At first glance, the matte grey bottle, may appear to be ‘boring’ and the wrong side of ‘dull’, but after a while you begin to appreciate the minimalist design, the simple elegance the bottle exudes, and wonder what manner of scent awaits you inside. STANDARD represents a collaboration between Japanese designers Commes des Garçons, and iconic Finnish furniture designers Artek. The fragrance itself was developed by Comme des Garçons’ scent designer Christian Astuguevieille, while the fragrance name and bottle design come from Artek’s ideology and Alvar Aalto’s original idea of systems and standards in furniture design. The launch of the STANDARD fragrance is a key event in Artek’s 75th anniversary celebrations set to be launched this October.

The fragrance concept was conceived in the pleasant atmosphere of the first collaboration between Artek and Comme des Garçons in 2007, an Artek exhibition of ‘second-cycle’ furniture at Dover Street Market London and Comme des Garçons’ main flagship store in Tokyo. Artek is continuously on the lookout for new and interesting working methods, materials and collaborations. Creating a fragrance with Comme des Garçons was for Artek a great opportunity to work with a company in the forefront of cultural reinvention. The unisex fragrance was created in line with Artek STUDIO’s brief on combining synthetic and natural elements. The result is a blend of Finnish Labrador Tea, Twinflower Linnea Borealis, metal and rust in the base notes and fennel, ginger, lemon, musk, saffron and cedarwood in the top notes. The scent is created with the ambition to nourish physical and emotional wellbeing.

“To be trendy has never been an end in itself for Artek. The world of senses is always interesting and that was reason enough for us to get involved in the project. Comme des Garçons and Artek are both exceptional companies that have the audacity to operate in fields that are not necessarily intrinsic parts of their business. The STANDARD fragrance is in itself a unique phenomenon. It communicates a message about what Artek stands for today; being radical” -Mirkku Kullberg, Managing Director of Artek

“I guess the greatest similarity between Comme des Garçons and Artek is that we both have a strong vision and belief in creativity that does not lend itself to compromise,” says Adrian Joffe, President of Comme des Garçons Parfum. “We believe such collaborations create a synergy where the result is greater than the sum of its parts.” Comme des Garçons is known for its experimental approach in everything it does, continuously creating things that did not exist before. “We like to question the notion of what is luxury,” concludes Joffe.

STANDARD will be available at nivenandjoshua.com on October 15. The fragrance will be distributed through Artek’s and Comme des Garçons’ own stores.