Edition: Fragrances Inspired By Literary Icons

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Timothy Han’s recently launched Edition is a London-based perfume label that subverts both traditional methods of making, and the desired outcomes of olfactory design — creating scents based on the stories of literary greats that build and change throughout the day.

Each perfume by Edition is designed and named after a famous literary work. The first scent, entitled ‘She Came to Stay’, was inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s existentialist tale of love and loss that was loosely based on de Beauvoir’s relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre. This unisex scent has top notes of geranium, basil, and lemon, with a heady mix of Indian clove and nutmeg at its center, and a base of patchouli, vetiver, labdanum, oakmoss, and cedarwood. Designed to build and evolve whilst on the skin of the wearer, ‘She Came to Stay’ is a perfume of metamorphosis — exactly as the novel it is based upon. In the collection to date, there is Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’, Yukio Mishima’s ‘The Decay of the Angel’ and the soon-to-be-released ‘Against Nature’ by Joris-Karl Huysmans. In a recent interview, Han explains that Against Nature is “completely different from everything we’ve done in terms of scent. It’s a very lush, green, foliage kind of smell, but it’s underlaid with metal, lacquer, and blood.” The perfect pairings for a fragrance based on the story of a voluptuary aristocrat whose love of the good life eventually spelt his downfall.

Echoing the literary roots of each scent, the boxes that Edition perfumes are packaged in are the exact size of a paperback book. Allowing the buyer to place the box on their bookshelf alongside the book upon which it was originally based. Each scent is also tied to a series of limited edition, numbered art prints that reflect the character of both the perfume and the story it is based upon. The website asks that you “Simply choose the image which best reflects your personality.”

All images © Timothy Han
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