Once an architect achieves the sort of global acclaim that Jean Nouvel has, it's not just requests for iconic urban landmarks that land on the desk - the starchitect's touch is also called on to change the topography of our dressing tables.
Jean Nouvel has made his first contribution to the cosmetics world this month with a limited edition bottle design for Yves Saint Laurent's most recently launched men's fragrance, L'Homme.
Previously L'Homme leant on a smouldering Olivier Martinez, Haitian vetiver and a bolt-shaped top to draw real men to the brand. Its new housing by the architect, best known for designing the Arab Institue and the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, is less subtle in its masculine imagery.
'I wanted to give it a clear-cut shape, so it would easily fit a man's hand while still stimulating different aspects of his imagination,' says Nouvel of the erect tube that sits into a bolt-shaped stand, that doubles as the lid.
'I wanted it to express the scent's inherent contrasts of virility and fragility. Through its design, the bottle symbolises a fully assumed virility, while the fine glass creates a contrast implying a kind of fragility and softness.'
Indeed. Nouvel has also introduced a playful new design detail - the float which carries the YSL logo and swims around in the fragrance, 'placing the brand at the heart of the fragrance'.
Introducing architects and product designers to cosmetics and fragrance packaging design is proving to be a sure way to shake up firmly entrenched convention in the area, and this is no exception. With his limited edition L'Homme Yves Saint Laurent, Nouvel is turning perfume bottle design on its head.