Oud is frequently associated with fragrances, but Matthew Milèo harnesses the power of the botanical extract in his just-launched eponymously named skin-care range. Milèo combined his vast experience in yoga, a degree in chemistry and fragrance training with Chanel, to formulate the four unisex oils now sold directly on mileonewyork.com.
“It is really for the customer who enjoys the sensorial experience [of skin care],” said Milèo. “It has aromatherapy qualities and I actually composed it like I was composing a fine fragrance.” While he desired to develop a “one-product holy grail,” Milèo realized the need to customize for different skin needs, often driven by seasons, was critical. “You need to adjust your skin every day and a small range helps keep the balance.” His recipe for skin care adjusted to daily needs includes Labyrinthe Vert, Maroc D’Azur, Amber Fort and Monte D’Oro. Prices range from $200 to $300 and all are organic, wildcrafted and ethically farmed for a long shelf life for oils — approximately two years.
His reasons for using Oud went deeper than just the experience of scent. Milèo was on a mission to create a skin-care line that could endure the impact of cancer after watching his godmother undergo chemotherapy. In his research, he found evidence of Oud’s anti-inflammatory and calming benefits along with skin-regenerating benefits. That also drove his decision to make the range natural.
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While developing Milèo, he also happened upon the fact that ingredients are not created equally. “Consumers trust brands and fragrance brands trust suppliers without question,” he said. Yet while he was sampling ingredients from the same location he found they were all different. To that end, he invested in gas chromatography-mass spectrum analysis, a testing method to quantify the time an ingredient was harvested and how it is distilled. The method confirms ingredients are free of refinements, adulterations, chemicals, pesticides, synthetic enhancements or inactive materials. Exacerbating the situation is the fact that the more popular an ingredient gets, the higher the risk of issues. “I want to empower the consumers to ask questions about where ingredients are coming from and trust what they are getting is pure and real.”
Milèo is made in small batches with just 45 bottles per run. Every ingredient is transported overnight and always housed in glass, never touching plastics or chemically infused nonglass containments. Next up, the company is planning to augment its oil-based line with water-based misting serum.