Humiecki & Graef Founders Launch Scent-Focused Mag

Ode will feature essays, fiction and art devoted to scent.

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BERLIN — Humiecki & Graef founders Sebastian Fischenich and Tobias Müksch say their complex line of fragrances is designed to tell stories. Now, the two have a novel place for all those bottled-up words — a new magazine called Ode, launching March 24. Ode, which is described as “a sort of fanzine about perfumes,” will feature essays, fiction and art devoted to scent — all from creative people from outside the fragrance industry.

The overall concept, explained Fischenich, was “to involve people who are creators in general, as for example photographers, film directors, but also cooks and architects, [talking] about their opinion about perfumes.” Ode’s first issue, titled “Sentual Perception,” will include a set of short stories inspired by Humiecki & Graef’s scents, written by German-born, Swiss-bred author, Tim Krohn. Ode’s pages will also boast contributions from several still unnamed German, Swiss, English and French top artistic types — including an opera director, creative and design talents from major fashion labels, a dancer and a pianist. 

Ode magazine is produced by Fischenich and Müksch and design agency Bel Epok, which is based in Zurich and Cologne. To communicate fragrances visually, the magazine’s team is sending fine artists and photographers unlabeled perfume samples, asking that they create images inspired by the scents. One such picture in Ode’s first edition is by Markus Jans, who recently shot the Marni for H&M campaign as well as previous campaigns for Joop, Escada and Audi. He envisions Parfumerie Generale’s Aomassaï with an intimate drawing-room scene, including captured beauties under glass.

Fischenich hopes Ode will add to the discourse on perfume by reflecting on fragrance aesthetically and thematically. Unlike other magazines, Ode “has no beauty tips — it’s not kitschy,” he declared. 
He also noted, “there’s a big blog scene on the Internet. They do a very good job, but it’s done by people who are very into perfumery.” Ode’s goal is to provide a different kind of view on the subject.

Ode’s debut 124-page edition will have a print run between 800 and 1,000 copies, and will be sold in bookstores and boutiques. The English-language magazine will have no advertising and will sell for 25 CHF, or about $28 at the current exchange. 

Ode magazine will launch March 24 at Zurich’s Museum Bellerive. The museum is currently host to the exhibition, “Perfume — Bottling Seduction,” which was cocurated by Fischenich, and designed, he said, to show not just the beautiful trappings that surround exquisite scents but also the creative people in that orbit.

Humiecki & Graef will present their next fragrance, Candour, at April’s Milan Esxence fair. That scent, their ninth, said Fischenich, is about affinity, inspired by a sudden chance encounter with someone you were once close to, and the possibilities that arise from that meeting, and has a green “softness” paired with “bright white” elements. The exhibit “Perfume — Bottling Seduction” runs through April 9.

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