Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - March/April 2024

40 A CONVERSATIONAL PIECE Fine fragrance brand Ampersand Managing Director, David Walker, discusses the genderless, environmentally-friendly scents that are making waves in the market When did you start up and why? Our Fine Fragrance concept was launched in 2021 – it was really started out of pure frustration towards a very backwards and outdated industry. We’ve been involved in Fine Fragrance for 15 or so years, and nothing has been done in that time to help consider recycling or to reduce waste – in fact it’s pretty much gone the opposite direction. All the fancy bottles cannot be recycled, the coated boxes and cellophane wraps are just landfill, endless vials end up in oceans – and all those things just amount to a larger price tag to the consumer. What prompted you to launch the business? We actually produced a conversational piece that wasn’t really meant for market. We asked “What would fine fragrance look like it was environmentally conscious, genderless and without the ever inflating price points.” A number of larger retailers saw it and wanted to stock it – and so, it was born. What challenges have you overcome since the company’s launch? Honestly, demand. We’ve been on the back foot since day one, always playing catch up. We really want to make sure we stay true to our values and the actual concept, so growth takes time to ensure all things are considered fully. Staying environmentally thoughtful whilst under demand is actually pretty tricky. Tell us about your product offering. We’re lucky enough to have worked with some of the world’s leading perfumers over the years, so a few phone calls meant we have a stunning range of Eau De Parfums, all vegan, cruelty free and with carefully sourced ingredients. Our idea is to offer a totally genderless fragrance experience which is purely scent led – for us, there is no right or wrong with fragrance and why should it still be pushed as ‘for him’ or ‘for her’. We have 15 totally different fragrances, which encompass rich woods to light florals and everything in between. Our price point of £59 for a 50ml EDP offers our customers exceptional value for a product comparable with something three times its price. What are your most popular products? California & Iconic are our two best sellers. California is a beautiful light floral with hints of apple and lemon top notes – very wearable and Iconic is a deep, complex smoky woods – there are hints of cinnamon and oud which make it stunning – it’s what people would imagine the inside of a Whiskey barrel to smell like. Have any styles taken you by surprise with their popularity? Some of the fragrances which would