07 Jul 2021
Aesop is pleased to announce the launch of Othertopias, a trio of Eaux de Parfum developed in collaboration with long-term fragrance partner Barnabé Fillion. Titled Miraceti, Karst and Erémia, these are fragrances that reveal another view on the world, transporting wearers elsewhere to realms both real and imagined.
Unorthodox in nature, the collection is inspired by the juxtapositions found in certain spaces— environments that blur the boundaries of past and present, real and unreal, here and there.
‘These liminal spaces, these worlds within worlds, have been a fount for artists, thinkers and wordsmiths such as Tarkovsky, Bachelard and Melville,’ says Suzanne Santos, Aesop’s Chief Customer Officer. ‘Why? Because they spark the senses. They make us engage, ask us to look differently, and, ultimately, encourage us to imagine, which is what we seek in every interaction at Aesop.’
The same can be said of fragrance. Although it operates innately, our sense of smell is acquired; each aroma informed by our experience, and continually re-shaped by our dreams and memories.
‘As always, collaborations with Aesop are steered by science and wonder,’ says Fillion, ‘manifesting in this instance as a journey through spaces. A smell, whether in the air, on our skin, or on our clothes, transports us elsewhere to worlds both real and imagined. A window into nature, so to speak, one that invites a dialogue with the surroundings we inhabit but often overlook.’
The three fragrances—Miraceti, Karst and Erémia—embody this. Distilling the worlds of the boat, the shore and the wasteland, three liminal spaces challenge perception, invite a conversation and unlock reverie.
Miraceti or ‘The Boat’ pays homage to the serenity and savagery of the sea, with its heady, swirling waves, oscillating horizon, and peaceful yet isolating emptiness. Majesty, in a word, in stark contrast to humankind’s enduring vulnerability. Labdanum hints at old, ocean-worn wood and the faint must of a whisky-filled cellar. Mingled with incense and seaweed on the breeze, the formula calls on Ambrette and Styrax to round out a warm, woody and nuanced scent.
With its subtle mineral notes, Karst or ‘The Shore’ signals a landscape sculpted by nature’s most skilled architect: water. The rhythmic coming and going of the tide creates a world in which inhalation and exhalation, departure and return, exist in a constant loop, where time is both accumulating and transitory. A place of limbo, where understated aromatics and fresh spices imagine the perfume of the air itself—the percussive shake of grass. While Cumin and Sandalwood conjure the salty, metallic notes of the wind howling off the water, a storm rolling in.
Beyond the shore, Erémia or ‘The Wasteland’ unfurls. A hazy, vibrant place where humankind’s transient markers are lost to nature’s whims, and where beings large and small are interconnected, passing messages inaudibly between them. With notes of Galbanum, Iris and Yuzu, Erémia strikes bright, citrus tones with earthy roots. A world where the vegetal strength of moss and wildflowers coexists with stagnating signs of civilisation and wet concrete.
To realise the worlds of Miraceti, Karst and Erémia, Aesop has also partnered with the digital artist Quayola. Drawing from traditional landscape painting, including the work of J.M.W. Turner and the Impressionists, Quayola pursues a methodical observation of natural patterns using advanced technology instead of a brush, resulting in a highly personal and contemporary representation of nature. His ephemeral, algorithmic compositions that blend nature and technology, representation and abstraction and, ultimately, human and machine. ‘Technology, for me, is as an extra pair of eyes,’ says Quayola, ‘a collaborator allowing me to discover new modes of observation.’ Aesop and Quayola’s partnership will culminate in an exhibition of his work. The embodiment of ‘elsewhere here’, it will explore the intersection of visual and olfactory, physical and digital, here and there.
Miraceti, Karst and Erémia Eaux de Parfum are each packaged in a 50mL glass bottle and encased in a carton featuring unique artwork by Jack Coulter, the Belfast-based synesthete painter. The fragrances will be available at Aesop signature stores, select department store counters and aesop.com from 5 July 2021.
The collection joins Aesop’s existing fragrances, Marrakech Intense, Tacit, Hwyl and R?zu. Like the others in the range, the Othertopias collection has been crafted for those seeking complex and unique aromas that know no boundaries. The Aesopian is, after all, an explorer at heart, looking from above and below, inside and out, with a poetic rigour that interrogates all aspects.