Fragrance Friday: Celebrating the Eaux of Aesop

The Aesop brand was established in Melbourne, Australia in 1987, so it seems rather fitting that I am writing this on a trip to the fascinating city, which I always associate with creativity, a feeling of understated cool and a commitment to thinking outside the square – much like the brand itself.
Since 1987 Aesop has been formulating skin, hair and body products with efficacy foremost in mind— and their complex, distinctive aromas were originally an incidental treat that kept loyal fans coming back for more. Aesop’s fragrances were first developed to complement their products, but following frequent conversations with customers about their enjoyment of the aromatic qualities of the brand’s formulations, a fragrance category was added and has grown exponentially in a relatively short amount of time. Since then, the Eaux de Parfum range has evolved into a rich repertoire of aromas, noted for their nuance and nonconformity.

I have been a long time wearer of Aesop’s Marrakech fragrance, both in its original incarnation and as the heavenly Marrakech Intense, which was the most beautiful tweak on the original. Marrakech Intense was created in collaboration with revered French perfumer Barnabé Fillion, and their intention was to develop a variation of the original theme, but one that remained true to its original inspirations – the sights, scents, colours and culture of Morocco. They still work with prominent French perfumer Fillion and also Céline Barel, and the greatly rewarding process of collaborating with such talented noses has led to the creation of fragrances that are as distinctive, subtle and sophisticated as the ideas that brought them into being. I love that they know no gender boundaries, and are intended for all who take pleasure in the evocative power of scent.
As well as Marrakech Intense (which flew with me to the Ochre City of Marrakech last year and also to Melbourne this week), I have become enamoured with so many of the brand’s fragrances, which never fail to delight. Aesop worked again with Fillion to formulate Hwyl and Rōzu, the former another favourite of mine that never fails to elicit comments. It alludes to Japan’s ancient Hinoki forests and lush temple moss gardens, evoking a sense of refuge in nature, via warm and woody notes and an earthy sensuality, while Rōzu was inspired by the life, work and enthusiasms of the Modernist designer Charlotte Perriand, and the garden rose that was created in her name.

Most recently, Aesop has partnered with Fillion to develop a distinct collection of unorthodox fragrances: Othertopias. Titled Miraceti, Karst, Erémia, Eidesis, Gloam and Ouranon, these Eaux de Parfum draw inspiration from environments which unsettle the borders between real and imagined, here and elsewhere.
In select stores across the globe, Aesop’s Eaux de Parfum are now housed in an intriguing Fragrance Armoire, whose streamlined exterior conceals a complex inner world of transportive aromas—some familiar, some intriguing. Bottles are arranged on neat rows of shelves, and the inside of the right-hand door reveals a lacquered cabinet housing twelve small drawers, each containing a porous object suffused with an Aesop fragrance, giving inquisitive noses a first sense of each scent. Many of the Fragrance Armoires also contain a unique Infusion Chamber—a glass case where customers can hang their coat or scarf. Here, their chosen fragrance is spritzed into the air and the glass doors are shut for a few seconds. Once the aroma has thoroughly infused the fabric, the customer can leave with a uniformly scented piece of clothing, carrying an olfactory trace of the sensory experience away with them. I was lucky enough to experience the full sensory experience last year when I visited Aesop Sydney, where the Fragrance Armoire itself is housed in a dedicated room known as the Sensorium, which plays host to a series of unique olfactory experiences. For this fragrance freak it was a moment to remember forever – and comes highly recommended!

For more about Aesop’s superlative offering, head here – you just may discover your next signature scent within.


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