Alia Raza and Ezra Woods Join Forces to Craft a Unique Olfactory Story
Filmmaker and producer Alia Raza and stylist Ezra Woods (who has worked with red-carpet darlings like Chloë Sevigny and Michelle Williams) teamed up to create a new line of perfumes: Régime des Fleurs. It’s not entirely a surprise: Many of Raza’s short videos are inspired by fragrance—take, for example, The Fragile White Blossoms Emit a Hypnotic Cascade of Tropical Perfume Whose Sweet Heady Odor Leaves Its Victim Intoxicated (starring Devendra Banhart, Kim Gordon, Margherita Missoni, and Sevigny). When she’s not behind a camera, Raza also prefers to express herself through scent over fashion, a quality she told T hasn’t made her popular among cab drivers. Woods also has roots in fragrance—he presented a perfume he crafted at LAX ART in Los Angeles in 2007, and his family was in the flower business (hence the reason Bel Époq, a “cold jungle floral,” was inspired by “gardenias impatiently waiting in a florist’s refrigerator”).
The collection currently consists of six scents divided into three tiers—The Lyrics, The Ballads, and The Epic—according to complexity. While Water/Wood in the lyrics line contains sixteen ingredients, Nymphaea Caerulea, the single epic eau, boasts eighty. The entire range, however, is laced with rare and precious elements, like genuine ambergris (a material produced in the digestive system of sperm whales that smells sweet and earthy over time), hyper-purified extractions of blue lotus, and sandalwood that has aged for at least ten years. One additive I find particularly intriguing—nontoxic UV dye—is found in Nitesurf (a scent described as an “orange blossom colliding with the beach”). This glowing eau was even incorporated into a sculpture by Max Hooper Schneider, an artist friend on the L.A. scene. And the stories behind each blend are almost as interesting as the olfactory compositions themselves: portraits of Deeda Blair’s apartment sparking the creation of Dove Grey, a teenage Marie Antoinette on a springtime tour across India serving as the starting point for Turquoise. “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” Albert Einstein once said, and while Raza and Woods don’t have decades of experience in the vast world of perfumery, they aren’t short on fresh ideas.
The Lyrics, $95, The Ballads, $225, The Epic, $350; available in select retailers and online in July
Photo: Melissa Manning/thelookpartnership.com