Allure editor, Liana Schaffner, takes us on a journey through The New Fragrance Frontier in this July perfume article.
Excerpts from a fragrance editorial, Scent Stories - The New Fragrance Frontier, in Allure July 2017 issue.
The New Fragrance Frontier
Americans dream of open spaces. It's why we turn road trips into rituals and make pilgrimages to canyons. Even if we're accustomed to city life, the prospect of endless coastlines, piney clearings, and desert immensity tugs at us. This, in an unintended way, has complicated our relationship with fragrance. The purpose of a perfume, after all, is to draw others into our orbit. But that can feel intrusive. Pushy. Americans have never quite found a way to reconcile our desire for a broad wingspan with the close and encompassing nature of fragrance. Until now.
-- Liana Schaffner, Associate Editor Allure | Learn more @ Allure.com
"A movement composed of independent, homegrown perfumers is reshaping the fragrance landscape, gradually changing the way we approach and experience scent. Straying from traditional, these olfactory trailblazers are creating fragrances with a distinctly American feel - solitary, rugged, luminous. A new frontier. But there's another virtue, beyond the pioneering spirit, that motivates this group to push boundaries and break genres. It's called defiance, and it's just an entrenched in our American mentality. These artisans are inspired not necessarily by their love of fragrance but by a sense of opposition to it.
CB I Hate Perfume
In the Summer Kitchen
Notes for this scent were inspired by the Brosius' smoke blackened rafters of his family farm, along with herbs and spices filled air in the summer.
CB I Hate Perfume
In The Summer Kitchen
"I really do hate perfume," says Christopher Brosius, the founder of the avant-garde and aptly names fragrance line CB I Hate Perfume. ... "My work is about creating an experience, something that resonates with the wearer in a clear, direct, emotional way," he says.
Shop @ cbihateperfume.com
This nature foraged fragrance transports you to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest with notes of bark, moss, and mushrooms. (Learn more about Juniper Ridge in the article Foraged Fragrance Notes)
"When our senses engage with nature, it's a magical, transformative experience," says Hall Newbegin, the founder of the all-natural fragrance line Juniper Ridge. ...he and his team spend months "on the trail," harvesting ingredients for the brand's organic perfume oils. "I want the wearer to experience the essence of these places, even if they've never been before."
Shop @ juniperridge.com
D.S. & Durga
The scruffy notes for this scent were inspired by the West Texas campground by the same name with hints pine, oak, sumac, and sand.
D.S. & Durga
"I'm just trying to be as experimental as possible, to come up with something entirely new," says perfumer David Seth Moltz of D.S. & Durga, the Brooklyn fragrance house.... Moltz designs scents that recall literal objects and physical places.... El Cosmico... is extraterrestial, a play between the desert's lunar landscape and a confusion of stars.
Shop @ dsanddurga.com
Saguara Perfumes captures the crisp aroma of the desert with notes of lavender, verbena, and sandalwood.
The theme of vastness and outdoor beauty isn't new to fragrance. Chances are you could wander around any perfume counter blindfolded and still bump into a scent that conjures a beach or a flower field. What's different about El Cosmico, or the dreamy desert offerings at the Los Angeles perfumery Orris, is that these fragrances are also precisely focused. They portray not simply big, wide places but a keen point of view, just like those heady flashes of clarity that we get when we visit them. Applied to perfume, it's a radical concept.
Shop @ saguaraperfumes.com
Joya's perfume oil is an homage to New York's parks and wetlands with notes of meadow grass, jasmine, jonquille, white cedar, and oak.
Frederick Bouchardy, the owner of the Brooklyn-based fragrance studio Joya, has taken the idea of transparency to a new extreme. "Our store is embedded in our manufacturing facility so people can see the guts of what we're doing," he says. "We're exposing the entire process, how every element comes together. It's the precise opposite of what usually happes in this industry." ...Bouchardy's fragrances are velvety, oil-based elixirs that hug the pulse points.
Shop @ joyastudio.com
With notes of birch, salt, and pine resin, Phlur Greylocke captures a weekend in New England.
Austin-based and eco-minded company Phlur is rooted in this democratic ideal [the aim to put high-end perfume within reach]. Phlur sells directly to consumers, pouring money that would typically go into hefty distribution costs into the perfume itself, which allows the brand to source ingredients from top suppliers.
Shop @ phlur.com
A love letter to the American South with notes of sweet mint, magnolia, bourbon, and tangerine.
Balancing artistry and accessibility isn't so much a tightrope walk as a natural high for Josh Meyer, the self-trained perfumer behind Portland's Imaginary Authors. ...He presents each [scent] as a story, dreamed up by a fictional scribe. ..."My goal is to make something that's incredible and wearable, not intimidating."
Shop @ imaginaryauthors.com
All of these scents proclaim what we Americans have more or less proclaimed ourselves. We're wanderers, protesters, optimists. And at the heart is good old-fashioned audacity. "The one thing these companies have in common is that we're risk-takers to the core," says Bouchardy. "...we're just going for it." Dream big, America.
(Schaffner, Liana. "Scent Stories: A New Fragrance Frontier." Allure July 2017: 56-62)
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