These new fragrances — launching just in time for the holidays — have stories as compelling as their scents.
Saffron James Parfums
When Hawaii native Kate Growney was a beauty editor, she grew used to people telling her how amazing her home state smelled. She puzzled over why no brand had created a line of scents based on the wide array of flowers found there. So she moved to L.A. and did just that. The result is Saffron James Parfums, three eaux de parfum ($85 each) that launched at Studio at Fred Segal in November. Each is based on a particular flower and the story surrounding the bloom. Ume, for example, which means to attract, features white ginger, water lily and gardenia; Le’A, which translates as pleasure or happiness, is an homage to the plumeria flower, a symbol of immortality. Next up is a fragrance based on Chinese violet. “I’m inspired by florals that you don’t see every day,” says Growney, “and giving people something new and unexpected.”
Molinard Une Histoire de Chypre
After reading about the fragrance boutique Aedes de Venustas in the New York Times, perfumer Dominique Camilli was so intrigued he was at the store’s front door the next morning. Camilli, whose recent projects include the relaunch of Molinard 1849, immediately befriended co-owner Robert Gerstner. “I had just finished the line and he took it immediately,” laughs Camilli. “He was our first customer.” Fast forward three years, and the duo has also become co-collaborators. Camilli and Gerstner traveled to Grasse, France, where they combed through the Molinard archives and decided to recreate a chypre, the blend of citrus and woody notes created by Francois Coty in 1917. The result: Une Histoire de Chypre, launching at Aedes in mid-December for $225. “We wanted to create a product based on what we think the industry should be,” says Gerstner. “We want to go back to the traditional art and craftsmanship of perfumery. More and more, this is disappearing.”
Sculptor Nobi Shioya’s decision to incorporate scent into his work about 10 years ago was auspicious for a number of reasons. In addition to staging a critically acclaimed show, Shioya met his wife—Veronique Ferval, International Flavors & Fragrances’ New York creative center manager—while working on the project. No surprise then, that his next project was called 100% Love, a huge heart composed of small pink plastic scented beads spread on the floor of a gallery. Inspired, Shioya decided to mix art and commerce, tapping IFF perfumer Sophia Grojsman to create a retail scent to represent the concept. Known as the “queen of the rose,” Grojsman combined her favorite bloom with a ripe, berry-based top note and black cacao and incense-infused base. Retailing for $120, 100% Love launched at Barneys New York in September. The project was a true collaboration between two artists. “When I work with a perfumer, the direction is in their hands,” says Shioya. Of Grojsman’s creation, Shioya was taken aback before falling for it—hard. “There was a point when I was shocked with the very unique notes,” he says, “but now I’m very much addicted to the smell.”