On Tuesday we stopped into the Elements Showcase, otherwise known as the “Art Basel of the fragrance world.” It’s a showcase for smaller brands who strive to elevate the art of perfumery. Well curated and full of delightful gems, below are a few of the standouts that left us wanting more.
Astier de Villatte
Creators of furniture, dinnerware, and ceramic objects, Astier de Villatte introduced their scented candles and fragrances in 2008. Since then, they have worked with great French nose Francoise Caron to create 30 scented candles, each with its own special story, each inspired by a special place. Five new aromas have been added to their collection, from Cabourg (where Marcel Proust wrote Within a Budding Grove) to Zermatt (where the alpine trails smell of wild berries.) They come packaged in a lovely glass or handmade ceramic goblet.
While each one has a lovely story, I was particularly struck by Mantes-la-Jolie. Mantes-la-Jolie is a suburb in France that has a reputation as a rough neighborhood. The candle was an attempt to turn this negative perception into something positive. The scent was inspired by the village market and features crunchy green stem notes and the fresh eucalyptus to recreate a display of fresh herbs. Hillary Clinton is reported to be a fan.
Strange Invisible Perfumes
Strange Invisible Perfumes, the botanical-based fragrance house, featured the first five fragrances (Virgo, Libra, Pisces, Taurus and Aries) in their Limited Edition Astrological Collection. There will be twelve botanical fragrances total, one for each sign. Each is being launched with its opposing sign on the astrological wheel. Founder Alexandra Balahoutis worked with expert aromatherapist Mindy Green to select ingredients that honor and convey the essence of each sign. For instance, Virgo’s elegant, precise and introspective traits are represented by Neroli, baked earth, palo santo, rose jasmine sambac and temple mandarin. But don’t feel limited to wearing your sign. The fragrances are designed to be layered, subscribing to the notion that we have more than one sign.
Cire Trudon Fairytale Collection
Famous candle maker Cire Trudon offers three famous tales for families to read by candlelight. Light the candle and read the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ booklet that comes with the candle. You will be enveloped in woody and green notes, taken into the forest with Little Red. Other tales include ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’
21 Drops is a modern line of therapeutic grade essential oils. After much research, founder Cary Caster has taken the guess work out of the selection process by identifying 21 universal concerns (from PMS to hangover, focus to stress) and creating 21 pre-blended solutions for each. The packaging is also designed with a lot of thought. Each box has a different number, font, texture and statement of intent on the inside to create a unique experience. Caster studied numerology and different philosophies to assign the right number to the right solution. For instance, the number 21 is “about the world” so she paired it with “inspire.” They’re stylish and perfect for travel. She uses them on her kids, so you know it’s got to work.
This collection of 6 fragrances was created by architect Carlos Huber who specializes in historic preservation. Each fragrance is meticulously researched, created with authentic sources and crafted with the rarest of ingredients. Huber approaches each scent like a “time capsule. It can invoke or most intimate memories and dreams, and open doors to distant worlds.” Subjects range from June 1660, the meeting of Louis the 14th and his bride, the Infanta Maria Teresa , to November 1695, where a group of nuns prepare a Baroque recipe of Cocoa in the halls of the Royal Convent of Jesus Maria in Mexico City.