Slow → articles tagged with fragrance

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur

Making Business Personal

The original source for a minimalistic lifestyle, Kinfolk, recently announced their latest family member in their inspirational series of books; 'The Kinfolk Entrepreneur, Making Business Personal'. Kinfolk visited over 40 entrepreneurs who offer tips, advice and inspiration for anyone hoping to forge their own professional path, all bound together in a beautiful hardcover 368 pages heavy book. Featured are names like Akira Minagawa, Armando Cabral, Ben Gorham, Britt Moran & Emiliano Salci, Damir Doma, Francesca Bonato, Joseph Dirand, Kevin Ma, Maayan Zilberman, Mette & Rolf Hay, Nina Yashar, Pum Lefebure, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Woo Youngmi & Katie Chung and many more. [ Continue reading ]

Abel — vita odor

With the closing of the year upon us, looking back at the rather strange and undeniably eventful period of time that was 2016, there is still one important story that needs to be shared here: the transformation of Amsterdam-based perfume house Abel, which we worked on for most of the last twelve months and eventually was presented to the world at Tenue de Nîmes last month. It is a story that started already at the end of 2015 and on many levels became one of the most gratifying assignments completed in the last few years, period.

Although it is often not the first thing mentioned when speaking on these particular things, for us it was first and foremost of the highest pleasure to experience the kind of confidence in our vision as shown by Abel founder Frances Shoemack, who started her brand with two all-organic perfumes in 2012 and came to us in the winter of last year to redefine a new direction for the future. At that point several new fragrances were being perfected by Abel's 'nose' Isaac Sinclair, which would mark an important new chapter that asked to completely rethink all the existing paradigms. Finding strong inspirational anchor points through the traditional start of our proces; a deep dive into, in this particular case, the world of niche parfums, complemented by for instance the work of British poet T.S. Eliot, having a focus on the experience of time, and subsequently finding a visual language that in the richest way possible would translate the conceptual framework on an aesthetic level — over the course of the months that passed it resulted in a sharply redefined strategy, a rigorous repositioning of the brand and aligned with that new direction a completely restyled identity for the, at this point perfected, five piece collection of elegant natural 'living' fragrances that we coined vita odor. 

With some time passed, we can look back at both the process and the fruits of the work, and it is safe to say: it makes us as proud as anything we initiated ourselves in the past and it was a unique pleasure to have been part of it all. Now it's time the rest of the world finds out about Abel too! [ Continue reading ]

Sculpting Scent

Zuza Mengham collaborates with Laboratory Perfumes for London Design Festival 2016

As we are (to our great excitement!) almost wrapping up (and therewith will be able to finally share) the complete perfume project we have been working on in the last months —which without a doubt turned out to be one of our favorite assignments in the last few years— we would like to share another project that deeply inspired us. Scheduled for presentation during the London Design Festival 2016 from the 15th until the 25th of September at The Conran Shop, in the project created for the festival British artist Zuza Mengham collaborated with fragrance house Laboratory Perfumes, which we wrote about last year, on a highly inspirational artistic exploration of the relationship between scent and the other human senses.

Taking the brand’s four scents: ‘Amber’, ‘Gorse’, ‘Samphire’ and ‘Tonka’, along with a soon-to-be-launched fifth called ‘Atlas’ — Mengham translates intangible fragrances into solid forms with a series of signature resin sculptures. Literally it means that Mengham took the individual notes of the scents and translated them into the sculptural, creating unique blends of colors, angles and effects in incredible crystal-like resin sculptures. ‘Samphire’ becomes an interplay of light through layers of translucent resin; the fresh scent of ‘Gorse’ inspired a clear yellow hue and eponymous beans of ‘Tonka’ are represented in slabs of slate. ‘Sculpting Scent’ additionally celebrates another big moment for the in 2012 launched Laboratory Perfumes with the launch of their fifth scent:‘Atlas’. The fragrance is built around the aroma of pipe tobacco, with layers of rum, vanilla, hay, and fresh ozone top notes inspired by the scents of Morocco’s Atlas mountains, translated into a deep blue intertwined with purple piece by Mengham, reminiscing of that moment right before nights fall in the warm desert of the North African country.

We are in awe of this deeply romantic artistic exploration by Mengham and Laboratory Perfumes, bringing fragrance into highly remarkable physical forms. [ Continue reading ]


We discovered the inspirational creations of Berlin- and Tokyo-based olfactory platform AOIRO when they released the ceramic coal dripper set under their HAKUDO label, which comes in an incredible Powlownia wooden box. It was the elegant container that caught our attention in the first place, but what comes in the box, next to the scented woodwick candle that was released in the same series, forms a small but fine collection of remarkably well-balanced scented products. The scent of the HAKUDO line is inspired by the invisible layers of the mountain ground - the earthy and green-velvety moss, the soils that are rich in organic material, and the roots that distribute their lives deep beneath. Its profile offers dark and rich impression, dry and moist temperament with a hint of smokiness in the background.

