M A Y A N J I E
Born in Västerås Sweden, Maya moved to
London in her late teens. Her background
lies in surface design and photography,
which she studied at the University of the
Arts London. To further communicate her
work, she began experimenting with the
sense of smell as an added medium.
After graduating Maya spent the next few
years working for The Laundry, an arts
hub situated in London Fields. During
her time there she delved further into the
olfactory world, experimenting with
different raw materials and teaching
herself perfumery. As she wore her
perfumes to work, visitors and tenants
alike showed a particular interest in her
creations. Her androgynous notes left
compelling trails behind to be coveted,
and a band of devotees grew organically
over time. Maya Njie Perfumes was
founded in 2016 soon to be followed by
placement in a handful of UK based
LONDON, March 2019:
Niche perfume brand Maya Njie (pronounced 'Maia En-jai') has just launched her range of five
artisan fragrances in Liberty as one of their new and exclusive perfume brands for 2019.
Inspired by Maya’s Swedish upbringing and West African heritage and rooted in an old family
photo album from the decades before her birth, Maya set out to capture, by way of scent, these
moments in time, these tropes of familial life, set within their frames.
'What did it smell like?' The small Swedish summer house surrounded by mercurial forests, the
visits to her grandparents’ sparsely furnished flat on Sunday afternoons, Uncle Lars' and Aunt
Irene’s shotgun wedding... she sought to bottle the spirit connected to the classic 1970's Scandinavian
idyll, combined with the soul of her esoteric Gambian and Senegalese heritage. By showcasing
her photographs and extracting their dreamy colour pallets, she saw to fruition, her desire to
reconstruct through her perfumes, those elusive moments which otherwise may have slipped
quietly away. The tones are of a time, and the notes nostalgic, yet the end product is notably
Maya’s formulas are developed in her London studio, using a variety of essential oils, aroma
compounds and resins. Making use of both naturals and synthetics in her creations - it’s nature
and science combined. Ingredients such as musk and ambergris are synthetic substitutes and does
not derive from its animal origin counterpart. With care and precision, the blends are mixed in
small fresh batches. First the oils gare blended and left to mature for up to four weeks. Then the
alcohol is added and the two week maceration process begins. It is then bottled, labelled and
packaged individually by hand. All scents are classed as Eau de parfums with a generous oil
content of 30% on average.
As a way of encouraging less waste Maya has recently added a bottle refill service. Customers can
simply send their empty bottles back to her studio and get 15% off the top up of their favourite
scent. Her packaging is cellophane free, her fragrances vegan and they are not tested on animals.
Her recent Liberty window campaign shot by Finnish photographer Maria Lax ran from the 25th
March to the 7th April 2019.
Handmade gender neutral perfume brand launches as a Liberty Exclusive
by Swedish and West African designer.
‘Maya encourages her olfactory tales to do most of the talking - try them and you’ll see.
They leave addictive trails behind those who choose to wear them. What might they wisper to you?’