Monroe of London is a clinically proven skin care brand that was started by two photographers who wanted something more than was already on offer in the market. There is definitely a level of reassurance when someone jacks in the day job to pursue something, which is exactly what these two guys have done. The hard work has definitely paid off as the brand won a Pure Beauty Award and having personally tested the Amber, Jasmine and Lime hair and body wash I can attest that it's pretty hot shot stuff.
Testing notes: the hair and body wash comes in a nice bottle with the kind of lid that you push down to open the spout. It lathers to a very nice level in your hands and when rinsed off leaves you feeling fresh and really amplifies that post shower feeling. The smell is relaxing and not overpowering. Importantly for me there are no parabens anywhere near this product and the bottle also states that they're against animal testing. All important stuff; they've got the end result and the ethics to go with it. The other products in the offering include colognes, hair product and a night recovery serum - they really aim to look after every aspect of your grooming routine whomever you may be.
The clinical side of the product is via the Harley Street Clinic and we asked about that and their process amongst other things - have a read of the guy's behind the brands answers below.
1. What is the relationship with the Harley St Clinic like and how did it come about?
We have known Doctor Khan for a long time, we all enjoy cigars and whiskey. We first met him at Davidoff's in St James. When Gareth and I were first discussing what we wanted the brand to be and who we would like to work with, Dr K was the first person we turned to for advice and inspiration. He liked the design of the product and the ethos of Monroe so much he asked if he could work more closely on the brand with us to produce skin care products which are by far the best available for men.
2. How did you produce your signature fragrance and what does it smell like?
It took a lot of time and effort and trying of a lot of different combinations. We wanted something fresh, clean and vibrant, a fragrance which was masculine enough without being over powering. Once we got the top notes sorted of Lime and Mandarin and green tea, the heart and bass of the fragrance just fell into place. We have a new fragrance coming out in February which is great and we feel is a fragrance which is the next step for Monroe.
3. What was the motivation behind producing in London and what were the challenges?
One of the core things we wanted to do is produce not just a British brand but a London brand. We are both from London and felt it just made sense for us to keep all the manufacturing here. It means we can keep amazing control of the brand. We don't really come across to many difficulties, the cost maybe more but we feel its worth it to produce the products we do.
4. Do either of you still do photography and do you have any good stories that you can share from that time?
We both still love photography and enjoy going to exhibitions of work but really Monroe is all consuming and something we love so much that photography has taken a back seat. Unfortunately any stories we could tell you would definitely get us in trouble. But we can say we both enjoyed ourselves.
You came 2nd at Pure Beauty - how did it feel to win the award?
We really had no idea we were going to win. We were up against a lot of massive brands. It’s a great honour and we feel proud to have won 2nd place. The moisturiser and shave balm is a brilliant product though and we are happy its received the recognition it deserves in the market. We are looking forward to next year!