Interview: Serena Britos on natural cosmetics, perfumes and her life in Uruguay


Serena Britos is the co-founder of the exciting Swiss natural perfume brand Richard Lüscher Britos. The ethnobotanist lives with her family on a farm in Uruguay, where she is busy searching for fragrances and new creations. She took time out for an interview for Biomazing:

Biomazing: Thank you Serena for taking the time for this interview. You are part of Richard Lüscher Britos and create unique natural perfumes as part of the team. Why don't you tell us something about this work?

Serena: Where should I start? For me, it's a dream job where I can fully live out my interest in travelling and my passion for plants and cultures. We often travel together in search of a terroir, always with our eyes and noses open. On these occasions, I can research rare plants and special cultures - it's pure joy for me! The end result is a perfume that other people can smell every day and in this way experience our journeys of discovery. Sometimes I can hardly believe that I am living this dream.

Biomazing: How did the idea of Richard Lüscher Britos come about?

Serena: One very special moment was when Malvin, Lukas and I went on holiday together. Our trip took us to the south of France. It was a hot summer's day, we decided to stroll along the little path behind our holiday cottage and here we were gripped by the wild thyme. The terroir was enveloped in this beguiling scent. It moved us, we dreamed, we tried to capture it and understand how something so marvellous could exist. It was then that the foundation stone for Richard Lüscher Britos was laid. Many joint ideas were born in this place and the "Terroir" concept was brought to life. We realised how important the place and the influence of nature with all its elements are to enable a plant to give the best of itself.

Serena Britos picking gardenia blossoms for the Columbia perfume


Biomazing: You studied ethnobotany. What connects you to the plant world?

Serena: Plants have always fascinated me, especially flowers. I grew up in the countryside surrounded by greenery. My father passed on his passion for nature to me, especially for trees and their characteristics, and taught me to observe nature closely.
Later, I was fascinated by how plants were cultivated, processed and traditionally used in different cultures. This fascination has stayed with me to this day.

Every perfume from RLB tells its own story. Which is your favourite perfume?

Serena: For me, it always depends on the moment and the mood. I've just gone through a period where I only had 14°S 48°E - Madacascar - Ylang Ylang used. However, if I had to choose one of the fragrances, it would be Colombia. I love gardenia with its powdery scent and majestic appearance. I also lived in Colombia for 2 years and my first son was born there - clearly a terroir that particularly touches my heart.


Serena & Family

You moved to Uruguay with your family. How did that come about?

Serena: We have now been living near Montevideo for 2 years and run an organic fruit and vegetable farm here. My husband always had this dream: to live on his father's farm and learn from him how to run a farm.
For me, it was immediately a fascinating challenge and an adventure to live so closely with nature and its biodiversity and to learn the laws of agriculture. Now we are here in the middle of the countryside and getting to know a new world.

Biomazing: What is your personal approach to natural cosmetics? Can you tell us your beauty favourites? 

Serena: I have been in contact with natural cosmetics since I was a little girl. My parents are close friends with the founders of Farfalla, so even as a young girl I knew the value of a natural and organic product and what it means to make such a product.
My beauty favourites? I have few favourites and they are very simple. I combine different products depending on the season. I use "Age Miracle" or "Be Beautiful" from Farfalla as a base. Depending on my needs, I add oils or often essential oils - both for cosmetics and for medical care. For example, I never leave the house without lavender and tea tree oil in my bag!


The Richard Lüscher Britos team consists of three founders: Marvin Richard, Lukas Lüscher and you. How do you work together? Does everyone have their own area or do you always work together?

Serena: We always make the important decisions together, such as which terroir will be our next one. However, the team is organised in such a way that everyone has their own strengths and that's where they decide. As already mentioned, as an ethnobotanist I am responsible for searching for and evaluating the terroirs. As soon as we have decided on a terroir, Malvin is the interface to the perfumers. He may not have a nose himself, but he is incredibly fascinated by scent. As soon as a perfume corresponds to his terroir, Lukas interprets it for our customers - in other words, he takes care of marketing and sales. Of course it's not always easy, but we work best as a team.

Biomazing: You use special essential oils in your perfumes. Can you tell us more about this?

Serena: Our perfumes are 100% natural - so the essential oils form the basis of our perfumes. Each terroir stands for a plant, indirectly for an essential oil. For Colombia - gardenia, for Italy - bergamot, for Switzerland - Swiss stone pine or Swiss stone pine, for Madagascar - ylang-ylang, for France - wild mountain lavender. Of course, our perfume does not just consist of one essential oil, but also contains others, so that each perfume is full of character and corresponds to the terroir.

RLB Perfume

What distinguishes Richard Lüscher Britos fragrances from other perfumes?

Serena: Behind every perfume is a terroir. Each terroir stands for individuality and character - it is not just a place where a plant grows, it is much more: the terroir is culture, a synonym for people, for emotions. In reality, terroir is the soul of our perfumes. All these elements together add up to more than just the sum of the individual components. We go where the plants and the people give the best of themselves. Only in these special places is this fragrance in the air, which we collect and bottle.

For example, Claire is behind the wild mountain lavender project. She and five wonderful women who pick the wild mountain lavender by hand with a sickle every summer with a great deal of passion and experience.

In addition, our 100% perfumes are natural - a very special language and quality. You consciously experience the interplay of top, heart and base notes. Today, only a few perfumers are used to working with natural raw materials. It is all about creating a balance between these notes.

Biomazing: Malvin's father, Jean-Claude Richard, is himself a co-founder of the natural cosmetics company Farfalla. You can certainly learn a lot from him and get inspiration and tips from time to time?

Serena: Yes, of course - he is a great source of inspiration and an important mentor for us. The great thing is that he has been experimenting all his life. He has supported us from the very beginning and continues to help us. We have worked very closely with him on 2 of our 5 fragrances. He is the nose of both Terroir Colombia and Terroir Calabria and we hope of many more terroirs to come.

Biomazing: Dear Serena, thank you so much for this great interview! The wonderful smell of Richard Lüscher Britos will linger in our nostrils for a long time to come.

Founder RLB


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