Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trends in fragrances - Kerosene Fragrances showcase

Continuing to study Li Edelkoort trend forecasts and fragrance designers that succeeded to translate them to the perfumery world, I present today our second showcase:

Photo credit: KEROSENE

Last December I was one of the bloggers presenting in first hand groundbreaking news: the birth of a new brand "KEROSENE FRAGRANCES", created by  young fragrance reviewer John Arthur (aka Kerosene Trewthe) - click on KEROSENE FRAGRANCES for the article/interview/fragrance review. Hi first launch R'OUD ELEMENTS, a seductive, incensy & woody EDP caught my attention and filled my heart with joy - what I loved the most is that: one - John is a fragrance reviewer like many of us in the fragrance community, with no classic perfumery training, but with a natural skill; two - he develops the fragrance bottles design by himself; three - he is a cool guy with a shy and gentle way, with a modesty that it is hard to find among perfumers. Most of them have huge egosToday he is going to be the center of my attentions again, because IMO he represents the quintessence of the modern olfactive designer, so let's find out why...

"The more virtual life became, the more tactile we wished to become".
Li Edelkoort

According to forecaster and trendsetter Li Edelkoort, "the globalization of the world as one market brought shopping boredom and uniformity". Today, big chains, such as chain stores, chain food, chain couture, chain coffee houses replaced alternative, unique boutiques. The idea of finding the same products in Paris, Tokyo, Rio, Berlin made us feel equals, connected. That would represents the notion of modern marketing. But is it really the future?

I recall that some people made fun of Le Labo when they launched fragrances that could only be bought in specific towns. Maybe Le Labo is not the greatest niche brand there is, but I think that Eddie & Fabrice knew what they were doing: they were ahead of everybody, launching products that would fight this massive boredom. The concept of making fragrance shopping global was already dead (and this is one more characteristic  of the global marketing - it moves fast). The exclusive, the local, was to be yet forecasted as the new trend of shopping behavior, and eventually it arrived. Bravo Fabrice! I also wished people could still buy Havainas only in Brazil!!

As Li continues to explain in her essay, "to answer to this growing global resistance to constant renewal and limitless expansion, humanity and integrity are requested for the years to come. It is time to empower goods with a new dimension; their own character, an invisible energy locked into the design process".

So here we have a young man that decided to be virtual and share his taste for fragrances in YOUTUBE, making fragrance review videos. Fragrance preferences morphed into virtuality. OK, he is not the only one doing it, and probably not also the first one who did it, but John jumped many steps forward when he transformed the virtual dream into reality. Not just any reality, but a handmade one. The more virtual he became, the more tactile and real he wished to be. He wanted make his own fragrances.

As the guru of trends predicts "The growing influence of an all-encompassing digital fantasy world has triggered an enormous quest for the manual and the tactile, with our fingers deciding through feeling long before our eyes start judging form and volume, and with manually-powered production coming back to the fore".

John not only decided to fulfill a dream that he had, but he started a venture that delivers what consumers are looking for: to touch, to smell, to feel. And he did it in a very clever way. Since he had many followers (globally and virtually), why not to reach out and be even closer to them?

"I believe that we will be able to make the object, concept, or service come alive to be our partner, pet or friend, and to relate to us on a direct and day-to-day level. Only when design will be empowered with emotion will we be able to create a new generation of things that will promote and sell themselves; they will have acquired an aura able to seduce even the most hardened consumers on their own terms. Only then will design have acquired soul." (Li Edelkoort)

Photo credit: KEROSENE

We now have a whiff of Kerosene in our homes, in a direct day-to-day level. We will have drops of his heart and soul (because he puts his heart & soul into these fragrances he creates) bottled just for us - Li says and I quote her - John fragrances will sell because you will find soul in it, you find emotions in liquid form. Check his page in facebook. You will find the the description of the brand as "notes: guts, passion, storms, love, resonance, experiences". This is olfactive design empowered with emotions! The fragrances do have an aura able to seduce us because he uses raw materials that have been seducing HIM all these years.

A bit of his love & passion: Gordana, his girlfriend, and fragrances!

"Great sharing the love of scent with someone special. MiN NY is such a great place. The atmosphere is unlike a place you'll ever experience. Top-freaking-notch". (extracted from John's facebook wall)

"Craft holds this promise: the turn of this century has witnessed a return to the arts and crafts movement in a step-by-step repetition of the last turning of the centuries. Haunted by similar fears and interested by a similar vision, designers and artists have once more taken on the handmade and the hand-finished with absolute fervor". (Li Edelkoort)

Right now I picture many of you saying "So? What about all the niche brands out there? Aren't they boutique fragrances? Aren't they handcrafted too?" Well, not as much as KEROSENE  FRAGRANCES. John has produced every single bottle with his own hands. He does all the painting for all the bottles with automotive paint.

In his own words:

"Although sniffing anything I can get my snout on is quite enjoyable, I began to get bored with sampling scents and I felt it was time to see if I could combine the right notes and create something. My goal; raw, unique, but approachable. With the scents, I wanted the bottle design to match. So I put my painting talents to work, and little did I know, my factory production background would come in good use. Each bottle will be unique, always painted with high quality automotive paint and clearcoat. The result is if a shiny, classic metallic Ford collided with perfume and songs by The Cure resonate out of tiny speakers from the clunky 8-track player". (extracted from MIN NEW YORK website)

If you prefer to listen to his words, check the video in youtube:

The handcrafted design of his fragrance bottles

R'OUD ELEMENTS EDP - both bottle and cap have a clear black coating.

COPPER SKIES EDP - the bottle has green automotive paint, with a small black bird on the right bottom corner, and an imprinted copper label. The cap has a rustic copper wiring rolled on a rustic fabric.

CREATURE EDP - the bottle is the same as Copper Skies, but with an encrusted green cap - as he explained, he wanted a reference to a mossy green monster.

All Photo credits: KEROSENE

"With a consumer ready to embrace the rare, the unraveled and the irregular in this quest for soul in a product, the arts and crafts movement is back at the forefront of fashion and design. The ritualistic qualities inherent to the making of the craft object or the symbolic quality in the concept of a human service will gradually become more important; in a quest for experience, consumers will want to embrace a spiritual dimension and select merchandise to appease this inner need. Some craft items will become new design collectibles within a matter of decades, and already we see the prices of some textiles, objects and artworks escalating to greater and never-before imagined heights…
Therefore the products of the future will be unique as well as universal. Using regional roots, local colour and universal references related to earth, animals, gardening and home. Living an unplugged yet wired lifestyle, considering rural romantic sources of inspiration, craft and design will merge to inspire a new more self-conscious and mature consumer to be. A consumer that becomes the curator of his or her own life". L.E.

If you go back to my interview with John, you will understand that he is exactly doing what Li says. He is using his regional roots from Michigan and its cold weather as a starting point for his creations. He managed to make a urban concept that does not distance itself from the nature of his surroundings. He is offering not only perfumes, but a lifestyle: his!

1 comment:

Katherine said...

great post and nice video.i like it. thanks for posting it.

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