New Affiliates architects make groundbreaking perfume bottle
Régime des Fleurs debuts its first men’s fragrance, with a bottle design by architects New Affiliates, one of the fast-emerging practices in the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2021
Since launching in 2014, Régime des Fleurs has carved out a unique niche for itself in the fragrance world, straddling the sizeable gap that tends to exist between high-concept perfumery and commercial viability.
It does this by producing scents that are singular and peculiar, adjectives that usually denote a divisive perfume – people love it or they hate it – but in the case of Régime des Fleurs, signal something instantly intoxicating. In this way, the company is similar to another niche fragrance brand, Le Labo, but without the widespread popularity that means you are always likely to run into someone wearing the exact same thing.
The inspiration behind the scents is as varied and eccentric as the ‘dissolving infinity of the horizon line between blue skies and blue seas’ that is cited for the patchouli and violet leaf scent, ‘Echoes’, or the forest bath on Yakushima island in the year 752 that inspired the smoky resins, fresh bark and ancient moss scent, ‘Falling Trees’.
Collaborations have added to the brand’s appeal, including a rose fragrance made alongside actress Chloë Sevigny, and a perfumed exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art with fashion label Eckhaus Latta.
Rock River Melody
The brands latest fragrance Rock River Melody, developed in collaboration with editor Christopher Niquet, is an earthy fragrance of green sap, ivy, and bergamot, principally inspired by a muddy horseback ride through the forests of Fontainebleau, as well as Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1975 film Mirror, and the music of American rapper Tyler, the Creator.
‘With Rock River Melody we’re not only launching our first fragrance for men, we’re debuting a new look for the brand,’ says Régime des Fleurs’ founder, and co-creator of Topi skincare, Alia Raza. ‘We’ve always had to use stock bottles and customise them with various colour treatments and caps, but after seven years we were finally able to create a custom glass bottle from scratch. That was a dream.’
New Affiliates’ bottle design
To design the new bottle, Raza tapped New York-based architecture firm, and members of Wallpaper* Architects Directory 2021, New Affiliates. Established by Ivi Diamantopoulou and Jaffer Kolb in 2016, New Affiliates has garnered a swath of awards for its idiosyncratic, minimalist designs, including exhibition design for clients such as New York’s Jewish Museum, The Shed, and the Canadian Center for Architecture, as well as residential projects such as its Tunbridge Winter Cabin.
New Affiliates’ bottle design for Régime des Fleurs is flat on one side and circular on the other, with a bulbous green top. Speaking about the design, Kolb says; ‘We were inspired by Régime’s shield emblem. The shield has a satisfying shape. It’s symmetrical in one direction, but not the other. It looks like several shapes merging into one, but remains simple and elegant.
‘We wanted to do something similar with the bottle. We started by making something much closer to the emblem itself, but it was all pointy edges and wouldn’t have been comfortable to hold. After testing many options, we settled on a reduced form: from above, the bottle resembles a very pure shield – a square and a circle intersecting at their mid-points. The bottle feels comfortable to hold, and it has a directionality that previous bottles didn’t – a round side and a flat side. It’s very simple, but in this sense feels more dynamic.’
Régime des Fleurs and New Affiliates’ design is just the latest example of architect-designed beauty, and testament to the beauty industry’s particular knack for synthesising disciplines to create innovative products. §