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This duo’s new fragrance brand is inspired by the scents of mixed cultures cooking food in the stairwells of the high-rises outside of Stockholm

”When most people think about perfume being Made in France, they usually don’t picture two black guys from Stockholm being behind the brand,” says Swedish Co-founders Lamin Ceesay and Haisam Mohammed.

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Words: Johan Magnusson

23-year-old CEO and Creative Director Haisam Mohammed has the biggest love for merging creativity, design, and business. Lamin Ceesay is CFO and Strategist/Copywriter, 29 years old and obsessed with finding words and strategies that help define a brand. Together, they run creative agency BRONS, with big clients within fashion, design and music and from this week, fragrance brand UNIFORM.

— The areas in which these stairwells are located at has huge diversity and are truly multicultural. The scents of mixed cultures cooking food, burning incenses and blending spices in their home always manage to slip through the cracks of the apartment door and culminate in a special scent that you can only find in those stairwells. These scents have been a part of us for as long as we can remember and we wear it with pride, like a UNIFORM, hence our brand’s name. It is our way of paying homage to our cultures; the ones we’ve grown up with here in Stockholm, and the ones we’ve been raised on in our homes.  We’re equally proud of being Swedish and African, the same pride can be shared with people in London, Paris, and NYC, who can relate to the feeling of identifying with more than one culture, says Ceesay and Mohammed.

Mohammed was the one who managed to find perfumers that were willing to take them on, a task that was everything but easy. Due to his non-existing perfume-background, many perfumers in Paris were reluctant to meet with him. After having several doors shut in his face, he managed to get in touch with three persons that recently had decided to leave their jobs at big perfume-houses in Paris to start their own.

— After hearing about the creative vision of the brand, they decided to take us on and this marks the start of us working with MAELSTROM. Through them, we managed to get in touch with a factory in Grasse (”the city of perfume”) who were able to produce our perfume oils. And today, about two years later, we’re ready to launch.

Yes, you’re launching three fragrances today. And they’re all perfume oils, which remains longer on the skin. Tell us more!

— They’re all unisex and created from experiences that are highly personal, but at the same time is something others can relate to.

Maghrib: Created from the experiences of watching the sunset from the roofs of the high-rises during summer nights.  Limbo: Inspired by the feeling of traveling between the city center and the outskirts of town and being in limbo between the two places. Cassis: Inspired by the first milliseconds of a new feeling emerging when you leave your comfort zone and step into a new environment. It could both be a feeling of joy or a feeling of guilt.

What do you want to achieve?

— We aim to become top of mind when people think of premium perfume oils. This is our longterm goal and we truly believe that we can achieve it, through hard work and a bit of luck. In terms of our brand, we want to be known as a brand who is brave and changes people’s perception of what premium products and quality can be. When most people think about perfume being Made in France, they usually don’t picture two black guys from Stockholm being behind the brand. And this is kind of part of our mission. The more successful our brand gets, the easier it will get for us to create new premium products in different fields without being questioned because of or backgrounds or how we look. Hopefully, the success of UNIFORM can pave the way for a generation of creatives that can relate to us or our story, the duo says.

Starting today, the €40 perfume oils will be sold in 10 ml, sleek and elegant bottles at www.itsuniform.com, JUS and Nitty Gritty in Stockholm. Copenhagen, London, Paris, and New York retailers will soon be unveiled.