Recreation Beauty was established in 2019 by former magazine editor Nedahl Stelio, who saw a gap in the market for ‘clean’ luxury perfumes.
The brand avoids ingredients such as nitromusks, polycyclic musks, as well as denatured alcohol. Instead, it uses a sugarcane-derived alcohol. For consumers who prefer not to use any alcohol, the brand also carries a range of perfume oils.
“We make products to be as good as other perfume products. I always say clean is not a compromise and I believe we actually have a much better product,” said Stelio.
Two months ago, Recreation expanded its online presence with Sephora in Australian and New Zealand. In addition to Sephora and its official website, the brand can also found on Adore Beauty, a leading online beauty retailer.
Stelio told us that the company is now exploring a wider international expansion, starting with Asia.
“Purely from a logistics point-of-view, Asia makes the most sense because it’s the closest to us geographically.”
The company is set to exhibit for the first time at Cosmoprof Asia in Hong Kong next month to explore opportunities in the region.
Stelio believes the brand can tap into the insatiable demand for clean beauty products as well as the rising interest in fragrance products, including home fragrances.
“Fragrance is really the last thing to go clean. There have always been lots of options for skin care and even hair care but not fragrance – we’re definitely tapping into that. We’re seeing more fragrance products not just perfume but hair, body fragrance is becoming more popular and home fragrances as well is a really big one.”
The company has developed a range of body and hair oils which can also be used as layering scents.
Breaking past ingredient limits
While limiting its range of ingredients has restrained the brand in the past, Stelio believes the industry is catching on quickly to meet consumer demand for more natural as well as animal-friendly alternatives.
“When I was first getting started, it was something for the perfumers to really work out. They had to work out how to create as good a fragrance without those ingredients. But I think it’s becoming much more normal and there are so many more options. So much technology and research has gone into creating these new fragrance molecules. That’s really good because the market is catching up.”
According to Stelio, the brand’s fragrances have their own unique quality as it does not use many ingredients that other brands tend to.
The brand is set to debut two new scents next year, one of which was developed in line with consumer demand for a vanilla fragrance but will be different with what’s on the market.
“I pretty much read all of our customer feedback. That means I personally go through things like Facebook or Instagram comments. If there’s an overwhelming number of people saying they want a particular fragrance, then I can start to think of how to develop that. Our vanilla fragrance is a direct response to that, but it isn’t a traditional vanilla fragrance,” said Stelio.
Stelio remained coy about the details of the other fragrance it is launching next year but said it would stand out from current offerings in the market.
“It's a really beautiful fragrance that’s very different to what's out there at the moment,” she said.