Moroccanoil’s Carmen Tal On Their Eagerly Anticipated First-Ever Fragrance

by Eddie Roche

If you love the smell of Moroccanoil (find us someone who doesn’t!) the brand has heard your call for its first-ever fragrance offering. Moroccanoil Brumes du Maroc is a hair and body mist featuring its signature scent—an exotic blend of spicy amber and sweet f loral notes. Co-founder Carmen Tal tells THE DAILY SUMMER about the long journey in bringing this new offering to loyal customers, why they’ve made it part of their mission to give back, and where she’s escaping for a well-earned break this year.

We haven’t chatted in a moment. How have you been?
I’m not too bad, besides the fact that I had COVID-19 last October. It wasn’t terrible, and I navigated through. It’s been difficult for everyone, but I think most of us made the best of it. I think some people found a lot of comfort working from home, getting closer to their families, and [found] a different meaning to their life. It’s an interesting time, and
I believe that something good will come of it.

Are you back in the office full-time now?
Not yet. We’re three days a week in the office now. By September, we’ll be four days a week. We’ll stay like that as long as the virus stays quiet. You’re finally launching a hair and body mist. What are its key ingredients? The key notes are amber, magnolia…a bit woody. It also features argan oil and vitamin E to hydrate and nourish, and it’s formulated in a nice
way: The mist won’t disrupt your hairstyle, which is very important. Also, it’s very light and can be layered with other products—such as your own eau de toilette or eau de parfum. You can always use it at the end of the day, after a day in the office, to just refresh yourself and apply to your hair or clothing, your body or neck, wherever you want.

Moroccanoil, (Courtesy)

How long has it been in the making?
About four years, if not a little bit more. The fragrance had to be perfect in every sense—not too heavy nor too light, and with just the right balance of notes. We also wanted the dispenser to be light and airy. We were about to launch two years ago, but then we realized that it wasn’t exactly what we wanted. So we had to go back to the table and relook at what we formulated. It was a labor of love, and I’m happy it’s now out there in the world.

So are we! Tell us a little bit about the design of the packaging. What’s that like?
It’s floral-inspired, but also kind of flowy, the colors of Moroccanoil and the Mediterranean. It’s very romantic. We all collaborated on the concept, and ultimately our graphic design team came up with this beautiful design and everything else that goes with this collection.

It was recently World Oceans Day and the brand donated 100 percent of its profits for one day to Oceana. Why was that organization important to you?
The ocean has always been important to me, and Oceana is dedicated to protecting and restoring it. I grew up in the South Pacific, in Chile, and the ocean was always part of my life. We’ve all become more aware of the impact humans are having on the planet, and the oceans in particular are experiencing really troubling effects. The animals that are suffering and dying out because of the garbage and other problems we create, it’s just heartbreaking. So we decided it was extremely important to partner with organizations such as Oceana. We were drawn to them because they’re focused on policy and not just cleanup. They’re compassionate and loving, but they make decisions based on research and science and work with governments to make changes happen. Partnering with them, I think we can make a difference. And that’s what it’s all about in the end.

Next summer, the brand will transition to recycled plastic bottles for its shampoos and conditioners. Tell us more!
Yes. We’re using PCR [Post-Consumer Recycled] plastic. It’s a journey. We are young in the business; it’s only 12 years that we’ve been around. And the moment we realized that changes can be made for a better world, we started to make changes. We’re constantly finding ways to improve our practices in the business.

When you started the company, did you always intend to give back?
When you have certain kinds of success, and you have the opportunity to collaborate and help different communities and organizations, I think it’s our responsibility as a corporation and as human beings. It feels amazing that you’re making a small contribution because the need out there is tremendous. Even multimillionaire companies have a hard time reaching their goals to help different organizations. So, sure, it feels good to know we’re making a difference. It’s good to know that we have a platform that can do something. We will continue that for as long as we’re in business.

Moroccanoil, (Courtesy)

You’re a big supporter of the charity HALO. Why is it important to you? Young people are the future, right?
There’s a lot of need out there, and HALO is doing an amazing job. You know, every time we meet with [founder] Rebecca [Welsh] it’s just so incredible and inspiring. We’re continuously working with them in different ways. Sometimes it’s fundraising, most of the time it’s providing products for their houses all over. The HALO Foundation always spoke to us in a different way, and it’s incredibly inspiring.

What kind of work does HALO do?
They help young people find their way—people who are in trouble, abandoned people. Mostly, they’re all children to young adolescents. And they find ways to train them to have a voice, to have a career, to be independent, and to be part of society in a constructive way. They take somebody from a broken home and give them a home.

The Moroccanoil Academy opened at the beginning of 2020, and we all know what happened next. Will you be reopening soon?
We’ve reopened already, since March of this year, but not in full capacity. Because of COVID-19, we cannot fully open, but we have certain classes. For more local people, New Yorkers, I believe that in September and October, we’ll resume again with larger groups as permitted depending on different dynamics. We use the Academy for photo shoots, online classes, and digital content. The team is super busy because we have a big launch coming up and there’s a lot of content that has to be made for it. So it’s partially open now, and hopefully by 2022, we will be fully open.

Anything else in the pipeline we should know about?
Next year will be a very important year for us. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a lot of details yet. It’s an exciting time now that the brand is more mature; there’s an opportunity to bring newness, to bring new technology, innovation, new ingredients. The needs of the consumer also change every five years. I find that the trends also change, and you need new products to do different hairstyles. It’s a beautiful time to be producing beautiful products.

Your son, David, interned for The Daily about 10 years ago. Where did he end up professionally?
He’s a partner in a company called Black Wolf in Montreal. Two of his friends from high school started the brand, which is skincare for men. It’s sold successfully online. He’s doing product development and a little bit of the marketing.

What do you have on tap for the rest of the summer personally?
It gets very hot in New York in the summer—and I’m not good with the heat!—so I try to spend as much time as I can in Canada in the summertime. Also, Montreal was home for many, many years; it’s very dear to my heart and that’s where the brand started. Thank God they’ve lifted the travel restrictions, so it’s a bit easier to go back and forth; it’s just a one-hour flight, no big deal. And then my adult children and I are going to be daring and go to Spain to visit a friend of mine, Antonio Corral Calero, who is also global creative director for the brand. We’re off to Majorca, and that’s our first international trip [since COVID-19].

Bet you can’t wait!
Honestly, it’s just fantastic. I can’t wait to see the ocean and get more inspiration, and relax a little bit. It’s been a hectic year.

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