Anima Mundi

By Pamela Oladipupo

Soul, a word with roots so deep we may well shy away from comprehending it until we meet people with whom we ordinarily should not relate, and yet, we connect so profoundly we are forced to contemplate what lies beyond the depths of our hearts and why we can understand and honour a person who contrasts us. The conservative and the liberal; the nerd and the Jock – how can they differ so extensively yet exist together, be friends, or connect on common topics without sacrificing their uniqueness to fit into each other’s world? The invisible threads of Anima Mundi, the world’s soul, tether them as it does all humans. It is a force so strong it preserves us, unites us, and rebirths us irrespective of our unique paths. However much we are united human beings, we still allow for each and everyone’s distinctive take and taste. Find out more about Anima Mundi Here

Anima Mundi is a medieval Latin word meaning the soul of the world. Interpreted by genius minds across time, in ways most symbolic to their fields of interest, it is collectively accepted as signifying the globe having a soul that connects all of the earth’s animate and inanimate to itself. One of its most intriguing aspects is its ability to connect humans and things without altering or annihilating their uniqueness.

Within a forest are insects, plants, snakes and lions, all serviced by the earth without the lion needing to change into an insect. Anima Mundi satisfies all interests regardless of unconcealed differences, toasting to ‘self’. Interestingly, among vast studies, Carl Gustav Jung’s interpretations of ‘self’ become vital to Anima Mundi.

Carl famed for his brave dissension of his teacher and friend Sigmund Freud’s theory, his works on archetypes and the collective unconscious, his categorisation of personality traits into introverts and extroverts and his famous quote “life begins at forty”, believed that acceptance or denial of one’s true self, dictates how we relate to ourselves and our external environment; animate and inanimate.

He asserts that accepting oneself is a balance of the Persona, Shadow and Anima/Animus. The Persona are traits we show to the public, the Shadow are our creative and destructive traits and the Anima/Animus are traits of the opposite sex in each human. The world bore and in some cases, still bears witness to the effects of eradicating or curbing individualism. Depression, a hateful heart, unhappy homes and lives and even war became rampant and Anima Mundi stood concealed.

Today, there are loud calls to live true to oneself, embracing our differences wholesomely however, there is a disconnectedness in achieving this. The practised self-expression obscures Anima Mundi, as people try to shut down other people’s uniqueness in order for theirs to thrive. Individuality becomes an endless race over whose voice and choice will be loudest above all others. As a result, discovering individual differences and maintaining the threads which connect us, has proved challenging.

Amid the complexity of finding a balance for accommodating the diverse facets, preferences, expressions, and identities of all individuals while staying united, pleasingly coincidentally, Commodity, an American fragrance company has perfected the nature of Anima Mundi in the world of perfumery through its perfumes.

Commodity established in 2013 and relaunched in 2019 by Vicken Arslanian, devotes itself admirably to uniting the different perfume needs of its users without fettering everyone to a singular perfume variation. Focused on connecting with humans intimately, it peeked into our very souls and acknowledged the need for humans to have a balance of ‘self’ in perfumery. Rather than subject everyone to having the same scent relationship with their environment, it realised the cruciality of unity in diversity, kinship in individualism and harmony in inclusion and self-representation—all of this through its scent spaces.

The scent space is effectively a preference of extents and limitations a person wishes their fragrance to travel. Just as there are people who prefer to catch the eyes of one person at a time upon walking into a room, there are those who thrive under the full spotlight and attention of everyone, and others who enjoy a mixed balance of both. This much is true of scents also.

Commodity, like a soul sister, vigilantly minded that the acceptance or rejection of a fragrance may not be based solely on the general constitutions of the scent but also on individual diverse preferences of the degree of projection of a scent, and creatively transformed the ‘one for all’ concept as we know it.

By providing variations of how far a scent can travel, a single perfume is strategically and biologically altered into three broad categories to suit the needs of different fragrance choices. As is typical of Anima Mundi, each individual’s perfume requirements are satisfied without eliminating personal interests and preferences or sacrificing unity.

The broad categories of scent spaces offered by Commodity are Personal, Expressive and Bold. The Personal space, distinguished by its white bottles, caters to those who want to reserve their scents for only themselves and those allowed in intimate proximity to them. The Bold space distinguished by its black bottles and gold letterings caters to those desirous of the scents preceding their arrival, dominating rooms, and whispering about their visit long after their departure while the Expressive space distinguished by its black bottles and white letterings is the original formula, a point zero, from which a milder (personal) or heavier (bold) version is curated. It caters to those seeking a balance between personal and bold.

