Chemical romance: this is lab made beauty at its finest

The worlds of science and beauty enjoy a laboratory liaison thanks to these scientists turned beauty experts

Oumere skincare serum in yellow test tube-like bottle, augustinus bader skincare in blue bottle, and Hermes H24 perfume in clear glass bottle against black background
From left, H24 eau de toilette, by Hermès. Serum Bioluminelle, by Oumere. The Cream, by Augustinus Bader
(Image credit: Neil Godwin)

Beauty and science have long been intertwined. Most beauty products are created in laboratories by researchers well-versed in the combination of chemicals used in skincare or the molecules that make up perfumes. However, a select group of scientists are currently using their unique insight to transform the beauty industry.

Professor Augustinus Bader is one such innovator. A stem cell and biomedical scientist at Leipzig University, Bader stumbled into the world of skincare after developing a revolutionary topical cream that could heal burn injuries to an extent previously only possible through skin grafts. The stem cell science behind that cream forms the basis of his eponymous skincare line, and will soon to be followed by a haircare range.

Augustinus bader skincare in blue bottle bottle against black background

The Cream by Augustinus Bader

(Image credit: Neil Godwin)

Meanwhile, Wendy Ouriel was studying extracellular matrix biology before pivoting to skincare. Her investigations into the reproductive biology of black widow spiders piqued her interest in the science of anti-ageing. Her findings were so contrary to what most other skincare brands were doing that she decided to start a line of her own. The result is Oumere, a tight edit of serums designed to eradicate signs of ageing.

Oumere skincare serum in yellow test tube-like bottle against black background

Serum Bioluminelle by Oumere

(Image credit: Neil Godwin)

To create Hermès’ first men’s perfume in 15 years, H24, the brand’s in-house perfumer Christine Nagel used her degree in organic chemistry, as well as her knowledge of the science behind scent, to develop the fragrance’s signature molecule. This unique, synthetic ‘molecule of the future’, tagged sclarene, was inspired by the aroma of hot irons on fabric that Nagel encountered in Hermès workshops.

It gives H24 a singular, metallic edge that sets it apart from other male fragrances. With a logo and packaging by Paris-based design studio Yorgo & Co, it also looks as good as it smells.

Hermes H24 perfume in clear glass bottle against black background

H24 eau de toilette by Hermès

(Image credit: Neil Godwin)


Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.