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Brief Published: 26 Mar 2018

Abnormal Fragrance: The New Normal

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Clean Reserve's Avant Garden

Abnormal and audacious fragrances are gaining momentum in 2018, with a number of releases tapping into the experimental mindset of millennial and Gen Z consumers as we approach the end of the decade. Two recent launches exemplify this trend, featuring bold scent statements, unusual material combinations, and callouts of unheard-of or seldom-used notes.

  • Avestan: Toronto-based umbrella company Deciem – whose tagline is The Abnormal Beauty Company – has just launched its latest brand, a fragrance project called Avestan. As part of its mission statement, founder Brandon Truaxe declared it “an exploration of the untried … [a] journey of unfamiliar notes … an avant-garde play on nature.” 

    The website directs the story of each scent through a specific visual, video, music sample and tagline. No notes are listed, with emphasis instead put on spiritual and artisanal narratives. Examples include Tent in Tanzania, “an aromatic visualisation of firewood near a tent in Tanzania”, and Tibet, “a humble selflessness amongst the sands, rocks and gusts of Tibet”.
  • Clean Reserve: An auxiliary line of US lifestyle and beauty brand Clean Beauty, Clean Reserve has launched a collection of six fragrances under the name Avant Garden, created with responsibly sourced ingredients and eco-conscious manufacturing and packaging. In a promotional video for the range, the viewer is asked to embrace the “journey” the smells will take them on, in which “unexpected pairs” and “hybrids” represent a “new breed” of fragrance, evocative of a “secret garden”.

    Each scent in the collection is named after its two main ingredients/accords, which call out a familiar note and one less often used in perfumery. For example, Galbanum & Rain and Muguet & Skin.
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