Recently the German-Japanese brand introduced a perfect addition to the HAKUDO line with a remarkable new container for the scented candle: the Hasami Porcelain Edition. Created out of distinct Japanese Hasami porcelain (from the town of Hasami) the collaboration was formed in the pottery and atelier of porcelain craftsman Kyohei Baba after a visit by AOIRO founders Shizuko Yoshikuni and Manuel Kuschnig. The remarkable new container that resulted out of the dialogue that followed is directly based on the Yunomi cup, traditionally used in Japan to welcome guests and express gratitude when serving tea. An elegant and sophisticated gesture that is easily abandoned nowadays, which became the direct source of inspiration to breath new life into the almost forgotten item and revive the subtle yet contentment in the form of the scented candle. [ Continue reading ]

The ROADS of Africa

We continue to immerse ourselves in the wonderful world of the finest fragrances on the market and last month we stumbled upon another incredible brand which proves to be very inspirational for us. The Dublin-based ROADS was founded in 2013 by Royal Academy of Dramatic Art graduated Danielle Ryan, granddaughter of Ryanair founder, Tony Ryan; debuting with a collection consisting of 10 fragrances, each named after its direct inspiration or a fictional background story. After its foundation ROADS also introduced a book-publishing arm and documentary film production house under its brand, which all seems to make sense because of the extremely cohesive visual language and represented emotion in all branches. Last month, ROADS showed its continued leading creative energy with the introduction of 4 incredible new perfumes, this time inspired by the rich source being the African continent, both in scent as the commissioned art that decorates the packaging, adding great new depth to its already remarkable collection. [ Continue reading ]

D.S. & Durga

As we are immersing ourselves in the fascinating world of luxury (niche) perfumes at the moment, working on an incredible project which will be revealed in a couple of months, we have encountered several impressive new brands which have set challenging high standards in the still quickly evolving field. One of those standouts perfume houses is the New York City-based D.S. & Durga, creating perfumes, colognes and scented candles in small batches, strictly using premium-sourced raw materials. All of their elegant scents are created exclusively in-house, with inspiration to be found in outdated herbal wisdom, native ritual medicine, lore and legends, historical movements and Americana. The different D.S. & Durga scents tell different stories of prospectors, gentry, trailblazers, frontier women, drawing rooms, workbenches, cowboys - fragments of half remembered legends, movements, events, and foreign lands. [ Continue reading ]

TÊTE À TÊTE incendere

In recent years the field of elegant artisan fragrance products keeps growing stagnantly - whether its with perfume, cosmetics or our favorite; scented candles. Sydney-based TÊTE À TÊTE incendere is the latest addition to our list of young fragrance brands to watch. It was conceived in the winter of 2013, when creator Vicki Kim - a Parsons graduate who has worked with companies such as Cartier and Bulgari - decided to capture a cinematic moment from the classic The Graduate into a scented candle. This month, with the just released imagery the brand seems ready for the next level. Since the initial launch, TÊTE À TÊTE incendere has grown to contain four signature fragrances, each taking inspiration from a cinematic moment. The films Great Expectations, Raise the Red Lantern and The Blue Lagoon proved to be other great inspirations. Working from this beautiful concept and executed in the way the first candles were done, we look forward to more cinematic moments by Vicki Kim and her TÊTE À TÊTE incendere. [ Continue reading ]

Astier de Villatte

Astier de Villatte has been making handmade ceramics in Paris since 1996, following in the tradition of the great 18th century Parisian ceramic studios. The most famous Parisian manufacturer, Pont-aux-Choux, produced thousands of ceramic pieces in the 18th Century, right in the heart of the Latin Quarter, with other ceramic studios subsequently prospering in the Paris region in the 19th century. Successor to these famous manufacturers, Astier de Villatte is now the one and only major studio to keep the tradition of artisanal ceramic production in Paris alive. In 2008 a distinct addition was made to the output of Astier de Villatte in a collaboration with one of Takasago’s star perfumers, Françoise Caron, and her team of young perfumers. The result is a collection of an Eaux de Cologne, hand care products and our favorite: 33 scented vegetable-wax candles, each with a delicate scent that is never overpowering. Delectable both unlit and burning, the candles are encased in effervescent glass pots as well as signature Astier de Villatte white ceramic goblets. In our eyes, this makes Astier de Villatte one of the most interesting modern brands through their extraordinary skill to reinterpret techniques and aesthetics from past. [ Continue reading ]

