Modern Alchemy: Régime des Fleurs introduces time machines disguised as perfume bottles. Read the interview and view the collection..
Posted: Dec 14 2015
Two friends endeavor to create magic together in a form we can all enjoy. If there is one of our senses that can transport us the most violently, it is smell. Scientists have found that memories are actual the re-creation of events on our mind, we literally relive the moments we remember. We sat down with Alia Raza & Ezra Woods to discuss the process of historic parfum in the parlance of our times...
Are there times when deception is necessary? Can beauty be a deception?
That depends on your definition of deception. You could say a perfume takes different molecules and oils and deceives your nose into believing it's experiencing something that's not real. But we think perfume reveals truth.
How did you meet? Why perfumes?
A mutual friend introduced us, ten years ago. She said, 'You guys are going to have a lot in common.' We asked why, and she said 'Because you're both obsessed with perfume and flowers.'
The packaging is truly beautiful, what were the references or inspirations for the bottle shape and color palette?
We wanted simple clean architectural shapes. All lined up, you can make a cityscape with the bottles. We looked at a lot of old Esprit images. The bold colors were something we tried out because we wanted each perfume to be an object on its own with a story. Our colors are all blends of several different colors, they're not Pantone. The references ranged from chips of paint from buildings that we drove by to neon candy to a painting by Friedrich Kunath. Each color represents the perfume inside. They're hand painted so that the color is dimensional and saturated and special.
When creating your perfumes, how does the idea of memory versus new experience enter into the process?
Memory is cool but it's not the biggest thing for us. We want to make new smells, not recapture ones from our childhood vacations or whatever. That said, we're always talking about scent memories or translating experiences into a smell and we do that for fun or as an exercise in the studio. So memory is part of the process but not the whole story. The finished perfumes smell like nothing else.
Fragrance is invisible, what is most intriguing about the unseen world?
We're all taught to identify colors and sounds and sights from a very young age. We aren't taught smell. A perfumer's nose isn't usually any more sensitive than the average person's, it's just that perfumers are educated about what they smell and can talk about it. So for most people it's very abstract. And that makes it powerful, evocative, subtle, mysterious, transporting.
The word ‘luxury’ is commonly and widely used nowadays; what is luxury to you?
Luxury is rarity, it's quality, it's passion, it's obsession. Our perfumes are luxurious to us because the two of us formulate them, blend them, bottle them. They're available only in about ten stores on the planet. They're for people who want the best and the most special of everything.
Are there any things or elements quintessential to your creative process?
Oh yes. History, contemporary art, fashion, music, antiques, food, film, the natural world, counter culture, literature, and anything poetic. We are obsessed with cross talk of these worlds. Also - conversation. We discuss our ideas for hours or days or weeks before committing to them and creating something.
How important is travel, favorite destinations?
Travel is one of the most inspiring things anyone can do. We love Mexico, France, Japan, Pakistan, Greece. The ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey is a recent favorite and we are dying to go to Brazil.
Any personal favorite oddball smells or olfactory penchants?
Yes! Some are odd, some are just beautiful. Cattaleya orchids, Ginger Lilies, Nolet gin, Noxzema, Chap stick, old t-shirts, wet cement. Garlic and onions sautéing in olive oil and butter. Black pepper. Delicious.
What’s next for you?
big picture: we want "Régime des Fleurs" to become an idea that is a part of most people's references- like they could look at something exquisite, poetic and extraordinary and say "That's so Régime" and people would get it- this idea could be applied to anything from candies to a resort.
smaller picture: We are doing a bunch of cool things with our perfume nitesurf that we are super excited about, we are beefing up our website game, and launching global products in 2016 including candles!