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Anhalter Apothecary Moderne Merges Scent and Ceramic

The new company launched its first product, a range of scented candles encased in handmade ceramic pots.

British-born, Paris-based perfumer James Heeley and edgy Berlin ceramicist Bernhard Kühn have joined forces for a new scent design project, called Anhalter Apothecary Moderne. Launched in time for holiday gift-giving season, the first products from the duo are a range of motif-printed ceramic pots by Kühn holding a scented candle perfumed by Heeley.

The 300-gram scented candles are priced starting at 87 euros, or $92 at current exchange; one with a flat ceramic lid is 97 euros, or $103; 135 euros, or $143, for a model with the spiked golden lid, and 175 euros, or $185, for a ceramic-encased candle with a 18-karat gold interior. Each is handmade, and printed with a different vintage print, from Albrecht Dürer’s lion to an ornate crown.

Kühn Keramik’s home, a former pharmacy dating back to 1890, with vintage shop fitting interiors, provided the inspiration for the collaboration’s name, as well the candle’s heady sweet-and-spicy scent reminiscent of the herbal fragrances that still rise from the shop’s antique wooden drawers.

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Calling Anhalter Apothecary Moderne a “new creative adventure,” James Heeley said he envisioned doing a wide range of products. Soaps and a room spray are next up on the list.

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“It could even be things like washing-up liquid or perfumed paper — just like a general store, you know. But I’m much more open than I am with my own brand Heeley, with which I just want to do perfume, and that’s it,” he explained.

The two met while exhibiting at Maison & Objet Paris about 10 years ago. Although Heeley is a design minimalist, and Kühn a subversive maximalist, the two found common ground, and became friends.

A couple of years ago, after moving his studio and shop into the history-rich apothecary space, Kühn asked Heeley to create a signature scent spray for Kühn Keramik.

“I found it so great that in Paris when you go in fine stores, perfume is sprayed in the shopping bags when they wrap up your purchase,” said Bernhard Kühn. “We have such a great store here, we need something like this in Berlin — no one knows that here.”

Heeley counterproposed something completely different, a merging of talents, and a new company. Anhalter Apothecary Moderne was born.

Bernhard Kühn’s irreverent designs, which have seen him called a “punk potter” can be found in boutiques around Europe, and at John Derian and ABC Carpet & Home in the U.S.

James Heeley’s scents are found in fine perfumeries and department stores globally, selling for 120 euros, or $127, for 100 ml. His newest fragrance, launched last month, is Chypre 21, which he describe as “an ode to Parisian chic.” The fragrance utilizes the classic chypre notes, bergamot, rose, patchouli, sandalwood and oak moss, but blends them into a contemporary unisex scent. The Heeley line also sells scented candles for 57 euros, or $60.

Anhalter Apothecary Moderne candles will be distributed throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland to retailers selling Heeley scents, as well as other select home and gift shops.