Atelier des Martyrs

Since the very moment we stumbled upon the first imagery by coincidence, we have been fascinated by Atelier des Martyrs. The New York City-based and French made brand was erupted to create beautiful products to fragrance the home, and is now searching for final funding via Kickstarter to start their journey and get the first series of products produced. Following an extensive but unsatisfying research in the landscape of scented candles, founder Matthieu discovered the deficiency in simple, well designed, gender neutral, and above all natural and cruelty free products. In order for Atelier des Martyrs to become all the things mentioned and more, an entire suit of olfactory products were developed by Matthieu and his team, prototyped to absolute perfection. All candles are handmade using mouth blown glass, cotton wicks and only pure natural Rapeseed wax for the candles, resulting in a line of ecologically friendly products of the highest quality. [ Continue reading ]

Maison D’Amore

The brainchild of Australian creatives Hayley Bonham and Nadia Rosa, Maison D’Amore was born out of the ambitious desire to create a range of candles that would rival the world’s best. Partnering with one of the most respected French perfumers and created under art direction of Jo Cutri, Maison D'Amore is an Australian-designed Parisian-made luxury fragrance house, producing fine perfumed candles explicitly for him and her - which still sets them apart in a field which slowly sees its gender borders come down. The Maison D'Amore's packaging features a minimal elegance using black and white design, which was debuted to the world in 2012 with two candles. The first is 'Fleur & Rhubarb', a feminine scent comprised of jasmine, magnolia and grapefruit, along with keynotes of rose, rhubarb and peony and the subtle scent of mimosa musk. The second is 'Feuille de Tabac', a smoky, gentleman’s fragrance made of tobacco leaves and elemi wood, with base notes of cinnamon, honey and vanilla. [ Continue reading ]

Laboratory Perfumes

Inspired by the incredible flora of the British countryside, the London-based Laboratory Perfumes have been creating clean, pure and modern fragrances, evocative of nature since 2012. While the overall created aesthetic of the brand reflects a love of simplicity, the fragrances are extremely complex and have an evolutionary life on the skin, with elegant glass bottles and candle beaker echo the origins of the traditional perfumier’s laboratory. The original aim behind Laboratory Perfumes was to create a range of perfumes which evoke a strong sense of place, with all three of the original fragrances sharing an association with the English coast and surrounding countryside. If there would be a particular place, it could be the heritage coast of East Anglia, Pembrokeshire or maybe (but this is likely a more personal sentiment) even Ireland's Mourne Mountains. We love the nice touch of the laboratory beaker and scientific calibrations, which recreate the nostalgia of the science laboratory and result in an unexpected contrast between the fragrances inspired by nature and the laboratory. In our eyes this created a fascinating contrast in the perception of the beautiful products, with this year introducing an all new scent promising a lot for the future. [ Continue reading ]

Calming Park — Black Edition

We have been obsessed with the finer scented candles from all over the globe for some years now, with more and more traditional fragrance specialists entering into the growing field, creating more and more elegant options to choose from. Since our little trip to Copenhagen, just before Christmas, we can add another gem to our favorites: Calming Park's Black Edition candles, which we found at the ever-inspirational Storm boutique. The capsule collection of three candles is a collaboration between the Grasse, Swiss-based perfume candle house which was founded by Olivier Rohrbach in 2007 and Danish creative studio Homework. It is no secret that we are still in our Black fase, although there is an obsession shift coming up very soon, nevertheless making the appeal of the elegantly designed collection very likely not coming as a surprise. The candles show a minimal elegant aesthetic, with the three fragrances of the collection given the three-letter names OUD, NOW and HYT. This beautiful collaboration between Homework and Calming Park is based on their shared passion for beautiful products and designs, which we in response can only applaud, hoping for more of these inspirational joint operations. [ Continue reading ]

Holland’s Finest

We are very grateful for everyone who had a share within the very first Our Current Obsession as without them we couldn't have realized it. Having introduced the main collaborator GERTRUD & GEORGE, some of the artists involved (with more to come), and ,The World of Black' in our space has been extended long and wide onto the online Our Current Obsessions environment, now it is time to give a proper insight into the other partners with which we’ve created the core of the extraordinary black selection of products for sale in our space on the Schippersgracht in Amsterdam. As these stores offer only the finest in their particular specialty we’ve named them Holland’s Finest, to which we owe a sincere debt of gratitude and feel honored to have collaborated with. [ Continue reading ]

