Before aristocratic adoption, use of fragrance was led by alchemy to treat a catalogue of maladies — a practice and aesthetic seeing renewed popularity in modern day.
Brands like Aesop, Le Labo and Malin+Goetz are combining clean white, transparent or amber packaging with captivating typography to build the practice’s history into their design language while others are integrating the ideas more centrally.
Adopting a different approach to science and scent, The Nue Co. bottles aromatic supplements to aid with everything from stress and focus to recovery and sleep. Contained in diagram-adorned packaging, each cruelty-free product is made from non-toxic, traceable ingredients and recommended within a specific routine which is complimented by the brand’s other supplements.
As wellness credentials continue to act as a tipping point in purchasing decisions, fragrance houses have pivoted to join in on the action.
Evidently, the trend-turned-evolution that is sustainability hasn’t skipped fragrance. In fact, it’s one sector seeing plenty of innovation that has yet to wane.
With an aim to become the world’s first carbon-negative company, California-based Aeir believes beauty can be universal without depleting our natural resources. Their Mini Discovery set claims to be ‘the future of fragrance’ combining space-age materials and bioengineering with a silver bottle capsule.
(Very) Similarly but still pioneers in their own right, Air Company launched Air Eau De Parfum — a carbon-negative fragrance made from CO2. Their approach:
“We use a sustainable and eco-friendly process to manufacture the base alcohol that is key to every perfume. Our limited-release fragrance is made by converting carbon dioxide captured from industrial processes into that alcohol, which makes this perfume extremely eco-friendly. AIR COMPANY uses renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, to create its products.
But we don’t stop there. Our fragrance comes in a label-less bottle (to cut waste) that is designed to be reused.”
According to The New York Times, both brand and product offer “an intoxicating mix of hope, hype and science.”
As with other industries, low-impact sourcing methods are on the up.
Skincare and fragrance brand Haeckels and Tetsuo Lin, a student at Central Saint Martins, worked together on a brand-new perfume project that imitates the scents of dead plants.
By removing tiny quantities of DNA from floral specimens, the team has revived previously extinct scents, enabling them to anticipate the gene sequences that encode the enzymes and produce smell molecules. A true blend of history and modernity.