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With the opening of the farfalla pop-up store, Munich has another sustainable highlight to report. We spoke to aromacare expert and farfalla CEO Malvin Richard.


Since October 2023, farfalla, the Swiss aromatherapy pioneer (and market leader!), has been represented with a (pop-up) store in Munich. At the Viktualienmarkt. Here you can now immerse yourself in the fragrant world of aromacare. Individual advice – spoiler: there is a natural solution for (almost) every problem – included. If you want even more, you can attend the free workshops and learn how to use the power of plants to increase health, well-being and beauty. We talked to farfalla CEO Malvin Richard (son and godson of the company founders Jean-Claude and Marianne Richard and Gian Furrer, Paul Gisler) about a life with aromatherapy, the reasons for the Munich location, farfalla focus topics and the farfalla vision/mission.

It is our own responsibility to take care of our well-being – because our lifestyle affects our health.

In conversation with Malvin Richard

Mirjam Smend: Before you were born, your experimental parents traveled to India via Afghanistan in a VW bus, practiced yoga, mixed creams, and produced tofu and kombucha. You grew up in a hippie commune. Not exactly what was usual in most other households in the 80s. What was that like for you?
Malvin Richard: Completely normal, I didn’t know anything else. Looking back, I’m proud that I was able to grow up in such a creative and harmonious environment. Many of the values ​​from back then still shape me and the company today.


That’s how it all started: the founders among their friends.

Mirjam Smend: In 1982, the year you were born, your parents founded farfalla with their friends Gian Furrer and Paul Gisler. Aromatherapy was practically in your blood. What role did this topic play in your childhood and youth?
Malvin Richard: As if having a child wasn’t exciting enough, my parents also founded farfalla in the same year 😊 As the child of two entrepreneurs, farfalla was always part of the family for me and we spent our holidays visiting suppliers all over the world. So it was natural for me to come into contact with the wonderful world of aromatic plants at a very early age. Experimenting with the aromatic plants, trying out collected wellbeing inspirations from our global farmer cooperations and developing new applications was a natural move.

farfalla has always been part of my family. We spent our holidays visiting suppliers all over the world.

Mirjam Smend: Your professional path did not immediately lead you into the world of plants…
Malvin Richard: In keeping with the hippie context, I never felt any pressure or intention to have anything to do with farfalla. I lived my childhood and youth accordingly freely, even though I always carried the fragrant plant in my heart.

Mirjam Smend: When did you realize that you wanted to take over?
Malvin Richard: After I left consulting at pwc to start my own perfume business, I experienced the appeal of being a wellbeing entrepreneur. By chance, it turned out that farfalla needed an operations manager in a new factory, so I came to farfalla.

Mirjam Smend: What excites you most about the farfalla concept?
Malvin Richard: The purpose is to help people increase their well-being and thus improve the quality of their lives with the wonderful power of the highest quality aromatic plants, which we source with great effort directly from farmers around the world.

Improving people’s well-being and their quality of life with the wonderful power of the highest quality aromatic plants is what I find most exciting about my work.

Mirjam Smend: Your parents and your co-founders took their time with the handover process. What did you learn from this intensive collaboration?
Malvin Richard: A lot. I’m not the type of person who likes to “follow”. So it was clear to me that I wanted to set new standards. The great thing about it was that the founders were not only open to change, they also wanted to help shape the changes at the end. So we turned it into a generational project in which we turned the company upside down together. For us as a family, this was a stroke of luck. Not only were we able to hand over the company in detail, we were also able to lay a common foundation of trust, which is very important in a family business where the family continues even after the succession, and we still benefit from it today.


Mirjam Smend: And now you have opened your first store outside Switzerland, in Munich. How did you decide on this location (which is a welcome one!)?
Malvin Richard: For us, the branch is primarily a place of inspiration, where we can share our knowledge and experience of how quality of life can be sustainably and holistically promoted. The Viktualienmarkt gave us a wonderful opportunity to come into contact with many people in a great, nature-related place. Munich is also very dear to our hearts as a charming city.

Mirjam Smend: You started the great midwife project. You brought parts of the plant cultivation to Switzerland. Are you constantly looking for further ways to optimize farfalla? Is there something you are currently working intensively on?
Malvin Richard: For us, promoting well-being is our main focus, and we are accordingly committed to continuously developing ourselves in this regard.

The Viktualienmarkt gave us a wonderful opportunity to come into contact with many people in a great, nature-related place.

Mirjam Smend: What would you like to say to our readers?
Malvin Richard: Your life is precious. It is our own responsibility to strive for our well-being – because our lifestyle affects our health. That’s why since 1982 we have been developing unique wellness products and treatments that holistically target the causes of your cognitive, physical and mental/emotional state, rather than just treating the symptoms.

Thanks for the interview, Malvin.

More information about farfalla. Click here.

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