Culture Chanel — DDP

On the 29th of August a new inspirational Culture CHANEL exhibition opened, the successor of the exhibition in Paris last year, this time in the highly impressive Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, Korea. Each of the exhibition's ten sequences, which were curated by Jean-Louis Froment, acts as a particular landmark in Mademoiselle Chanel's life story. More than 500 pieces including photographs, books, objects, manuscripts, archives and artworks along with fashion, jewelry, watch and perfume creations retrace the life story of the legendary designer who left an enduring mark on her time. In a stunning and therefore very fit context the exhibition retraces the fascinating adventures of the designer and her brand whose language undeniably still is synonymous with modernity and creativity. [ Continue reading ]


When the concept for the inspiring fragrance innovator Commodity came up, the goal was to offer something new, or in a sense bringing back the traditional personalized, reminiscent of the French and English aristocracy, way of finding your personal fragrance, rather then smelling like everybody else. After a year of preparation a Kickstarter campaign was started in April 2013 and with a final backing that far exceeded the goal that was set a new exciting company was born. Over a year now, Commodity has online been offering premium scents without the usual markup, nicely tailored to your style and preferences, delivered all the way to your door, leaving that sincere mark that was intended on a rather generic industry, dominated by big luxury brands and marketing instead of intrinsic products. [ Continue reading ]

BYREDO Lanes Collector’s Edition Candles

We love the latest by our favorite BYREDO. For the Holidays, the Swedish cosmetics house of Ben Gorham introduces: Lanes, a collector's edition candle collection available in three BYREDO fragrances: Bibliothèque, Cotton Poplin and Fleur Fantôme. All candles are created in hand-blown glass with a clean striped aesthetic and produced in the BYREDO signature deep black wax, even though each fragrance has a specific wax formulation. In line with the high standard one expects from BYREDO, the candles are hand made in France using the mentioned high quality glass and all candles have cotton wicks. The three different fragrances are limited to 500, making it the perfect special gift for the Holidays. [ Continue reading ]

Liquides Perfume Bar

The new concept perfume-bar named Liquides in Paris which opened on the 17th of April and was founded by David Frossard's Different Latitudes, a label for independent perfumers founded in 2005, and designer Philippe Di Méo, is a true mecca for fragrance lovers. Located conveniently at 9 rue de Normandie in the historical Marais neighborhood; which has the air of 17th century Paris and over the last couple of years has become the destination of choice for niche fragrance connoisseurs. On that part Liquides adds significant value to the neighborhood's reputation offering a broad scala of scents, from rare personalized perfumes, to fragrances from major perfume houses including Byredo, Miller Harris, Odin, Arquiste, Jardins de France and Olfactive Studio. [ Continue reading ]

n°5 Culture Chanel

Chanel n°5 first saw day in 1921 within a highly dynamic creative context. Since the Cubist revolution brought about by Picasso’s Demoiselles d’avignon, in 1907 and the advent of Futurism in italy in 1908, the avant-garde ceaselessly went about writing a particular modernity which would finally triumph at the dawn of the 1920s. From that moment abstraction spanned all forms of creativity, equally inspiring art, poetry, literature and music, and the fragrance of this new perfume which evoked a very mysterious flower, unless of course it didn’t firstly evoke a woman. [ Continue reading ]


Everything. is the latest product of the Dutch artists Lernert & Sander, continuing their string of interesting projects. By combining all fragrances launched in 2012, the duo has created a new perfume which they named fittingly Everything. Over the course of last year Lernert & Sander collected a mindbending amount of almost 1400 samples of newly launched fragrances which eventually were combined. [ Continue reading ]


Diptyque just opened a new store in London at 62 Leadenhall Market. Designed by the British designer Christopher Jenner it is a wonderful clash between English patterning and French luxury. In his own words: “Oversized library cabinets shooting skyward are furnished with multi-layered classic… [ Continue reading ]

Nécessaire de Voyage

We really love the latest of Ben Gorham's perfume house BYREDO. Two weeks ago they released the ‘Nécessaire de Voyage’ collection of travel cases developed to carry BYREDO’s 12 ml Eau de Parfum travel vials. The travel cases made from fine leather come in Black, Burgundy, Cognac, Natural, Phyton, Phyton Black and White. As the travel cases are stylish but at the same time sturdy you'll be able to bring a vial to any occasion without fearing that it will break. [ Continue reading ]

Von Eusersdorff

A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to meet Camille Henfling, the founding father of Von Eusersdorff, for a special project we're working on. I've known the Von Eusersdorff fragrances for some time now, but didn't know the story behind it. After a vividly told introduction by Mr Henfling I instantly fell in love with this small perfume company with its strong historical roots in the world-trade of rare oils, herbs and spices. With the memory of the warehouses of the apothecary of his grandfather, filled with a heavily scented atmosphere of classic scents like patchouli, Mr Henfling decided to start a new business honoring his family heritage, and Von Eusersdorff was born. [ Continue reading ]