Animalis: Beauty & The Beast Within

The New York Times: “Maybe it’s the desire of millennials to reclaim their beastly odors in an age of technological detachment, but fragrance buyers are newly excited to smell as if they come from an elegant zoo … A new line capitalizing on this trend is Eris Parfums, a collection from Barbara Herman.”

“Ms. Herman found that many of her favorite vintage perfumes relied on a base accord called Animalis … an unctuous golden liquid comprised civet, castoreum, costus and musk, and smelled a bit like body odor, dirty scalp, perspiration, butter and a horse stable. Though it sounds unappealing on its own, when combined with other materials, consumers couldn’t resist it. Animalis found its way into popular scents like Robert Piguet Visa and YSL Kouros.”

Stephen Dirkes, a self-taught perfumer, comments: “I like to think about how fashion is often elevated as an expression of personal style, like art you can wear, but it’s also an expression of self-loathing. Grasse, in France, where great perfumery came from, was also a tannery town. The smell of death and the smell of flowers went hand in hand.”


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