Commodity does not only nurture the unique preferences of individuals in the present but extends far out into the future towards the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of human tastes. It executes this feat through its discovery kits – the Trio scent space kits, Personal/Expressive/Bold scent space kits and the Exploration kits respectively. The kits feature samples of all three spaces, creating a comprehensive offering by providing several tailored options. Kits are available for those who know their preferred fragrance but are uncertain of their scent space, those who know their scent space but have no preferred fragrance and those who know neither their scent spaces nor their preferred scent.

Commodity’s ingenuity is not restricted to its expertise in concords but unfolds to the olfactory delight of its fragrances. Currently, Commodity has 6 scents for which it has successfully created scent spaces – Book, Milk, Paper, Gold, Velvet and Moss. Each of the 6 fragrances has three versions – The Personal with mild qualities serving those with a preference for mild scents and projections, The Expressive version with balanced qualities serving those who crave a balance between mild and overpowering scents and projections, and the Bold version with its overpowering and noticeable qualities.

The fragrance names though maintained across all three scent spaces differ in compositions of percentages, note placements or ingredients, altered to properly suit each unique space and projection. In its expressive space, the Book scent has a top note of Eucalyptus. In its personal space, Black Tea replaces it. Similarly, its bold space includes end notes of Amber, Vetiver and Musk all of which are absent in the personal and expressive versions. Albeit, some perfumes have ingredients present across all three scent spaces.

Book which invokes memories of curling up and diving nose-deep into our favourite books, the scents of its pages arousing excitement about the secrets within, has collective elements of Bergamot, Amyris, Cedarwood, and Sandalwood in its personal, expressive and bold renditions. Milk which conjures up the smell of creaminess and calm tipped over warm marshmallows has collective elements of Skin Musk.

Paper that mutes sandalwood to give it a skin scent has collective elements of Iso E Super. Gold, a rich fragrance that takes one on an intoxicating journey to one’s innermost desires, thoughts, and impulses has collective elements of vanilla. Moss, which transports its user to the fine scenery of earth and fresh green has collective elements of Bergamot. Velvet, which evokes the pure indulgence of a soft texture meeting bare skin, putting about an air of mystery and elegance, has no ingredient collectively found in all three versions.

Commodity does not limit its quest for unity exclusively to these six fragrances, its discovery kits and scent spaces but extends the same to other unique areas of its brand, creating its own world and inputting it with a soul, a true Anima Mundi. Through its docuseries on commodity TV, the brand keeps anyone and everyone informed, giving all a sense of belonging and kinship. It shares its fears, carelessness, adventures, and brainstorms with its audience in some instances, initiating room for suggestions from its audience.

It preserves its history, fusing it to the present and future by designing an archive through which consumers can enjoy scents from its past and present. Intriguingly, it has discovery kits for its archives. With the provision of a variety of perfume collections in its discovery kits, Commodity integrates its designs into a single offering. Two discovery kits particularly the Exploration kit and the Archive collection kit, give a user a glimpse into the soul of the brand, uniting the entirety of the brand into two compact boxes.

Perfumes forming part of its archives are; Bergamot with top notes of Italian Bergamot, Brazilian Green Mandarin Oil, and Clementine Oil; Wool with top notes of Mandarin, Grapefruit and Apple; W*****y with top notes of Jammy Plums, Black Currant, and Violet; Bois with top notes of Pimento Berries, Pink Pepper, and Angelica; Leather with top notes of Black Leather, Oregano Essence, and Juniper Wood Essence; Vetiver with top notes  Apple, Petalia, and Blackberry; Nectar with top notes  Juicy Pomelo, Italian Tangerine, and Bergamot.

Gin with top notes of Juniper Berry, Grapefruit Juice, and Lime; Magnolia with top notes of Water Lily, Dewy Greens, Grapefruit, and Eucalyptus; Mimosa with top notes of Lemon, Bergamot, Blood Orange, and Mandarin; and Rain with top notes of Dewy Green Accord, Bergamot, and Lemon Verbena.

Continuously in tune with the soul of its users, Commodity has simplified usability by incorporating easy-to-understand terminologies and manuals in its packaging to guide users. Additionally, it persists in its pursuit of seamless synchronization and harmonious existence of differences, by embracing and displaying its feelings and its need to ‘be’ through actions rather than fancy poetic words lacking depth.

The earth is inherently a complex puzzle of the living and lifeless. Whether in love or war, there is always the recognition of a greater power that creates humanity at play. Connectedness does not require the sacrifice of individual essences. Accomplishing connectedness applies to the little things as to the big.

Perceived mundanities such as individual scent preferences form part of our individual selves and work towards strengthening our collective bond built by Anima Mundi; empowering the universe to work better for our satisfaction. Commodity through its inventiveness has shown us Anima Mundi’s vitality is achievable in our everyday lives and desires. Be it in perfumery, wildlife or love, there exists room for everyone to be seen, understood, connected, included and nurtured.

To find out more about Commodity fragrances Here

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