Home / 24 Jun 2019

Brand | IIUVO

IIUVO-meaning to delight or gratify. A simple notion but one of great significance to us. Fragrances are directly rooted in experience, inflected with emotional resonance; a confluence of memory and forethought.

The story begins with the chance meeting of founders Tomi Ahmed and Leo Gibbon in London, who discovered a shared fascination with perfume's potent ability to evoke emotional memory. The son of a florist, Leo created IIUVO's first scent to invoke the childhood memory of his mother's workshop. Its success led Tomi and Leo-then 23-year old industry outsiders-to the doors of some of the world's most prestigious perfume houses. Gradually, IIUVO attained international recognition and a reputation for creating eloquent, emotive, fragrances with lasting personal resonance.

"Scented Candles, handmade in France,6.7 oz with 40h burning time"


A delicate floral scent inspired by one of the founder's mother's floristry workshop. The bottom note of rose essence echoes the overwhelming fragrance that fills a crowded florist. The top notes of orange blossom and jasmine combine with the Tiare blossom core to round off the fresh, floral harmony.


Dedicated to Tomi's mother, Ruth Bosede Ojuluwayo.


Inspired by the lyrics of southern hip-hop, woodgrain fills the room with an atmosphere of opulence. The deep, sweet combination of nutmeg and cardamom combine with myrrh to form the top notes. The bold core is made up of cedar and patchouli, whilst the base notes are formed of amber, tonka bean and fir balsam to complete a very warm, soporific essence.


Emmie - the name of one of the founder's grandmother, is a scent dedicated to his childhood spent in her immaculate, mythical Irish garden. Myrrh and galbanum combine to form the bitter top notes. Cedar, vetyver and patchouli blend to enforce further a green, woody core. The earthy base is formed through the fusion of Moss and Lichen. With hints of grapefruit and cucumber, Emmie perfectly encaptures an Irish garden moments after rainfall.


The Theory of BULLSHIT, created by IIUVO and Stefan Brüggemann. The realisation of idle content that manifests in the no man's land between truth and invention. It's time to focus on product, not context.


In the verdant countryside of Kyoto, Japan's first capital, the air is remarkably pure. Surrounded by mountains and nestled between pockets of greenery, one of the founders visited this tranquil region which serves as the inspiration for Kurīn - a scent whose name, phonetically, means clean. Top notes of peppermint and green tea evoke the teashops found at the corner of every street, a streak of mandarin alludes to the magnificent orange tree in the gardens of the Imperial Palace, beneath which cedar, moss and musk, inspired by the Arashiyama Forest, form an earthy base. Although often overshadowed by the much mythologised cherry blossom, seas of violets span fields upon fields in the areas surrounding Kyoto and combined with cassis, these blooms provide the lighter, floral notes to Kurīn.

During a period spent travelling around Japan, the co-founder, Leo, was particularly struck by the clarity and freshness of the air in the countryside surrounding Kyoto, Japan's original capital. Viewed from a train, the landscape is characterised by contrasts; perfectly flat expanses of verdant green, punctuated by ponds and irrigation pools, which are all at once interrupted by green, mossy mountains. It has been observed that the many beautiful gardens of Kyoto trace the history of Japan, through their combined elements of new and old. In chisen shuyu teien, or 'pond-spring-boating gardens', remnants from the Heian era, members of the aristocracy drifted past one another in ornately carved and painted boats. Nearby, in North-West Kyoto, a kare-sansui (stone garden without water or plants), built hundreds of years later, can be found beside the temple of Ryoan-ji.

Then came the formulation of the fragrance itself: working with the master perfumers at Robertet to find the precise marriage of elements that would conjure the scenes of Leo's experience. To evoke the ubiquitous teashops, Peppermint and Green Tea, as top and middle notes respectively, provide freshness and lightness-like the breeze that carries the scent of the fields with it into town. Mandarin serves as a lively accent to the top notes, representing the great mandarin tree, known as Ukon-no-Tachibana, that looms over the grounds of Kyoto's Imperial Palace. Harmonising with the Green tea at the centre of the fragrance is Violet-in homage to the blooms that adorn the fields of Kyoto in vast swathes and varying shades, yet are so often eclipsed by their compatriot, the Cherry Blossom. Violet and Cassis make up the lighter notes of Kurīn, conveying a little of the brightness and vitality of the region. Whilst Leo was wary of infusing Kurīn with too much wood, in imitation of the inimitable scent of the incense that burns in the temples and shrines, he wanted to reference the richness of the Arashiyama Forest that borders the Katsura River, to the West of Kyoto. In the end, a combination of Cedar, Moss and Musk are used, to suggest the green, earthy solidity of that majestic forest.


Françoise Gilot was just twenty-one when she first met Pablo Picasso in a Parisian café. Yet, not long after, she accompanied the painter to the South of France, to live as his lover and muse. Often depicting her in cool, aquatic tones of blue and green, Picasso referred to Gilot as his Mediterranean inspiration. After ten years and two children, Gilot left Picasso despite his fierce protestation that Nobody leaves a man like me and went on to achieve great success as an artist and academic in her own right. A 1948 photograph of the couple on holiday in Golfe-Juan shows her walking magnificently in front while Picasso follows behind, shading his love with a parasol. Her power and his vulnerability to it are palpable. Gilot is a fresh yet complex scent, inspired by the Mediterranean, dedicated to formidable women.

"Perfumes created for romantic stories"


According to Alhacen's Theory of Visual Perception, "Darkness makes beauty appear, for the stars only appear in darkness". An element of the sinister throws beauty into starker relief, as in the early photography of Stanley Kubrick and a 1970 recording of Frederick Ashton's Nocturne ballet. The legendary prima ballerina, Margot Fonteyn, seems to dance a beautiful solo until the camera pans left and reveals a shadowy figure behind, for whom Fonteyn's performance is a desperate entreaty. Likewise, Kubrick's haunting images of Chicago in the forties are filled with eery details, glimpsed only at the last moment. When the shadowy figure finally advances into the light, Fonteyn falls to her knees in tears before him, undone. Inspired by the impulses explored by these two artists, Fonteyn is a scent of tender delicacy, laced with depravity.


Soigné is an elegant little word, used to describe a man of immaculate style and appearance. It recalls a time of opulence and when stars like Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra thrilled with their effortless talent and style. Possessing swaggering confidence bordering on arrogance, they were the embodiment of unstudied elegance; carelessly seductive and wild. Soigné is a suitably provocative and nostalgic scent, evoking the fire of an artistic sensibility. Spicy top notes of nutmeg and ceylon cinnamon overlay a warm centre featuring cashmere wood and patchouli, built upon a delicate base of sandalwood and white musk. Soigné is a warm, sensual embrace in the arms of someone dangerous.

Each scent in this collection tells a different story. As a fragrance house, IIUVO drives to create scents has always been incredibly personal. The home fragrance candles take their notes and their names from the experiences, olfactory and otherwise, of the founders.