By Jill Brooke
For #WorldWellnessWeek, what better way to encourage positivity and wellness than by focusing on the uplifting effects of using perfume – particularly by Floral Street.
This British-based brand is one of our favorites because its founder Michelle Feeney dismissed out-dated notions about branding, merchandising and how people experience fragrance.
That’s what pioneers and innovators do. They assess the current strategies and contemplate improvements by listening to both the tea – and floral leaves.
“I like being a champion of change,” says Feeney, a seasoned executive who built brands at Estee Lauder and MAC Cosmetics. “The modern person has moved on from a signature scent,”
Rooted in that practicality, Floral Street markets fine fragrances at affordable prices that are designed to mirror people’s moods and what they need for a particular moment.
Do you want a scent to feel sensual and romantic? Do you need a pick-me-up to focus at work? Perhaps you need a fresh light scent when darkness descends and you need and want to feel brighter? This is a brand for bottled feelings.
“A fragrance can inspire different emotions and different feelings,” she explains, echoing research that has been done by Brown University researcher Rachel Herz.
Along with master perfumer Jerome Epinette, the team created floral-based scents such as Wonderland Peony, Neon Rose, Black Lotus, Iris Goddess, London Poppy and Ylang Ylang Espresso.
What the team did not create were marketing campaigns based on over-the-top sexual imagery.
“Those commercials where all the clothes drop off to get the girl or the guy,” she says, sighing in frustration. “There’s an overuse of the word ‘sexy” which feels very 1970’s. We’ve lived through so much including sexual harassment. That won’t appear in our branding at all.
Instead, the message is about empowerment. Let’s get more sprays of that!
Sure there are scents designed to inspire sensuality – Black Lotus – but it’s coming from the place where the perfume choice makes the person feel good about themselves vs. needing to attract someone else.
“It’s about being sexy for yourself,” adds Feeney, a mother of two. “We are making a fragrance that should be for you and the joy it brings.”
Floral Street also uses recyclable packaging. Feeney points out that there are more than 120 billion units of packaging by the global cosmetics industry. Her cardboard packaging is both artistically stylish and void of all the unnecessary plastic coverings and foam inserts.
An added bonus? The perfumes and candles are entirely vegan for those needing a gift for vegan friends or family members.
But most importantly, the products smell good.
That’s because Floral Street is devoted to gardening secrets where the greatest scents bloom.
In fact, the Royal Horticultural Society which hosts the Chelsea Flower Show invited Floral Street to collaborate on a fragrance.
“Jerome and I looked at their historical data along with the species of flowers and fruits and discovered these heritage rhubarb plants,” explains Feeney. “We thought that would be an interesting ingredient.”
Indeed it was. Rhubarb added “a zing” to the award-winning 2019 fragrance which was aptly named “Electric Rhubarb.”
Another favorite is “Wonderful Peony” which is being sold in the U.S. at Sephora. “Peony gives you warmth and joy and it’s a perfume that says, ‘I want to be kind to myself.’ It’s a sweeter more gentle scent,” says Feeney, contrasting it to Iris Goddess, a scent for both men and women rich in violets, chili pepper, lemon zest and even carrot seeds.
Another fresh approach to Feeney’s mission is to toss elitism which includes making fragrance less like wine-tasting and more like a picnic.
In fact, the London store also has a “Scent School” to educate customers. “I thought of it because like wine-tasting, it should not be an elite art,” she says. “I want to bring fine fragrance and the art of smell to as many people as possible.”
In just three years, the products have won numerous awards such as Woman & Home Best Innovation 2018 & Best New Fragrance 2019 as well as the Fragrance Foundation National Retailer of the Year 2019.
But the best reward and award is when customers find “joy” through the fragrances and candles. This is why so many visit Floral Street for their fragrance wardrobe and look forward to its newest designs.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.