Michelle Pfieffer’s new Henry Rose fragrance brand is safe and long-lasting

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While safer cosmetics have transformed the beauty industry, “the world of fine perfumery is still a black box,” says actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who is launching a new direct-to-consumer perfume company, Henri rose, to bring unprecedented transparency to a traditionally cryptic industry.

In a first for a high-end perfume store, Henry Rose is offering customers the full ingredient list for each of its five inaugural scents, which include the bright and festive Jake’s House, the sultry Dark Is the Night, and the spicy and earthy Torn ( “the closest I could come to Old Spice,” Pfeiffer says). Even more impressive: Every ingredient has been certified safe and environmentally friendly by nonprofit oversight bodies Cradle to cradle and the Environmental working group, where Pfeiffer is a member of the board of directors. “Customers are looking for advice on what is safer and healthier,” says Pfeiffer. “Corn [perfume companies] can’t help them until we know what’s really in our scents.

In keeping with the brand’s philosophy, the $ 120 fragrances come in 1.7-ounce bottles made from 90% recycled glass with soy-based caps, and are shipped in bio-based and biodegradable packaging. (Pfeiffer says she waits to create smaller, travel-size bottles until she can find environmentally friendly containers.)

The launch of Henry Rose had been in the works for over a decade. Pfeiffer started talking with cosmetic companies about creating a fragrance free from parabens, phthalates and other known harmful ingredients around 2010. At the time, no one was interested. Today, businesses large and small see value in creating safer beauty products. (Just see the proponents of the proposal Personal Care Product Safety Bill, co-sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins of Maine, which includes L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Beautycounter and others.) But the Pfeiffer brand is the rare fine perfumery company that voluntarily commits to higher standards and paves the way for other perfumers.

She spoke with Fast business on his entrepreneurial journey, the value of transparency and why Henry Rose is resolutely not a celebrity scent.

Fast business: How do you describe Henry Rose? Is it a “natural” perfume company?

Michelle Pfeiffer: There has been so much misleading language and false promises in the area of ​​personal care. What does “natural” mean? Anything you want, really. Ditto with clean or organic. Henry Rose is therefore not concerned with what is most natural, cleanest or most organic. This is what is safest.

[Photo: courtesy of Henry Rose]

CF: What was your inspiration for these perfumes?

deputy: Back when people smoked on airplanes and on film sets, I lived on six packets of Coke and three packs of Marlboros a day. I quit smoking before I had kids, of course. And when I became a mom [about 20 years ago], I started to look at the world through the eyes of my children. I started to read the labels. I ran into the environmental working group Deep Skin Cosmetics Database, where you can research the ingredients of the products you use and look for safer options. Often times I would find promising products, but when I searched for what was in their scent, the EWG danger level skyrocketed. So I stopped using perfume. But I started to miss it, and to wonder if it was possible to create something [safer] that I liked, it was similar to the high end perfumes I wore.

CF: Have you considered signing a licensing deal with a cosmetics company like many celebrities do when they create a perfume?

deputy : I explored the possibility of working with a cosmetics company [around 2010]. But it turned out to be a dead end. In meetings, I would mention things like parabens and phthalates, and ask if we can only use trusted ingredients. I haven’t got anywhere. No one was interested in doing this kind of product with me. [Eventually] I found [the leading perfume company] International Flavors & Fragrances, which was already working on a product that could meet the Cradle to Cradle certification. So they figured out what I wanted, what I was trying to do. They knew we had to [study] all that is in the perfume. I was sure I had landed in the right place. So I decided to create a perfume and I ended up with a company that has five.

CF: What was it like to create fragrances that are both EWG certified and Cradle to Cradle certified?

deputy : Perfumers generally choose from a palette of 3,000 ingredients. We ended up reducing it to around 250. What was unexpected and exhilarating was the communication that occurred between EWG, Cradle to Cradle and [the chemists at] FIF. No one had ever tried to develop a fragrance to meet these standards and achieve the level of quality we were looking for. We had so much discussion about what ingredients we could use. If any of the [these groups] was no longer fit and thought it was too complicated we would have failed. Instead, they all learned from the process. Now all of these ingredients are in their databases.

Henry Rose Sample Set [Photo: courtesy of Henry Rose]

CF: Are you worried that by listing your ingredients online, other companies may follow in your footsteps?

deputy : The perfume industry has been hidden behind trade secrets. But the truth is, even if you know all the ingredients in a perfume, it’s hard to duplicate it because you don’t know the concentrations. And I think it’s important to push the needle towards transparency within the industry.

CF: As a private person who has let their film work speak for itself, how do you feel about being the public face of a company?

deputy : I am now on Instagram. It was scary, but not as scary as I thought it would be. You can become obsessed with it. I don’t know how healthy it is, but I’m having more fun with it than I thought. But my name and my image are not on the packaging of Henry Rose. From the start, we realized how difficult it would be for this business to fend for itself. I will be the face of Henry Rose for as long and as long as necessary. I can get some initial attention and help build a successful launch. But if the brand wants to have legs and succeed, it has to be more than me.



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