As part of our ongoing #BehindTheBrand series, we sat down for an exclusive interview with Brianna Lipovsky, designer and brand founder of Maison d'Etto, to learn more about finding comfort in nature, the transformative power of scent, and seeking connection to the deepest parts of ourselves.
Check out the exclusive interview below.
1. Maison d' Etto fragrances focus on five key aspects of connection: connection to self, connection to others, connection to nature, connection to the world and connection to find one’s purpose. Tell us, which pillar of connection resonates most with you?
Well-being and connection are the cornerstones of the Maison d' Etto ethos, and speak to their mission of purpose beyond just the product. “Connection to Nature” is the second collection and a key pillar of the journey to discovering one's true self.
I have always found comfort and healing in nature and was inspired to tell olfactive stories of my own personal journey with unique fragrances. For instance, during a special trip to the mountain villages of the French Pyrenees for a wedding. I discovered my love of lavender, and made a point to stop in local villages and meander through the open fields atop a special palomino horse named Noisette. The singular memory of this experience was the ever-present scent of lavender in its wildest forms, ambrette, earth and musk round out the quaint countryside experience I aimed to recreate this incomparable experience in the latest fragrance.
2. The power of scent as a means of memory has been a guiding principle throughout your life. Tell us about three scent memories that have been pivotal moments in you creating Maison d'Etto.
Each Maison d'Etto fragrance is inspired by a horse I have a special connection to, and named after them as well. I mentioned earlier that the latest scent, Noisette, was inspired by the French hay and wild lavender fields through which I rode a Palamino horse named Noisette. In this region of France they fetched the horses with stale baguettes from rusty buckets which were so fascinating to me and we incorporated a bit of that musky baguette barrel in the fragrance as well.
The first five scents (Canaan, Karat EG, Rotano, Macanudo, and Durban Jane) were also based on special experiences and unique horses that left a lasting impact. Macanudo, the scent that Mackenzie Reilly created, was based on a polo pony, and the memorable smell of the crisp, clean polo grass blowing in the warm Palm Beach wind. To me, the scent memory evokes grass and the soft powder of a polo field underfoot, and the freedom of my daughters laugh in the distance chasing the sun. We would go out and run through the polo fields at IPC after a long day and it was pure bliss. Macanudo represents both the groundedness and exuberance of nature. It evokes a sense of steadfast purpose with glimmering rays of love and light.
Related to grass, one of my earliest scent memories is of my father on a lawnmower. He was a horticultural engineer for golf courses when I was young and that smell of freshly cut grass and the gasoline and oil of a commercial mower always brings me back to those moments. At the end of a summer day he would turn on the sprinklers and we would run through the impeccably manicured grounds and get soaking wet. This is where my love for the smell and feel of grass on bare feet was born. There is still no better feeling in the world than walking barefoot on a field of perfectly dense and groomed grass.
3. ETTO stands for Ethics and Motto, a representation of core truths and beliefs. What does ‘Etto’ mean to you? What values guide your life - professionally and personally?
Maison d’Etto is set apart by its brand ethos: Freedom, Authenticity, and Creativity for all! The highest quality ingredients, exquisitely crafted by the best perfumers in the world who are encouraged to bring their own personal style to Maison d’Etto.
It is a creative platform for everyone from me to our perfumers, evaluators, creatives, packaging designers, photographers, and ultimately our wearers and clients. It also stands for searching and seeking connection to the deepest parts of ourselves. No matter where you are or what you're going through in life, Etto is there to support you in your journey deep into the five key points of connection — self, others, nature, world, and ultimately your purpose. What were you put on this planet to do? We like to ask the big deep questions and inspire anyone that comes in contact with the brand to go deeper.
In addition to ethics and motto, Etto also stands for “Each To Their Own." It is a brand that refuses to dictate values and beliefs to its wearer but rather empowers them to explore what Etto uniquely means to them. As a lifestyle brand, Maison d’Etto speaks to and resonates with people from all genders, ages, cultures, and places globally — consumers from jetsetters and equestrians to passionate fragrance collectors, which is such an honor as they are really the critics of our industry.
4. We’re eager to hear - what’s next for Maison d’Etto?
We’ve had a few launches planned over the past 6 months, but I am pregnant and was so sick at the beginning that I couldn’t smell anything. Talk about a job hazard. I have an amazing team supporting me with development however I’ve delayed those and have just picked them back up full time in September.
We have a beautiful white floral “hopefully” launching around holidays with a perfumer I’ve been dying to work with from Paris, Julien Rasquinet. He spent a lot of time influenced by and working in the Middle East and everything he touches is divine. I love the olfactive profiles from this region and am so fortunate to be working with one of the best modern-day experts from the region. His style of perfumery is so unique and interesting to me so this is a dream come true.
We’re also working on another fragrance from our ‘Connection to Others’ collection represented by a very special Team USA Dressage horse owned by my friend Sasha Cutter and piloted by a young phenom Ben Ebling. We’ve been working on this for over two years now, but sometimes great things take a little extra time. Stay tuned!
Come explore the full collection of Masion d’Etto at Figure Eight today.