While visiting with Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner at Aedes de Venustas in New York last month, I witnessed the early steps of three bold new projects. Given the fact that Karl and Robert are two of the most important pathfinders and flag bearers of the artistic niche fragrance movement, I see these projects as critical driving forces in an amazingly dynamic future for artistic niche fragrance. Thanks to energy deriving from their successful retail shop (founded in 1995) and fragrance brand (launched in 2012 in partnership with François Duquesne‘s Paris based Beauty Entreprise) Karl and Robert are accelerating their investment, involvement, and commitment to the movement, with a vision that is taking the industry to new heights.
Movement and Growth of Aedes de Venustas the boutique
This year Aedes is celebrating its 20th anniversary and to do this, Karl and Robert decided to offer themselves – a new store! Literally two doors down the street in a corner building at Number One Christopher Street, the new shop, scheduled to open in late September, will offer twice as much space and better exposure. Both Robert and Karl are quick to note, however, that more importantly than increasing the number of brands, the purpose of the move is to bring the artistic niche fragrance retail experience to a new level. More windows on two streets will allow for different and better exposure (like jewels and works of art) for brands that are under-displayed in the current store. There will be a separate Serge Lutens ‘corner’ and a Frédéric Malle wall. Additionally, there will be a ‘fragrance bar’ where small independent brands can be properly displayed and explored.
Solid and Timely Growth of the Aedes de Venustas perfume brand
With five beautiful, different, yet complementary fragrances to its credit, it’s not surprising that Fragrance No. 6 should be in the works. Though it won’t be revealed until sometime next year, I caught a whiff of a test fragrance with soft and unusual accords bearing Aedes de Venustas’s inimitable signature. I might also add that while evoking peaceful memories childhood, this fragrance will surely keep many a perfumista awake at night!
Sending Off New Shoots
Let there be no confusion. Karl and Robert are emphatic in stating that the new perfume brand Nomenclature (co-founded by Karl Bradl with Carlos Quintero), is separate from Aedes, and NOT Aedes de Venustas’s new brand. This being said, Nomenclature, a finely chiseled brand whose concept is to celebrate design in fragrance, bears all the hallmarks of the highest qualities so central to the values of Aedes de Venustas. Make no mistake, it’s a different brand with different ownership. A different life with a diverging path. And yet, to me, the relationship between Aedes de Venustas and Nomenclature is one of those rare and dynamic leaps of organic growth one finds only in the healthiest specimen of life.
It’s early in the autumn season now, and much will be revealed in the next few months. Suffice to say that to witness this manner of action, at this level of sophistication, and at this most promising moment of the year, is a clear indication that the future of this industry is bright. Very bright.
Disclosure : The opinions given in this blog post are my own. They are based on observations I have made as a journalist, blogger, and writer in interviews and store visits over a period of more than 15 years. I also constantly smell fragrances in perfume boutiques and department stores, as well as at trade shows, launch parties, and PR events where I often receive samples and/ or full bottles of fragrances from brands.
Leave a Comment