August 22 2014

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5 posts tagged "Joseph Quartana"

True Blood



If you can’t make it to the pop-up exhibition of Them/Her in the Meatpacking during New York fashion week (running September 5-12), where one can explore the sexual subconscious through all five senses, then consider the take-home experience found in the multisensory book Zero Zero Vol 02 Them/Her, created by photographer Miles Aldridge, the artistic director of Diesel and BFF to Gaga, Nicola Formichetti, and conceptual artist Kaimin. In addition to the coffee-table-size publication containing pages of erotic photographs is a soundtrack, video, and a slightly tamer fragrance, Blood by Kaimin, that, unlike the rest of the package, could be deemed safe for work. This unique blend of cedar, rose, leather, patchouli, cocoa, and cinnamon notes—formulated by perfumer Darryl Ko, Joseph Quartana (the mastermind behind a collection of artisanal fragrances called Six Scents), and the artist after which the eau is named—is meant to enhance the natural smell of skin. Designed to be worn by both men and women, the purple-red juice, housed in a test-tube-like vile, leaves behind a “bloodstain” that quickly disappears once applied. If you’re going to miss the blood ritual performed at the opening reception on September 6—a choreographed dance that involves Kaimin, male models, red paint, and projectors—then consider this potent and provocative perfume the next best thing.

Available at the pop-up gallery, 402 W. 13th St., NYC (open noon to midnight), and Colette in Paris later in the month.

Scent Memory: The Movie


When Joseph Quartana and Kaya Sorhaindo’s Six Scents initiative launched in 2008, it brought a new dimension to the age-old designer-fragrance concept. Rather than simply putting their names on a bottle, a select handful of rag-trade regulars were offered the opportunity to collaborate with Symrise noses on limited-edition, personalized perfume projects, part of the proceeds of which were donated to charity. Boldfaced fashion names such as Gareth Pugh, Mary Katrantzou, Jeremy Scott, and Bernhard Willhelm have all participated in the venture, which relies on a very thorough question-and-answer period that is meant to unlock each designer’s scent memory. “It was almost like going to a shrink for the day,” Katrantzou told us, back in 2010, about the questionnaire Quartana had sent to her. “[There were questions like] if you were an object, what object you would be? What kind of smells do you remember from your childhood? What was your first kiss like? What words best describe you as a teenager? By the end of it, I knew myself much better than when I started it.”

It’s this idea—the unlocking of scent memory—that compelled director Michelle Peerali to get in on the action. “I have an insane sense of smell, and I have to admit that memories that have been the most profound usually have a certain scent associated with them. This was the seedling that inspired things to bloom,” Peerali recalls of how Quartana came to commission Notes of Memory, her new short film. “The brand is very into the ‘experience of scent,’ and my film was very fitting with this idea, as we witness each person sharing their own personal experiences of scent through scent memories they share with us.” Peerali’s subjects are varied, a deliberate gesture that came from a comprehensive search. “I casted through agencies, I casted through asking a person who worked at a local Trader Joe’s that I found interesting, and last but not least was very lucky to have received interest from such an icon in the fashion and celluloid world: Julie Newmar.” The result is a somewhat raw rendering of how our minds process things inter-sensorially, like how the smell of an old boyfriend’s cologne can stay with you far longer than the boyfriend himself. “I wanted to make the viewers experience this piece as if the subjects were speaking to them and only them, [to connect] to these stories and possibly explore their own scent memories after viewing.” Click above to watch—and commence olfactory recall at will.

Six Scents Heads To Miami Art Basel


Art Basel Miami will soon be in full swing, and if you’ve had a chance to peruse our thorough preview of the week’s events, you’ll have noticed that there are more than a few notable beauty initiatives at this year’s fair. In addition to Dior’s Anselm Reyle-designed eye shadow palette and Johan Lindeberg’s BLK DNM fragrance debut (more on both in a bit), Six Scents is heading south for the festivities. For those not in the know, Six Scents is the fragrance enterprise of Kaya Sorhaindo and Joseph Quartana, who pair designers like Mary Katrantzou, Gareth Pugh, and Jeremy Scott with renowned perfumers to create signature flacons. This time around, the curators asked Symrise perfumer David Apel to conjure an aromatic version of André Balazs’ The Standard Spa, Miami Beach. That meant Apel had to spend a large chunk of time at the relaxation haven to properly translate Balazs’ unique homey-chic ambience into spritzable form (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it). The result isn’t a single perfume but a duo: Verde recalls the lush green walls that enclose the spa’s garden, which runs rampant with jasmine, orchids, green galbanum resin, and dried iris roots, while Incense Into the Sea combines the woody incense of its outdoor fire pit with fresh, salty sea notes. The set will be gifted to hotel guests during Six Scents’ installation and pop-up shop at Miami’s Scope Art Fair between December 1 and December 4, where two garden “walls” will hang, displaying the colors, textures, and various notes of the perfumer’s ingredients. Fair-goers not staying at the hotel can still indulge in the eaux, which will go for $50 each at the spa until the 300 limited-edition bottles are sold out. Put your orders in with friends heading to the 305 now.

