Christian Astuguevielle is the Man Behind Comme des Garcons' Innovative Fragrances


(Courtesy SSAW) The new issue of SSAW is on newsstands now

Inside the newest issue of Finnish fashion bi-annual SSAW—which has just arrived on newsstands—is a fascinating interview with Comme des Garcons' perfume artist Christian Astuguevielle, the nose and conceptual artist behind revolutionary scents including Odeur 53 and Odeur 71.

Best known for looking to unconventional scents for his fragrance inspiration—Odeur 53 comprises inorganic notes such as "laundry drying in the wind" and "the flash of metal" and Odeur 71 includes essences of lettuce juice, fresh pencil shavings, the ink in fountain pen, and "smell of dust on a hot light bulb"—Astugueville has been a longtime collaborator with Comme des Garcons' founder and artistic director Rei Kawakubo.


(Left, courtesy SSAW) What's in Odeur 71 and the final product

Here are three fascinating things we learned from the SSAW interview with one of the industry's top creative minds and noses.

1. On what he learned at Comme: "Comme des Garcons taught me to be wary of the overly beautiful."

2. On what scent best describes his personality: "It would be the scent of skin. Everyone has his or her own specific smell. Skin is very intimate. So yes, it would be skin, the smell of one's skin texture."

3. On the creation of Comme des Garcons' Garage scent: "For 'Garage', it all starts with a souvenir. We are all familiar with a garage; we've all known one at some point. A garage populated by an old car that has been there forever. It's a very specific smell that is part of our collective culture. We tried to emulate this smell with two perfumers, to go at the core of its identity. This is an example of a very fast perfume. It only took us three sessions to create it. We were really in sync with the perfumers. This perfume starts out as a very raw 'garage' smell, but what's interesting is really its evolution. It becomes a very beautiful scent, smoky, a very qualitative blend. What's also interesting with this project is its name. Garage is always a conversation starter!"

For more from SSAW, be sure to pick up a copy of the new spring-summer 2013 issue, on newsstands now!
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