To celebrate concrete’s presence and significance in dense cities around the world, Japanese fragrance house, Comme des Garçons, has created a perfume that has aptly been called Concrete and comes in a bottle that has been made from a combination of the building material and glass.
Explaining the concept behind the perfume, the brand says: “In a world where concrete is ubiquitous, the mundane fabric of urban cityscapes, now it is given disparate context: the uniquely refined realm of perfumery. A versatile material finds an unpredictable form. Concrete is a fragrance where material preconceptions are deftly demolished, paving the way for something new.”
Curved edges and surfaces make up the bottle’s design, which also features a metal cap that sits just off centre. The bottle is first made of glass and then dipped in concrete by hand. The perfume’s additional packaging is also patterned to mimic the colour and texture of concrete.
So what does concrete smell like? Well, according to Comme des Garçons, it smells like sandalwood, with notes of rose and spices. The soft scent is intended to be in contrast to the hard material bottle.
Perfumer Nicolas Beaulieu describes the process and inspiration behind the perfume’s scent: “I knew from the beginning that I needed something disruptive, but to do that in a manner that’s wearable, surprising but fitting the concept is a bit more difficult,” he says. “[Rose oxide] is a molecule that you find naturally in rose oil, but it’s not floral at all. It’s very metallic, green and sharp, and so for Concrete, I really overused it to create this disruption.”
While the fragrance will only be available in September 2017, its launch in July was marked by a series of events in New York, one of which featured cement mixers that churned out dry ice.
Although an innovative idea indeed, this isn't the first time that concrete has been used for perfume packaging. In 2009, designer Alexa Lixfeld created a set of perfume bottles with concrete tops and recently, Nendo created packaging for French fashion house Kenzo's unisex Totem fragrance.