What drives a young perfumer? A passion for physics, among others…

Max Millies, the owner of Earthgro Fragrances and the creator of the perfumes featured on this website, has been in the perfume business since he was young.  He is an exception in the South African fragrance market, which is dominated by big fashion retailers and niche, organic fragrance houses owned mostly by female entrepreneurs. His is an unusual talent and profession, to say the least.

Now in his thirties, Max studied at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and still has his base in that old town of wine farms and historic buildings. He singlehandedly secured contracts as perfumer for four of the top fashion and lifestyle retailers in South Africa. He has a prodigious memory to identify and remember aromatics, and considering that perfumes that he designed years ago, like La Vie, in 2010, are still being sold, he also has a nose for a fragrance that will have enduring appeal. His particular interest is incorporating pure extracts of indigenous South African plants in his compositions. But during the past decade he has also mastered the balancing act of formulating perfumes that please both users and his own sense of aesthetics and curiosity. What is it about the perfume world that interests and motivates him?

“I love creating things. Since childhood my life revolved around science. Why and how things work. One major interest was horticulture from the age of six – at age thirteen I started a small nursery. Natural plant derivatives such as those used in cosmetics and eventually volatile aromatics captivated my curiosity. It is all about systems, be it a perfume mixture, a biochemical system or even an architectural masterpiece, I think I love the physics behind it…”  – Max Millies


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