The name, pronounced eye-oo-vo, comes from the Latin to help, aid, assist, please, delight and gratify. Iiuvo is a thoroughly modern brand of scent, taking the founders’ backgrounds in men’s fashion and applying them to the world of home fragrance and perfume. Characterised by stylish packaging, the brand is very much a statement of intent for Ahmed and Gibbon. So how did two men in their mid-twenties end up going from London to Grasse and back again to develop three scented candles, and what’s their perfume manifesto?
Tomi: With people (and with life in general) the first two things that resonate are aesthetic and scent – that’s why we made candles.
Leo: I always had jobs in menswear stores growing up so not as much of a design background as Tomi (who is ex- Comme des Garçons). I wanted to make scented candles because I love setting an atmosphere and creating an ambience – it’s as simple as lighting a candle.
T: We’re two 25-year-old guys, but I think women are the tastemakers when it comes to fashion, luxury and a certain aesthetic. For me our brand is unisex, but the connotations of fragrance are synonymous with women.
L: I love unisex fragrances, to this day I’ve never worn a fragrance that was just for men. We’ve got one candle in the collection which is probably tailored more towards a man but that doesn’t mean to say a woman isn’t going to like it just as much – it’s more about the product.
T: I feel there’s a lot of marketing in brands at the moment, if you buy one of our candles you take a bit of us; you get a bit of substance rather than something frivolous that won’t last.
L: Most perfume houses in the current market are creating scents with things like fig and orange peel. They’re all lovely scents but we’re coming from a different angle. It’s our take on something we’re passionate about.