Scent, emotion, and memory — three things seemingly separate yet completely intertwined, thanks to the brain’s anatomy.
In fact, that déjà vu feeling you get when you catch a whiff of something extraordinarily familiar has a name: The Proustian moment — a sensory experience that triggers a rush of memories often long past, or even seemingly forgotten.
Aesop harnesses this evocative power of smell once again, this time via Othertopias, a collection of three distinct Eaux de Parfum created with long-term fragrance partner Barnabé Fillion. The unorthodox trio takes inspiration from the boat, the shore and the wasteland — quite literally too.
Christened Miraceti, Karst, and Erémia, these smells have been so authentically captured that instead of merely hinting at a specific place and time, they immediately transport you there instead.
Miraceti, for example, is an homage to both the serenity and savagery of the seas, as well as a juxtaposition of nature’s majesty and man’s vulnerability. Drawing inspiration from captains of the most perilous fictional voyages — Moby Dick — of all time, this fragrance starts with notes of incense and seaweed on the breeze, with notes of Ambrette and Styrax for warmth. You’ll also get whiffs of old, ocean-worn wood from boats and the faint musk of a whisky-filled cellar. If you’ve ever been on a boat, you’ll recognise this Aesop scent instantly.
Karst takes the memory further up to the shores, with understated aromatics and fresh spices that recall evenings by the beach with friends and family. Notes of cumin and sandalwood emphasise the salty, metallic notes that come with the sea breeze.
Lastly, Erémia is a complex interpretation of urbanity that’s overtaken by nature. Notes of Galbanum, Iris and Yuzu remind of wild moss and wildflowers growing on wet concrete, almost as if painting a romantic picture of a post-apocalyptic world. Those who enjoy the wild outdoors and the serenity it brings will find themselves completely immersed in this one.
It’s the first time the brand will be launching three fragrances at once, and each scent from the Othertopias collection will be housed in 50ml glass bottles that match perfectly with other Aesop products on your vanity. Each carton will also feature artwork by Belfast-based painter Jack Coulter, who has taken inspiration from Fillion’s visions to create stunning abstract scenes.
Aesop Othertopias will retail at S$255 each and will be available at Aesop’s signature stores, select department store counters, and Aesop Online from 5 July 2021.