Photographer Lea Colombo creates experimental perfume

The famed fashion photographer launches two new fragrances 111hz and 222hz to alongside the opening of her first self-curated exhibition, Colours of My Body

Lea Colombo masculine and feminine perfumes launched in collaboration with her exhibit from Colours of My Body
111hz and 222hz perfumes designed by Lea Columbo and Folie À Plusieurs. 
(Image credit: Lea Colombo)

This September, Lea Colombo unveils Colours of My Body; a multi-media exhibition for which the young photographer, best known for her colour saturated fashion images, turns the lens back on herself.

Opening at SPACEBY in Cape Town and Terminal 27 in Los Angeles, Colours is ‘a survey of [Colombo’s] connection to consciousness’ with photographs, paintings, collages, video-instillations and sculptures, that see the artist deploy her mastery of colour to explore her interest in spiritual energies and auras. 

Lea Colombo image of black and white bodies with red drawings from Colours of My Body

Image from Lea Colombo's Colours of My Body

(Image credit: Lea Colombo)

Alongside the opening, Colombo will debut her first ever fragrances. The two scents have been made in collaboration with Folie À Plusieurs, the conceptual perfume house that has worked with experimental musicians and high-profile artists like Issac Julien. They will, as Colombo describes it, ‘explore our relationship with self, the balancing of masculine and feminine that are achieved in the process of individuation.’ 

Lea Colombo image of painted body with purple and red paint from Colours of My Body

(Image credit: Lea Colombo)

111hz is the ‘feminine’ scent and associated with the colour green. It has been designed by perfumer David Chieze with elemi (a resin with anti-inflammatory properties) tarragon, basil, lavender, sage, and frankincense. While 222hz is the 'masculine' scent associated with the colour red. Its fragrance profile, designed by perfumer Mark Buxton, includes Immortelle Absolute (an herbaceous hay-like aroma), Geranium, Lemon, Oakwood, Rose, Ginger, Amber, and Cedar. 

111hz and 222hz were created as part of Folie À Plusieurs ‘olfactive diaries.' For the series, artists are invited to keep a diary over a few days, noting down their feelings, inner thoughts, circumstances. Those entries then used as the inspiration for a new Folie perfume, that tries to capture the atmosphere of the artist's life at that time through scent. 

Lea Colombo drawing of yellow and red auras next to image of body illuminated from Colours of My Body

(Image credit: Lea Colombo)

As Folie À Plusieurs’ founder, Kaya Sorhaindo, describes the experience of working with Colombo; ‘we asked Lea for 11 days to write a diary. During this period of time she would share with us certain feelings she had.'

‘This came both in the form of text, drawings and photography. During this period she was already exploring colours in a way that corresponded to an emotion, vibrational energy or feeling she had each day.’ 

Lea Colombo face illuminated by blue from Colours of My Body

(Image credit: Lea Colombo)

‘She was in the process of creating Colours of My Body, which was amazing. As the ideas were forming, and the work was being created, and her olfactive journal was being filled, each day the fragrances were slowly taking shape in the background in parallel. So ultimately, they emerged from the same place, the same emotions, same vibrational energy and time of the artworks.’

Colombo’s fragrances are not the first to derive inspiration from wellness philosophies and ‘energetic healing.’ Vyrao, a fragrance brand that launched earlier this year and which Colombo created a photo project for, has taken a similar approach by infusing their fragrances with flower remedies and healing crystals.

Lea Colombo with blue and red stones symbolising masculinity and femininity from Colours of My Body

(Image credit: Lea Colombo)

Both projects speak to a new trend for sensory-based wellness with mediums like audio escapism or aromatherapypredicted to garner greater popularity as forms of self-care. 222hz and 111hz will be available from Folie À Plusieurs website following the opening of Colours of My Body this September.


Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.

With contributions from