LONDON — Sunflowers don’t have much of a scent, but that didn’t stop Michelle Feeney and her Floral Street fragrance company from creating one based on some of the most famous yellow blooms in history — those painted by Vincent van Gogh.
Feeney will mark a milestone in August when Floral Street becomes the first fragrance partner of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, with a scent called Sunflower Pop, inspired by the artist’s “Sunflowers, 1889” painting.
Feeney has inked a four-year deal across fragrance and scented home products inspired by the work of van Gogh. The aim is to get audiences around the world talking about “fine art and fine fragrance,” in the same breath.
The tie-up with the Van Gogh Museum is the latest Floral Street partnership: The fragrance brand will also be the official supplier to the new BAFTA, or the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, headquarters on Piccadilly, which opens later this year.
In the past Floral Street has also collaborated with the Royal Horticultural Society.
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Sunflower Pop is a fruity, citrus eau de parfum. It’s vegan and cruelty-free and comes with reusable and biodegradable packaging, in line with the other Floral Street scents.
Jerôme Epinette of Robertet developed the juice, and said the idea was to capture “the vibrancy and beauty of the South of France, while also somehow ‘painting’ the passage of the day,” by conjuring morning, afternoon and evening through the various notes.
Ingredients include natural bergamot from Calabria, Italy, mandarin, a vegan honey accord and “Bellini,” for effervescence.
“This collaboration has taken the work of a past master to inspire a master perfumer,” said Feeney, adding that the two masters’ talents have been combined “into an affordable, collectable piece of van Gogh for everyone to enjoy.”
Emilie Gordenker, general director of the Van Gogh Museum, said Floral Street and the museum “share a mission to inspire a diverse audience for future generations.”
She added that creating a fragrance based on one of van Gogh’s most famous paintings offered “a fresh and different way to experience” the artist’s work.
In an interview, Feeney said this is the first time that the museum, which is still owned by the artist’s family, has ever done anything in the beauty arena.
The museum houses more than 1,000 paintings, letters and drawings by van Gogh and is the largest collection of his work. The museum asked Feeney to choose a painting as inspiration for a fragrance, and she picked “Sunflowers, 1889.”
The sunflower paintings had a special significance for van Gogh, according to the museum. They communicated “gratitude,” and he hung the first two paintings in the room of his friend Paul Gauguin, who came to live with him for a while in Arles, in the south of France.
The museum said that Gauguin was impressed by the sunflowers, which he thought were “completely Vincent.”
Feeney said she was inspired by van Gogh’s love of the natural world, and wanted to make the fragrances as accessible as possible to a wide audience.
Prices range from $30 for a 10-ml. eau de parfum, to $129 for the 100-ml. bottle. The packaging has an image of the painting on it, with a replica of the artist’s signature “Vincent” on the front and back.
The price points, ingredients and green packaging are all in line with those of Floral Street fragrances.
Sunflower Pop will launch on Sunday, and will initially be sold through the museum in Amsterdam; floralstreet.com, and Sephora in the U.S. It will roll out to other stores later this year. Feeney will be at the museum in mid-August for the official unveiling.
A beauty industry veteran, Feeney launched Floral Street in 2017 as a fragrance house with an earth-friendly message.
From the start she has used vegan, cruelty-free ingredients and packaged her scents in white pulp boxes so green they can double as seed trays before biodegrading.
There is no excess packaging — such as cellophane wrap — while each refillable glass bottle showcases an original flower mural by the photographer Matthew Donaldson.
As reported, earlier this month Floral Street expanded into home fragrance, with Nordstrom in the U.S., and on floralstreet.com.