The Standard Spa Miami Beach, 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach, Fla.,
(305) 673-1717,

Photo: Courtesy of Six Scents

Eau de Gareth Pugh


At last night’s launch party for the Six Scents Fragrance Initiative: Series One, a brigade of black-boots-wearing scenesters braved the line that quickly formed outside the New Museum on the Bowery. Sure, there were the six different designer-collaboration fragrances on view for looking and testing; free, pink drink specials (vodka with a mélange of different liqueurs and fruit juice, we presume); not to mention those downtown views from the venue’s roof deck. But all the clamoring and waiting around was more likely caused by the presence of one Gareth Pugh, who was in town from London to officially launch his contribution to the collection, Diagonal, and to play host. We caught up with the fashion wunderkind to talk about his first foray into the world of beauty and the task of trying to turn his signature black and white leather creations into an eau de toilette.

How did this whole collaboration come about?

Joseph [Quartana, owner of Seven New York] asked me if I wanted to do it and I said yes. I was just excited to be asked. “No” never came into it.

And did you go into the lab with the perfumers or was your involvement more peripheral?

Well, it was really such a short time schedule. I got asked in the summer, I said yes, and the deadline was in September. I had a meeting with this girl [perfumer Emilie Cooperman] from Symrise to start the process, and I was in Italy at the time, so she actually came to meet me there to talk about it.

And was it all base notes and bottles? Kidding. What kinds of things did she ask you to ascertain your perfume preferences?

They gave me this 20-page questionnaire with questions like what’s your favorite color, what kind of foods do you like to eat, what kind of smells do you like. But for me, it’s really difficult to say, you know, I like the smell of papaya. Because I mean, what does papaya even smell like?

Huh. Good point—who knows? What were some of the more telling questions in the questionnaire, then?

I think Emilie realized early on that I wasn’t good at being direct about what I like. So she brought me some existing fragrances—some Dior and the like—and I picked the ones I liked and the ones I didn’t. From the very beginning, though, I wanted something that was sexually ambiguous, unisex. So she brought me some masculine and feminine fragrances and we, you know, just kind of had a smell.

Did your fashion influences ever come up as a point of reference?

Well, she asked me what I thought was the most significant thing about my work and then we tried to capture it—so leather and black and white, and that kind of thing. In the second meeting we worked off that. And when she finally brought the fragrance options she had made, there were three—one for leather, one for black and white, and a wild card one, too, that was an amalgamation of everything we’d been talking about. That’s the one we went with.

And have you been wearing it?

I am tonight! You smell it in the bottle and you can’t really get it, but once you put it on, it smells really different. The musk that’s in it reacts to the body and becomes…something else. My favorite recently has been Comme des Garçons’ new one, Silver Words. It’s in a very similar ilk to the one Symrise made for me—masculine but also with a feminine edge to it. From the age of 15 to 26 though, it was always Acqua di Gio.

Now that you’ve gotten your feet wet, do you foresee a Gareth Pugh Collection scent in the future?

Well, yeah. I mean, I’m very aware that the whole process is pretty expensive, and if I wanted to do something I’d want to make it really right. So right now, I wouldn’t be the one who would be paying for it! But ultimately, it makes your label more accessible—because my stuff’s not widely stocked and it’s not something that everyone can wear. It’s like the idea of Dior couture and buying a Dior lipstick or fragrance. The fashion sells the dream and the fragrance and cosmetics are your bread and butter.

Photo: Courtesy of

Designer Fragrance Blitzkrieg


Fashion’s ties to fragrance are nothing new. It seems that every month or so news breaks of yet another designer bottling their respective brand so that devotees have yet another way to express loyalty. Less common, however, are fashion/fragrance collaborations that originate in a desire to altruistically participate in a collaborative creative endeavor to produce wearable, pleasant-smelling art for a cause. Enter The Six Scents Initiative, the brainchild of Joseph Quartana, owner of Seven New York, in conjunction with Symrise, the world’s leading fragrance company, and the Metaproject creative agency. Six Scents: Series One will feature fragrances by six renowned perfumers working with six equally celebrated designers, individually numbered with custom packaging and sold in a limited quantity of 2,000 with a portion of the proceeds going toward awareness and funding for the Designers Against AIDS International AIDS Awareness Education Center in Antwerp, Belgium, scheduled to open in December. For the project’s debut (it’s intended to be an annual undertaking), Alexandre Herchcovitch, Bernhard Willhelm, Cosmic Wonder Light Source, Gareth Pugh, Jeremy Scott, and Preen went into the lab to create Urban Tropicalia, Wicken 3000, Spirit of Wood, Diagonal, Illicit Sex, and Teen Spirit respectively, dabbling in a wash of different notes, from rose and vetiver to fig leaves and dill. Click here for a list of retailers worldwide.

Photo: Courtesy of Six Scents