Ten years ago, German master perfumer Geza Schoen initiated The Beautiful Mind Series, adding it to an already extensive range of experimental and conceptual projects. Ever since launching his fragrance line Escentric Molecules in 2006, Schoen has been persistently boundary-pushing; he is already responsible for Project Renegades and Paper Passion, and in 2012 he worked with Wolfgang Georgsdorf on 64 odours for Smeller, an olfactory organ that spectators can play like a piano to make aromascapes. He’s a true perfume maverick, one who has influenced his industry to no end.
The Beautiful Mind Series is undeniably his most collaborative. “Scent triggers emotive memories… that’s what fragrance really is – bottled memories” – these words belong to Christiane Stenger, one of the two collaborators on the series. Each of our senses do function to serve the mind, so perhaps it’s appropriate to apply them to what we were thinking at a certain point in our life.
It’s like when a smell reminds you of your Grandma’s house. You’re on the tube, brushing up against a stranger, and for whatever reason, their smell transports you to a different time and moment entirely: the summer holidays spent at your Grandparents’, specifically the year it rained every day and you were trapped indoors. Forced to play board games and help with the cooking, the close proximity to your Grandma made you so accustomed to her smell that here you are, a decade later, thinking of her as you take the Victoria Line from Brixton to Euston.
Schoen’s idea is similar. The second collaboration in the series (with Russian ballet dancer Polina Semionova) is more focused on physicality but no less expressive of a scent’s transformative power. In Schoen’s words, ‘Volume 2: Precision & Grace’ “expresses lightness, the gossamer layers of the classical ballerina’s costume and then the warmth of the body as she dances.” This gossamer… this web of design strikes a balance between the rehearsed and the spontaneous, the natural and the created.
Containing uplifting fruity notes and powdery florals, Semionova describes how this choice takes us back to memory: “I wanted to have pear and plum because they remind me of summer in the Russian countryside of my childhood.” Volume 1’s top notes are bergamot, pink pepper, magnolia bud and magical hedione. It’s even more focused on the mind: “Intelligence & Fantasy is soft and ultra-feminine but with a crystal-clear freshness and transparency.” Equally, it can be considered a web – of imagination and recreation, creating ties between our neural connections, exploding into life when we smell it and a memory is formed in the brain.
Unlike Semionova, Stenger is a German television presenter, former memory athlete, and non-fiction writer. As we can see, the inspiration for the Beautiful Mind products is diverse female creativity. Geza Schoen’s approach to beauty products is unequivocally, refreshingly modern. Really, he spells it all out for us in the series’ tagline: “The most beautiful thing about a woman is her mind.”
These fragrances break free of the noise currently saturating the market. They are true collaborations, where mind, body, and spirit meet creativity, memory, and feeling.
More details on The Beautiful Mind Series can be found here
To find out more about Geza Schoen and Escentric Molecules, visit here