always expect the unexpected at comme des garçons. oh wait, let's rephrase that into the wonderfully unexpected. the japanese fashion brand has teamed up with serpentine galleries in london - one of the planet's leading venues for contemporary art, design and architecture - to create a bespoke unisex fragrance entitled serpentine. the collab was inspired by the serpentine sackler gallery, the art venue's striking new annex by architect zaha hadid in kensington gardens. comme des garçons' creative director christian astuguevieille and perfumer émilie coppermann took cues from the gallery's unique geographic setting in a historic park in a big city.
the duo concocted a unisex scent that's fresh and accessible, yet features a most hybrid set of notes that interplay with the smells of london and the circulation of its traffic and its air. the scent is composed of grass, leaves, pollen [galbanum, irisleaf], oxygen [aldehyde, ozone], asphalt [black musk, nutmeg], labdanum, smoked cedar with a teenie-weenie bit of pollution [benzoin, juniper wood, gaïac wood]. and the artistry doesn't end there. serpentine galleries invited british artist tracey emin to design serpentine’s bottle and box, the first in a new and ongoing artist commission. emin’s drawing takes inspiration from a sculpture she purchased depicting a lovers’ embrace.
the handwritten text for the bottle face reads: the grass, the trees, the lake, and you. it's printed in luminous silver and the artwork for the packaging slip cover is hot foil stamped in bright silver. london-based studio baer has created the packaging for serpentine that comprises a simple square bottle with a depth half its height and a face left blank for an artist’s work. the box also features a removable slip cover, the surface of which can be decorated by an artist. serpentine will be available exclusively at serpentine galleries, dover street market stores in london and new york, but also at the comme des garçons online shop from mon - apr 28. the new fragrance will drop in all other comme des garçons stores and select depositaries across the planet one week later.