Yet more reason to love all things Swedish. I have fallen for the niche fragrance brand Agonist, founded in 2008 by Christine and Niclas Lydeen, which puts a distinctly Nordic inspired, arty bent on appreciating smell. Niclas is an art director and visual artist and Christine has a background in fashion and together they have made Agonist a very modern fragrance brand, concentrating on using high quality, 100% natural ingredients that are a long way from your standard French-fragrance house floral or celebrity-hype smell.
The brand uses beautifully simple bottles with more ingredient-listing on the outside. I mentioned before how useful this is, perfume appreciation is complex enough without testing yourself on remembering ingredients you hardly know how to spell let alone know what they smell like (Labdanum anyone? Or benzoin?) so it’s helpful to be transparent about this. If you’re flush with cash, the perfumes are also available in hand blown glass bottles designed and produced in Sweden’s Kosta Boda factory set in the heart of Smaland forest which are all signed by the individual designer.
So to the fragrances…Until recently I considered Black Amber my favourite, it’s a spicy, peppery incense not unlike 03.Apr.1968. But Isis has just launched, a gingery-peachy affair with a sweet under-hit of caramel that dries down into a warm ambery-fug that I have been wearing non-stop for the last week. I’m not sure Sara Lund ever wore perfume in The Killing, but i can always pretend she would have liked this. Available to try at Avery stores and Liberty as well as many good independents and the website is here, Fragrances cost about £125. Perfume fans might like to know you can buy (for 24 euros) a sample compilation of the brand’s most popular fragrances here.