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To The Courageous Ones

Aēsop: Rōzu

Words / 文心
Translation / Iris Heung

 

或許你也聽過「你選的香氣很適合你。」或者「這個香氣和你不太搭。」這類的話。記得幾年前,友人一碰面就把眉頭一皺,說味道太辛辣、太濃烈,不符合性格特點。但是今天,她會說上星期在街頭嗅到了「我的味道」。香氣,是一個訓練記憶的遊戲,友人早就忘記了自己數年前說過的話。反而是那個使用香水的人,會記得有關那瓶香水的故事,還有喜歡它的原因。Aēsop 最新推出的香水 Rōzu 訴說的,就是法國現代主義的女建築師及設計師 Charlotte Perriand 的故事。

Charlotte Perriand 在1903年生於巴黎,在她加入建築大師Le Corbusier的工作室前,曾經被 Le Corbusier 婉拒。直到 Le Corbusier 在1927年看到了 Charlotte 秋季沙龍的作品 Bar sous le toit(屋簷下的吧台),他隨即邀請 Charlotte 到自己的工作室工作,開展了他們十年的合作關係。以當時來說,她追求平等的思想與創新的能力得到不少關注,而她的設計從來沒有受到社會任何的定型影響,創作了一個又一個充滿革新性的作品。她對傢俱的材質和設計風格多變,由鋼到竹,無論是一件傢俱還是一個狹小的空間,她致力讓室內設計令生活更美好,也更容易。著名的設計如以鋼造成的 Swivel Chair、Grand Comfort 及 Chaise Longue,你會突然發現生活中不乏它們的蹤影。Charlotte 的設計非常人性化,顧念不同空間使用者的需要,像是1929年與 Le Corbusier 和 Pierre Jeanneret 一起設計的理想公寓,或是在1952年替巴黎學生設計的宿舍,她就像是一個魔法師,運用光線、具實用性的傢俱及它們微妙的間距善用每一寸空間。

醉心設計的 Charlotte 在日本定居了一段時間,具冒險精神的她熱愛大自然,喜愛滑雪,或者到高山探險。她的某些設計在後期深受日本文化影響,設計簡潔樸實,充滿禪意,注重材質及線條,感覺柔和。Rōzu 是日文的「玫瑰」,當中包括以 Charlotte 的名字命名的一種日本庭園玫瑰 Wabara Rose,Aēsop 的 Rōzu香水融合了她的多面向,它利用了茉莉花及煙燻調癒創木襯托出帶有綠色柑橘調的玫瑰花香,後調則由檀香、岩蘭草、 廣藿香及溫暖琥珀調的沒藥等組成。清幽的淡花香與中性的木調互相呼應,這樣的配搭除了是因為 Charlotte 偏愛傳統古龍水外,還象徵她剛中帶柔的性格,展現了她對生命和生活的勇氣與熱情。

Charlotte Perriand 用無數顛覆時代的設計演繹了她燦爛的一生。她在設計的生涯裡曾問過,“What do we want to be? How do we want to live?” 這大概是生命中最大的課題。

Did you ever have someone tell you, “This scent really suits you”, or “This scent doesn’t quite suit you”? A few years ago, a friend of mine would say to me “The scent you’re wearing smells too strong, it doesn’t really go with your personality.” Recently, she told me that she had found “my scent” on the streets. The sense of smell is closely linked to memory. She might have forgotten about the comment she made a few years back, but to me, I can remember everything about the perfume. The story about the perfume and the reasons for me to choose the perfume linger in my memory as if it happened just yesterday. Adding to its scent lineup, Aēsop’s newly launched Rōzu fragrance is presenting a smell that would tell you the story of the French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand.

Perriand was born in 1903 in Paris. The path for her to join Le Corbusier’s studio was not a straight one. She was first rejected by the renowned architect. It was until Le Corbusier saw her design Bar sous le toit (the bar under the roof) at the 1927 Salon d’Automne did he invite Perriand to join his studio. This is how their ten years of collaboration started. Perriand quickly drew attention for her endeavor to create a more equal society with her designs that transcend boundaries of its time. Her designs were revolutionary, without being confined by any social constructs or norms. She was also experimental with her choices of material. Be it steel or bamboo, Perriand could turn them into an inspiring piece of furniture that would brighten up any interior space. Her most known designs include the Swivel Chair, the Grand Comfort, and the Chaise Longue. These steel furniture pieces are so popular that you must have come across at least once in your life. While being creative, Perriand’s designs were, in fact, very user-oriented. She would put the space and the users into consideration when designing her furniture and space. Some good examples include the L’Appartement ideal she designed together with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, and the student rooms she designed for a student dormitory in Paris. She was a magician, who knew how to cast her spell of utilizing every inch of the space with light, practical furniture, and optimal space arrangement. 

The immense passion for design brought Perriand to Japan for a temporary residency. Her adventurous personality has also bred her love for nature, skiing and hiking. Perriand’s later designs were observably influenced by Japanese culture. They are more minimal, selective in materials, and careful in constructing the frame. The designs in her later stage of career were very gentle with a good hint of zen vibe. Rōzu is the Japanese pronunciation of the word rose. One of the ingredients of the Aēsop Rōzu is the Wabara Garden Rose, a breed dedicated to Charlotte Perriand herself. As complex as Perriand’s design, the Rōzu fragrance is made from jasmine and guaiacwood, with the base of the rose scent with a slight citrus aroma. The fragrance is completed with the myrrh of sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, and a warm, musky note of amber. The subtle floral scent is complemented by the woody aroma. Perriand was a fan of cologne, the balance between femininity and masculinity of Rōzu can well reflect her personality, as well as her courage and passion for life and work.

The unprecedented designs of Charlotte Perriand opened a new page for her era. She once asked, “What do we want to be? How do we want to live?” These two simple questions are perhaps the best place for us to start exploring the true essence of our lives.