist to discover his personal blend. Fragrance is very important to Oquendo, he said. “As a makeup artist, I’m in very close proximity with people, it’s almost intimate.”

Could there be a tie-up in the works, in line with the wave of scented makeup products that are arriving on the market like Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire beauty products?

Vincent Oquendo and Barbara Palvin

Vincent Oquendo and Barbara Palvin  Courtesy

“I wouldn’t mind that at all, it would be amazing,” said Oquendo.

Benoît Verdier, one of Ex Nihilo’s three co-founders, had more immediate projects in mind. “Why not,” he said, “but we have many new projects coming, and makeup is not a priority.”

Verdier had just flown home from Armenia, where the brand launched its products at Hermitage, a high-end perfumery, with a party for 250 people earlier in the week. “We opened a store-in-store in Bloomingdale’s Dubai at the end of February, and we are opening mid-March in Bloomingdale’s Kuwait,” he added.

Benoît Verdier, Sylvie Loday and Vincent Oquendo

Benoît Verdier, Sylvie Loday and Vincent Oquendo  Courtesy

The brand, launched in 2013, now has about 40 points of sale worldwide, and is also expanding fast in the U.S. in partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue and The Webster.

In terms of products, the brand is working on offering a layering approach, and will introduce a new scented oil, adding to the two it introduced last July, this summer.

“I love the idea of preparing the skin, and oils are great for summer, as they don’t contain alcohol,” said Verdier. “The next one will be very oriental, like a Parisian version of oud.”

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