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[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]In 1977, Yves Saint Laurent released his Opium perfume for women, taking a risk by basing a perfume on a poisonous flower, not exactly an alluring concept. The gamble paid off and Opium became one of the most successful fragrances ever produced (Dior followed suit almost a decade later with Poison.). Jean-Louis Sieuzac was the nose behind Opium, and his apprentice was Emilie Copperman, who went on to become a nose for Symrise, one of the leading producers of flavors and fragrances in the world.
When Joseph Quartana, the former fashion director of the cult downtown boutique Seven New York, teamed up with the company to produce a perfume line based on poisonous flowers, Les Potions Fatales, Coppermann naturally became involved. When you smell Coppermann-executed Poppy Soma, one of the nine fragrances in the Parfums Quartana line, the relationship between it and Opium gains clarity. Her contemporary creation retains the graceful appeal of its predecessor.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height="10px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css_animation=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]
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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]Quartana is no stranger to the perfume business. He previously masterminded a highly successful but ill-fated Six Scents series, for which he connected promising young fashion designers such as Gareth Pugh and Damir Doma with the noses at Givaudan, the well-respected Swiss perfume powerhouse. In a booming industry where, an engaging story is often a prerequisite and contributor to perfume’s success, building scents inspired by poisonous flowers is not a novel concept. Even Lady Gaga has taken a stab at it. But that’s where all comparisons end, because we have not seen such deliberate planning, purposeful composition, and meticulous execution as we have seen with Les Potions Fatales. The nine eau de parfums tell separate, idiosyncratic stories that trace the etymology of each deadly flower, whether real or mythical, for which we would hate to see an antidote.
Perhaps counterintuitively, the perfume experience often begins with the packaging. Quartana’s fragrances are sheltered in a clean-looking bottle akin to the blue amethyst jars that housed the noxious concoctions of the ancient Greeks. The synesthetic feeling is awakened once you lay eyes upon the array of colors that adorn each box, the designs of which were constructed by Aerosyn Lex Mestrovic. Making associations between colors and smells is not something we can all do intrinsically, but Quartana’s potions give insight into our neurological wiring. While the bottles’ and boxes’ hyperpigmentation and psychedelic patterns grant them shelf visibility, their aposematism actually invites tactile and olfactory curiosity.