Can perfumes be political? A new indie fragrance – Feminista – with the help of a world-famous perfumer and creative-project funding campaign – certainly think so…
For some time, now, fragrance houses have been slowly bringing in the idea that – shock horror! – we might want to choose scents based on what we like, not whatever gender someone in marketing assigned to them. This is something niche houses realised on long ago, but the bigger, mass-market houses have taken a little longer to catch on to.
‘Feminista is the first political perfume designed for all genders, building a platform to create visibility and funding for all those fighting inequality,’ they say. going on to describe how ‘A Perfume is one of the most powerful emotional products in the world. It delivers a sense of who we want to be in life or at a particular moment in time.’ We couldn’t agree more, and here’s another reason to get excited: Feminista say they are ‘…committed to spending a percentage of the sales on developing innovative, new and exiting content and education formats, support good causes and develop and fund those people that carry an all-inclusive feminism into the world.’
When Feminista had the idea of the fragrance, wanting to ‘capture the smell of intersectional feminism’, they knew they couldn’t just turn to any old perfumer. Step forward the Escentric Molecules and Heavenly Mind Series nose who’s long been described as a ‘rebel’ and ‘maverick’: Geza Schön
He saw a potential that was hidden even to us when we came up with the idea. Schön said: “It has been years since someone has come up with a truly unique concept for perfume in the industry. All the perfumes that are new on the market year after year, bore me. The idea of Feminista was as much promising as challenging, because never in history has a perfume been created as a political statement, with a strong backstory and a clear mission to become a Change Agent.” Every ingredient that went into the scent speaks of feminist history and future, ensuring that it is as polarizing as it is comforting at times.
Deliberately contradicting notes were chosen for this exciting scent, so we have violets and leather, pink peppers and cedar, juniper berry and styrax that Feminista say ‘form an extraordinary harmony that could hardly be more individual.’
Available in The Experiment (sample) form (€22 for 4x2ml eau de parfum), The Seducer (€64 for 30ml) and The Persuader (€132 for 100ml)
For one of their first projects to highlight, Feminista reached out to Veteran producer Anne Marie Mackay, promoting the funding for her new film, The Hammer of Witches.
Anne Marie says: ‘This project is close to my heart because the persecution of all innocents is a story that must be told again and again. Though we as humans have advanced in so many ways, cruelty on a mass basis has not abated. It has been a lifetime objective for me to teach tolerance and the telling of this tale is another deeply powerful way to allow history to once again inform us of our humanity.
Its impact should be a reminder to search our own conscience, the part in all of us that remains hidden and seek out where we add to current day atrocities. By that I mean treating others with kindness and compassion should be a daily practice. By ignoring our own internal negativity we lend credence to the bigger acts committed in our name as a society.’
We love the idea of using proceeds from perfume to fund fascinating and creatively engaging projects, and really look forward to seeing who they collaborate with next.
Can perfume change the world? We’ve long thought so, and wanted to explore how Fashion, Fragrance & Feminism have always been entwined – why, historically, women were forbidden from scenting their bodies in polite society and how contemporary fragrance houses are appealing to strong, corageous young women right now. In fact, we dedicated the latest issue of our award-winning magazine The Scented Letter to this subject, and you can buy your copy here – or become a VIP Club Member to receive your downloadable copies FREE!
International Subcriptions are also now available, for only £20 annually – the perfect gift for your perfume-loving pals overseas.
Written by Suzy Nightingale