7 posts tagged "Six Scents"
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.
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, www.standardhotels.com.
After successfully pairing six fashion industry up-and-comers with six known and respected perfumers—first to benefit Designers Against AIDS in 2009 and then in support of Pro-Natura, a environmental sustainability program, in 2010—Six Scents founders Joseph Quartana and Kaya Sorhaindo are at it again with a whole new theme and charitable initiative for 2011. Their third collaborative effort will support War Child International and boasts a collection of fragrances that explore the influence of adolescence on identity. “We steal from the future and offer it now,” Quartana says of the designer selection process, in which he and Sorhaindo choose rising rag-trade stars who have yet to reach the level of, say, having an in-house fragrance but who are definitely on track to branch out into beauty. As such, the latest names selected for the project include N. Hoolywood designer Daisuke Obana, Alexis Mabille, Juun J, Rad Hourani, Ohne Titel’s Alexa Adams and Flora Gill, and Mary Katrantzou.
Following the premise of her fashion line, which focuses on bold prints that trick the eye, Katrantzou’s scent, the second in the range, is aptly called No. 2 Trompe l’Oeil. “Most people can’t pronounce it, so hopefully they will just say they want number two,” she jokes of the bitter orange, mimosa, rose absolute, orris absolute, tuberose absolute, and ambrette seed eau that officially bows on Friday, along with the rest of the collection. We caught up with Katrantzou in anticipation of the launch to talk teenage years, the power of working with women, and a beauty future that looks bright.
So how does this whole collaborative fragrance process start?
Joe sent me the questionnaire, and it was almost like going to a shrink for the day!
Sounds…intense. What were some of the 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? It was a 40-question questionnaire. By the end of it, I knew myself much better than when I started it.
Mary Katranzou as a teenager?! Love it. What words did you submit?
Outspoken but shy, giving, protective, feminine, rebellious, inquisitive, spontaneous.
For designer and Agyness Deyn bestie Henry Holland, making a fragrance came pretty easily. “I just filled out a questionnaire,” Holland joked last night while playing host at the launch party for Six Scents: Series II, which pairs some of the rag trade’s biggest names with perfumers to create a union of artistic expression that ultimately goes to benefit charity. This aforementioned survey included such soul-searching queries: If your fragrance was an event, what would it be? Holland: “A party.” If you could describe your fragrance as a room, what would it look like? Holland: “There’d be a big, comfy purple couch, where everyone would congregate.” The answers then served to inspire Givaudan nose Stephen Nilsen in the composition process. That meant putting purple petals of lilac and jasmine at the heart of the scent and realizing the idea of a couch’s fluffy quality in the form of soft musk notes. But it wasn’t all fun Q&A games. “I’m typically a really visual person,” Holland says. “And while I can’t see a smell, there are certain smells that trigger memories.” So Holland told Nilsen about growing up in a pine forest, which Nilsen ultimately translated into a pine accord that rounds out the fragrance, which is simply called Smell. As for Holland’s future beauty endeavors, the marketing master has big ideas. “This project lets you dip your toe in. Color plays such a massive part in my collection,” he said, alluding to a nascent desire to branch out into makeup. He added, “When I used to work at a magazine, I would dream about being the person who names nail varnishes and lipsticks.” To show off his skills, he pointed at our chipping Chanel Jade manicure and said, “I’d call that, ‘Mint No-Choc Chip.’ ” And with that, we began to wonder if Holland had missed his true calling.
When Six Scents: Series One made its debut last fall, Joseph Quartana, the fragrance collection’s curator, introduced the fashion and beauty set to a new kind of “creativity with a conscience.” Pairing six designers with six perfumers, he embarked on an annual endeavor to produce olfactory art for a cause, dedicating a portion of sales from the limited-edition flacons to a rotating roster of charitable initiatives. For the second installment of the project, which launches in October, the names have changed but the end goal has remained the same. Series Two features perfumes from Phillip Lim, Henry Holland, Damir Doma, Henrik Vibskov, Richard Nicoll, and Toga—each of whom worked with a renowned nose from Givaudan—and a percentage of the net proceeds will go toward Pro-Natura in support of its environmental sustainability programs. Each duo was told to create their eau based on the idea of the dependent relationship between nature and art and as a reflection of their own unique style, of course. As such, Lim’s scent is composed of Italian black pepper oil from Madagascar, juniper berry oil, magnolia accord, Indonesian patchouli oil, and incense, for that easy-to-wear/casual-chic effect he’s known for.